| 23.9°C Dublin

Hoban header invaluable to Dundalk

Patrick Hoban's header secured a 1-0 victory for Dundalk as they continue their pursuit of the Premier Division title.

Stephen Kenny's charges dropped points in Drogheda last week to open the door to the chasing pack and they were six minutes away from another home slip-up against a side that always causes them problems.

They kept probing, however, and Hoban seized the moment with a near post header from a Darren Meenan that finally found a way past the evergreen Limerick goalkeeper Barry Ryan. It allowed the Oriel Park crowd to breathe a huge sigh of relief, although they then had to suffer through six minutes of injury time before they could really celebrate.

This success maintains their four point lead at the top of the table with nine matches remainining.

While Dundalk's performance lacked the usual fluency, they could have gone in comfortably ahead at the interval with the visitors' complacent rearguard offering plenty of encouragement to the Louthmen. Kurtis Byrne was the main culprit in the profligacy stakes. Shortly after a Dane Massey drive was stopped by the feet of Ryan, the attacker had the space to size up a Hoban flick but fired wildly over.

Richie Towell wasted the best opportunity though, with the incessant pressing of the newly crowned player of the month forcing a slip from Shane Duggan as he collected a short Ryan kick-out. Alas, his subsequent strike was short of the power to find a way past the formidable stopper.

Dundalk will be hoping the collective shooting boots return for Monday's trip to Sligo.