Defenders Massey and Boyle get the goals to stretch Dundalk's lead at top of Premier Division
Sligo Rovers 0 Dundalk 2
Defenders Dane Massey and Andy Boyle got the goals as leaders Dundalk claimed a routine win at the Showgrounds to take another step towards the retaining the Premier Division title.
Massey’s opener against a lacklustre Sligo Rovers arrived in splendid style just 15 minutes in, as he delightfully finished with an acrobatic volley inside the area when the ball rebounded nicely into his path.
Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney were involved as they linked up down the left, before Duffy’s attempt to pick out Daniel Kelly in front of goal was only cleared as far as Massey’s ruthless finish.
Jamie McGrath had a couple of efforts off-target, and Pat Hoban also shot wide from a decent position, but there was no doubting the league-leaders superiority, as the home side struggled to retain position without the services of in-form striker Ronan Coughlan.
After scoring twice against his former club Cork City on Friday, Coughlan was a late withdrawal when he picked up a hamstring injury, and his place went to former Dundalk attacker Ronan Murray.
Murray lasted less than an hour, as Liam Buckley opted to introduce veteran John Russell once Dundalk had doubled their advantage on 53 minutes.
Duffy was again involved, as his corner from the right was powerfully met by Boyle inside the area.
Another Duffy corner almost produced a third goal with ten minutes remaining, as Hoban headed off the crossbar.
It was the second time the visitors had struck the woodwork on the night, with McEleney’s effort from inside the area also crashing off the bar.
Canadian winger Kris Twardek did try to raise the excitement levels for the home side with a couple of tricky runs, but – having scored 19 goals in their past four games – the home side failed to trouble their former keeper Gary Rogers in the Dundalk goal.
SLIGO: McGinty, Banks, Callan-McFadden, Mahon, Donelon (Morahan 80), Warde, Twardek, Cawley, Fordyce (Watson 75), Parkes, Murray (Russell 55).
DUNDALK: Rogers, Gannon, Hoare, Boyle, Massey, Shields, McEleney, McGrath (Dummigan 80), Kelly (Benson 73), Duffy (Lotefa 87), Hoban.
Referee: D Tomney.