Hoban bags brace as Dundalk take top spot
UCD 1 Dundalk 4
Dundalk made it five wins from six games since their shock opening-day defeat to Drogheda United to go top of the table.
But Stephen Kenny's team didn't have it all their own way, as Gary Burke's opener for UCD gave them a fright. But two from Pat Hoban, and goals from Stephen O'Donnell and a terrible UCD own goal secured a deserved win.
UCD took the lead in the 23rd minute, the tricky Burke crept in behind the Dundalk defence to get on the end of Robbie Creevy's perfect pass. The visitors equalised two minutes before the break, when Hoban headed home Daryl Horgan's cross.
Dundalk's second goal came in the 58th minute, courtesy of some route one football, not something generally associated with them over the last year. Full-back Sean Gannon's long ball was headed on by Hoban, and the in-rushing Stephen O'Donnell tucked it past Conor O'Donnell to make it 2-1.
Things went from bad to worse for UCD a minute later, a goal that will surely feature in the end of season 'What Happened Next' feature. UCD defender Hugh Douglas' attempted clearance smashed off helpless team-mate Mark Langtry and 'keeper O'Donnell could only watch it trickle over the line.
Douglas was then sent off with 11 minutes left for a last man foul on Hoban, who got his second and Dundalk's fourth with four minutes left.
UCD – O'Donnell; Matthews, Douglas, Boyle, Langtry; Belhout, Creevy, Benson, Mulhall (O'Halloran, 80); Burke (Wilson, 71); Morrison (Kavanagh, 81)
Dundalk – Cherrie; Gannon, Rossiter, Boyle, Massey; Byrne (McMillan, 84), Shields, O'Donnell (Higgins, 68), Horgan (Meenan, 79); Towell; Hoban.
Referee – R Rogers