Tuesday 11 December 2018

Hotshot Hoban closing in on scoring records

Hoban has a strong chance of beating the current Premier Division record for goals in a season which stands at 25. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Hoban has a strong chance of beating the current Premier Division record for goals in a season which stands at 25. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk are in control of the League of Ireland title race after Monday night's 2-0 over Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

And their star striker Patrick Hoban is on course to make it a season to remember after he continued the remarkable goalscoring run which has reinvigorated his career.

Hoban bagged his 24th league goal of the campaign as Stephen Kenny's charges moved three points clear of Cork City with a game in hand.

That's 11 more goals than his closest pursuers in the charts - Cork's Graham Cummins and ex-Shamrock Rovers ace Graham Burke, who is now with Preston.

With eight games remaining, Hoban has a strong chance of beating the current Premier Division record for goals in a season which stands at 25.

Glen Crowe (2001) and Richie Towell (2015) both reached that tally since the two-division split was introduced in 1985.

Granted, both of those players hit that tally in a 33-game season and the switch to a ten-team league has made this a 36-game title race, but Hoban is knocking on the door after just 28 matches.

The Galwegian is also targeting the magic 30-goal target which has been reached only twice in a league campaign.

Waterford's Jimmy Gauld hit 30 in 1954-55 - an impressive haul considering there were only 22 league matches. The all-time high was set by Cork's Jimmy Turnbull with 37 in the 1935-36 season.

Hoban returned to Dundalk after a frustrating and stop-start spell in England. He joined Oxford after winning the 2014 league title under Kenny and had loan spells with Stevenage and Grimsby before spending a season with Mansfield, where he made just two 90-minute appearances.

Dundalk also have team records in sight. Their success in Sligo was a 13th league win on the trot.

The all-time sequence is the 15-game run of Bohemians in 1923/'24.

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