Sunday 22 July 2018

Hoban double makes it a perfect 10 for Dundalk

St Patrick's Athletic 1 Dundalk 3

Dundalk equalled their 50-year-record with a tenth straight league victory. Photo: Getty
Dundalk equalled their 50-year-record with a tenth straight league victory. Photo: Getty

Paul Buttner

Patrick Hoban scored twice as Dundalk came from behind to take a big three points from Inchicore.

A tenth straight league victory equals their 50-year record, but more importantly in this season's title race, it stretches Dundalk's lead at top of the Premier Division table to four points.

Despite a bright start, St Pat's failed to stop the rot of their horrendous run which sees them create a new club record of seven successive defeats.

Brendan Clarke, back at the club for a third stint, came straight into goal following his arrival from Limerick. And Clarke's defence were on the back foot right from the off, Kevin Toner slipping before taking down Dundalk flying winger Dylan Connolly to receive a booking just 14 seconds into the game.

Clarke then had to make the first telling stop of the game on 17 minutes after Michael Duffy raided in off the left flank to slide a pass through for the run of Hoban. Clarke batted the early shot out for a corner. There was a determination about Liam Buckley's Inchicore side and it brought them the lead on 25 minutes.

The tenacity of a marauding Simon Madden won a corner on the river side of the ground.

Jake Keegan was allowed find room in the area to get his head to Killian Brennan's delivery with Rogers unable to keep the ball out.

Dundalk looked for an immediate response but found Clarke and a dogged home defence in their way.

Former St Pat's midfielder Jamie McGrath initially brought another instinctive reaction save from Clarke with a close-range effort.

Hoban looked set to score from the rebound only for a determined Lee Desmond to get across to deflect the shot out for a corner.

But sloppy defending from Desmond would allow Dundalk to level six minutes into the second half.

The defender gifted the ball to Duffy, who laid it off for Hoban to wrong-foot Clarke with a low drive from the edge of the area. It remained an open game but Dundalk proved more clinical and took the lead on 58 minutes. Duffy broke through the middle, fed Chris Shields on the right for the midfielder to arrow a low drive into the far corner of the net.

St Patrick's fought hard until the death, Rogers tipping over a free kick from Killian Brennan before Dundalk got their third goal on the break three minutes into stoppage time.

Substitute Kristian Adorjan broke to feed Benson who laid the ball off for Hoban to tap home his second goal of the game and 21st of the season.

St Patrick's Athletic - B Clarke; Madden, Desmond, Toner, Bermingham; Lennon; K Brennan, R. Brennan; C Byrne (T Byrne, 78), Keegan, D Clarke (Markey, 81).

Dundalk - Rogers; Hoare (Gannon, 79), Gartland, Cleary, Massey; Shields, Benson; Connolly (Jarvis, 86), McGrath, Duffy (Adorjan, 76); Hoban.

Ref - N Doyle (Dublin)

Irish Independent

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