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O'Connor cracker lifts Saints

SEAN O'Connor's 58th-minute piledriver restored St Patrick's Athletic to winning ways as they overcame a Dundalk side who, on this form, look destined for the drop.

O'Connor found himself in yards of space to collect a Chris Forrester pass and, without having to break his stride, he lashed the ball powerfully to the roof of the net.

The loss condemned Dundalk to a 12th defeat of the season and with just one victory since May, it is no surprise to see the Lilywhites propping up the table.

Liam Buckley's side dominated the first half and Peter Cherrie was forced into saves from O'Connor and Ger O'Brien before Jake Carroll saw an effort whistle wide in the 38th minute.

Dundalk lacked any fluency in their general play but they had another decent opportunity to pull in front against the run of play when teenagers Conor McDonald and Gary Shanahan combined, only for the latter to see his lob clear the bar.

Dundalk boss Darius Kierans changed his side's formation to go with two strikers up top in the 53rd minute but just five minutes later Pat's were in front through O'Connor.

The home crowd were left frustrated by their side's attempts to get back into the game with a Shanahan header, well saved by Paul Murphy in the 80th minute, their only chance of note.

Dundalk -- Cherrie; McDonnell, Foran, Whelan (Reilly 89), Osborne; Shannon, O'Brien (Brady 68), McDonald (Rafter 53), Mountney, Shanahan; Griffin.

St Patrick's Athletic -- Murphy; O'Brien, Kenna, Flynn, Bermingham; Chambers, Coombes (Bolger 86), Carroll; Forrester (Kelly 88), Fagan (Faherty 78), O'Connor.

Ref -- P Tuite (Dublin).

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