Saturday 15 December 2018

League of Ireland round-up: Another big win for Dundalk as they beat St Pat's

Chris Shields of Dundalk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between St Patrick's Athletic and Dundalk at Richmond Park in Dublin.
Chris Shields of Dundalk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between St Patrick's Athletic and Dundalk at Richmond Park in Dublin.

PATRICK Hoban scored twice as Dundalk came from behind to take a big three points from St Patrick's Athletic.

A 10th straight league victory equals Dundalk’s 50-year record, but more importantly in this season’s title race, it stretches Stephen Kenny’s side’s lead at the top of the Premier Division table to four points.

Despite a bright start, St Patrick’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 St Pat’s goal following his arrival from Limerick and the prodigal Clarke showed his worth with terrific reaction saves from Hoban and Jamie McGrath either side of St Pat’s taking a 25th-minute lead.

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 Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers unable to keep the ball from the net despite getting a hand to it.

Sloppy defending allowed Dundalk to level six minutes into the second half.

Lee Desmond was caught in possession and Michael Duffy set up Hoban to score with a low drive from the edge of the area.

Seven minutes later Dundalk were ahead. Duffy broke through the middle and fed Chris Shields, whose low drive arrowed into the far corner of Clarke’s net.

St Pat’s strived 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 Robbie Benson who laid the ball off for Hoban to tap home his second goal of the game and 21st of the season.

Elsewhere, Derry City debutants Aaron Splaine and Ally Roy both scored as a brave Limerick side fell to defeat at the Brandywell.

The home side were asking all the questions in the first half but Limerick stunned them by taking the lead on 35 minutes, William Fitzgerald’s low cross eluding Gavin Peers, and Connor Ellis was in the right place at the right time to fire the ball past Ger Doherty and into the roof of the net.

Yet the lead lasted just 60 seconds as Derry levelled immediately. Ben Fisk’s cross from the left was headed back across goal by Jamie McDonagh towards Ally Roy, but it was cleared to the edge of the area where Splaine took a touch before curling a brilliant effort past Tommy Holland and into the top corner.

Derry wasted no time in the second half, needing just 20 seconds before they found the Limerick net to go into the lead for the first time.

Aaron McEneff was the man at the heart of the goal as he burst into the Limerick area before pulling the ball back for Roy to hammer home left-footed.

Meanwhile, Bastien Hery earned a point for Waterford against Bohemians, on a night when Noel Hint made his debut for the club.

Bohs took a lead that their possession probably deserved after 31 minutes. Kevan Devaney whipped the left-wing corner to the front post where Corcoran flashed his header past Matthew Connor.

Bohs couldn’t make their pressure count and Waterford levelled 19 minutes into the second half. Referee Anthony Buttimer played the advantage from a foul on Noe Baba and Hery broke down the right, cut inside and fired under the body of Shane Supple.

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