McGrath sparks Dundalk to life
Dundalk 4 Sligo Rovers 0
It's a bit premature to say that Dundalk are back to their best but a confident second-half display against Sligo Rovers last night will give Stephen Kenny some much-needed cheer after two consecutive league defeats.
A hat-trick from Jamie McGrath, the return of Robbie Benson and another good outing by winger Michael Duffy were the main positives from a win that reduces the gap to Cork City back to 13 points.
A poor first half ended scoreless with David McMillan and Michael Duffy going closest. Sligo, who were looking to build on a 3-0 win over Limerick in Gerard Lyttle's first game, offered little and Gary Rogers didn't have a save of note to make.
Dundalk injected some urgency into their play in the second half and they pulled in front in the 53rd minute when McGrath got the better of Tobi Adebayo Rowling to slot home.
His second arrived with 18 minutes to go. Duffy was the creator, turning on the accelerator to burst down the right before slowing up and picking out McGrath who rifled his effort under Micheál Schlingermann.
Niclas Vemmelund grabbed the third when he bundled the ball home and McGrath put the cap on a fine display when he converted a penalty in stoppage time.
Dundalk - Rogers; Vemmelund, Hoare, Barrett, Massey; Shields, Benson (Stewart 88); Duffy, McEleney (O'Donnell 84), McGrath; McMillan (Kilduff 79).
Sligo Rovers - Schlingermann; Adebayo Rowling, Leahy, Callan McFadden, Donelan; Sadlier, Russell (Stevens 78), Boylan, Martin (Place 85); Cretaro, Ayunga (Roddan 59).
Ref - G Kelly (Cork)