Changes work a treat for Dundalk boss
St Patrick's Athletic 0 Dundalk 1
Dundalk boss Vinny Perth said rotating his squad for Saturday's win at Richmond Park wasn't a case of change for change's sake.
The deserved victory over a disjointed St Pat's side kept the champions well on course to defend their title. This morning they depart on a seven-hour charter to Baku for their Champions League second qualifying round second leg with Qarabag.
Perth made eight changes to the team that earned a 1-1 draw with the Azeri side at Oriel Park last Wednesday.
His close-range volley having brought a fine save from Brendan Clarke in the main moment of a scrappy first half, John Mountney scored the game's only goal seven minutes into the second.
As with that first-half chance, the goal stemmed from another Dean Jarvis cross.
Sean Murray let the ball run to the unmarked Mountney, who planted a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
St Pat's finished the game with 10 men when striker Mikey Drennan received a second yellow card for dissent.
"I don't see it as eight changes," said Perth. "Dean Jarvis is playing his 20th league game this season.
"That's people you know: Brian Gartland, our club captain, Dan Cleary, who goes under the radar.
"He's probably in our top three performers this year and that's his 19th game.
"It's not changes for change's sake. It's because we believe in our club captain, Dan Cleary and Dean Jarvis. And John Mountney has scored his sixth goal of the season."
St Pat's boss Harry Kenny was not pleased with Drennan, following his second dismissal for dissent this season.
He said: "We were on the up at that stage, we were creating half chances and that just takes the steam out of things when you drop a player.
"He'll get another ban. He just has to watch himself. You can't be letting people down."
St Patrick's ATHLETIC - B Clarke; Webster, Kelly, Toner; Desmond, Lennon (Forrester, 74), Markey, Clifford (Coleman, 81), Bermingham (Doona, 74); D Clarke, Drennan.
Dundalk - Rogers; Dummigan, Gartland, Cleary, Jarvis; Mountney, Shields, Murray (Duffy, 80); D Kelly (McGrath, 64), G Kelly (Hoban, 73), McEleney.
ref - Rob Hennessy