Sport League of Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

McCabe strike sinks under-strength Dundalk

SLIGO ROVERS moved to within six points of league leaders St Pat's by beating injury-hit Dundalk at the Showgrounds on Saturday night.

Gary McCabe claimed the only goal of the game, firing a low shot into the corner of the net from close range shortly after the hour-mark.

It was no more than Rovers deserved as they controlled the match for long periods and restricted Dundalk to just a couple of long-range shots.

But, despite Padraig Amond, John Russell, Joseph Ndo and Conor O'Grady all having chances, the game remained scoreless until McCabe latched onto Ndo's pass and shot past Peter Cherrie.

Delighted Sligo manager Paul Cook said afterwards: "Dundalk are a smashing team, so it was a big three points for us.

"We're trying to put a team together to play good football and be competitive. August is going to be a massive month for us, and we've some great games to look forward to over the next few weeks."

A fixtures pile-up has tested the resolve of Dundalk manager Ian Foster in recent weeks.

Alan Cawley has been ruled out for the rest of the season, while Garry Breen, Liam Burns, Nathan Murphy and Steven Lennon all missed Saturday's game -- as did Neale Fenn (33), who announced his retirement last week.

"Sligo is a tough enough place to come to with a full squad, never mind missing the players we were missing," said Foster. "They had a lot of possession but I thought we restricted them well."

Foster is already focusing on preparations for next Friday's home game against UCD.

"We'll have a chance to do some coaching this week at least. For the last few weeks it has just been game, then recovery, then another game, so we'll get back down to it and we'll prepare as best we can for the UCD game."

Sligo Rovers -- Gibson; Keane, Foran, Lauchlan, Davoren; McCabe, O'Grady, Russell, Doyle (Dillon 70); Ndo, Amond (Blinkhorn 70).

Dundalk -- Cherrie; Madden, McGuigan, Hatswell, Kelly; McGowan, Maher, Miller, Gaynor; Kuduzovic, Tipton.

Ref -- D Hancock.

Irish Independent

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