A smash and grab raid by the champions on a sultry night at a rocking Tallaght Stadium saw Dundalk soar into an eight point lead in the table after a 1-0 victory over luckless Shamrock Rovers. Sean Gannon struck for the vital goal in the 73rd minute
A smash and grab raid by the champions on a sultry night at a rocking Tallaght Stadium saw Dundalk soar into an eight point lead in the table after a 1-0 victory over luckless Shamrock Rovers.
Sean Gannon struck for the vital goal in the 73rd minute in a game that the Co. Louth men found themselves under the cosh for long periods.
Substitute Jamie McGrath found a lot of space in the Rovers area and slid in Sean Gannon who rolled a low shot across Alan Mannus and over the line.
Rovers dominated the first half and could have taken the lead when a superb long range Jack Byrne shot cannoned back into play off the Dundalk crossbar in the 39th minute.
That was just two minutes after Ronan Finn was denied by a last gasp Dane Massey goal line clearance after the Hoops’ skipper got on the end of a low Dan Carr cross from the left.
Trevor Clarke broke clear in the 61st minute after a rare misplaced pass in the Dundalk midfield. The flying left back was upended by Lilywhites’ netminder Gary Rogers who saw yellow after charging out of his area. The free kick came to nothing.
With the home back four in commanding form, Dundalk were restricted to scraps with a skied Sean Gannon shot from a Patrick McEleney pass their only effort of note in the opening period.
Patrick McEleney did hit the side netting nine minutes after half-time after being set-up by Michael Duffy, however, Rovers still looked the more likely until Gannon’s stroke of genius.
After that, with Rovers chasing the game, Gannon, Hoban and McEleey might have added to the Dundalk tally although Aaron Greene (on for Dan Carr) twice spurned chances late on for a frustrated Rovers.
More than 5,000 fans witnessed a brilliant match.