Kirby has Sligo back in hunt
Sligo Rovers 1 Dundalk 0
Alan Kirby netted the game's crucial goal 10 minutes into the second half as Sligo Rovers won at home for the fourth successive game to reignite their title challenge.
Recalled 'keeper Brendan Clarke had to pull off an excellent diving save in the dying minutes to deny Michael Hector an equaliser for the visitors.
But Rovers were good value for the win and the league's top scorer, Eoin Doyle, should have added to his growing tally when presented with great chances in either half, while Kirby also spurned a couple of good opportunities before providing the vital goal.
Dundalk were without Jason Byrne, Stephen Maher, Stephen O'Donnell, Greg Bolger and Eoghan Osborne through injury, while Daniel Kearns was banned.
Rovers created a good early chance when John Dillon broke into the area and combined with Doyle to tee up Kirby, but Shane Guthrie made an excellent block.
Paul Cook's side finally found the net when Iarfhlaith Davoren broke down the left before releasing Aaron Greene, whose cross eventually fell to Kirby, who rifled the ball into the back of the net.
Sligo -- Clarke, Keane, Peers, McGuinness, Davoren, Dillon, Ndo (Russell 17), Ryan (Ventre 69), Kirby, Greene, Doyle (Cretaro 82).
Dundalk -- Cherrie, Madden, Guthrie, Hawkins, Murphy, Hector, Bennett, Quigley, Ward, Gaynor, Griffin.
Ref -- P Sutton (Clare).