Friday 17 August 2018

League of Ireland round-up: Dundalk see off Waterford to maintain top spot

21 May 2018; Robbie Benson of Dundalk, second from left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Waterford at Oriel Park in Dundalk. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile
21 May 2018; Robbie Benson of Dundalk, second from left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Waterford at Oriel Park in Dundalk. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

DUNDALK overcame a rocky second half spell to keep their winning run going at Oriel Park.

Stephen Kenny's side have taken full points from the four games they have played since falling to Waterford at the RSC earlier this month.

And they are now ten points clear of this season's surprise packages, who ultimately paid the penalty for a sluggish first half.

They were pegged back by the hosts and had survived a dozen corners before Robbie Benson found space to capitalise on a fine Chris Shields run and Michael Duffy cross to blast home the opener.

Waterford's task was also stiffened by the loss of skipper Paul Keegan to an injury. Stanley Aborah was absent due to the red card he picked up in Friday's stunning 6-3 home loss to Limerick, while first choice striker Courtney Duffus cannot play on artificial pitches.

However, Alan Reynolds' side did up their performance levels after half-time and gave Dundalk some nervous moments. They did have a let off when Patrick Hoban fired over a one-on-one, yet they were galvanised by changes and sub Sander Puri hit the post with a minute remaining. It would not have been coming against the run of play at that point.

Dundalk instantly made their visitors pay with Duffy darting free on the counter and crossing for Hoban's replacement Marco Tagbajumi who bagged his first league goal for the club.

Stephen Kenny's side now lead Cork City by two points, although John Caulfield's men have a game in hand.

Cork were also victorious tonight, matching Dundalk with a 2-0 victory away to Limerick. The damage was done in the second half, with Garry Buckley breaking the deadlock on 52 minutes before sealing the win three minutes from time.

In the other game tonight, Derry City continued the trend of 2-0 victories, with an Aaron McEneff brace keeping Bray rooted to the bottom of the table. McEneff opened the scoring five minutes before half time, before making the game safe with a goal four minutes from time.

Dundalk  – Rogers, Hoare, Gartland, Cleary, Massey (Jarvis 45); Shields, Benson; Connolly (Adorjan 66), McGrath, Duffy; Hoban (Tagbajumi 70)

Waterford – Vigouroux, Feely, Browne, Webster, Barnett; Keegan (Puri 33); Hery, Holohan; Martin (Daly 74); O'Halloran (Kasmi 58), Akinade

ref – R Hennessy (Limerick)

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