Duffy's cracker sets Dundalk on their way against St Pat's
St Patrick's Athletic 0 Dundalk 2
Daryl Horgan popped in to Richmond Park to watch his old team-mates in action and it was the player who inherited his No 7 shirt who set Dundalk on their way to a comfortable win against St Patrick’s Athletic.
Michael Duffy’s stunning 21st-minute free-kick left Conor O’Malley helpless to give Stephen Kenny’s side a well-deserved lead at the break, the goal coming after the hosts had squandered possession needlessly outside their own penalty area.
The champions took complete control after that and Duffy rifled a low drive at O’Malley before the young St Pat’s keeper made two fine saves in quick succession, blocking initially from Patrick McEleney and then the incoming Stephen O’Donnell.
Liam Buckley’s side came into the game looking to move away from the bottom three but they struggled to get a foothold, although their fans were given some encouragement before the break when Darragh Markey fired a shot straight at Gary Rogers following a well-worked move.
The hosts opened the second half on the front foot by pinning Dundalk back and Rogers had to deal with a deflected Kurtis Byrne volley.
McEleney sent a fizzing drive just wide of the target before O’Malley gathered a David McMillan attempt on the hour mark after Ian Bermingham – making his 300th appearance for Pat’s – failed to deal with a crossfield ball by McEleney.
Dundalk needed a second and it arrived in the 68th minute when McMillan turned cleverly on the edge of the penalty area before finding the bottom corner.
The Lilywhites remain 15 points adrift of runaway leaders Cork City, who they meet at Oriel Park next week, while another defeat result leaves Pat’s rooted to the bottom of the table.
St Patrick’s Athletic – O’Malley; Barker, Peers, Feely, Bermingham; Cregg (Kelly 65), Desmond (O’Hanlon 73), Markey, Lunney, K Byrne (C Byrne 80); Fagan.
Dundalk – Rogers; Gannon, Barrett, Vemmelund, Massey; Shields, O’Donnell (Benson 51); Duffy (Clifford 87), McEleney, McGrath; McMillan (Kilduff 84).
Ref – S Grant.