It was a huge game for both sides, as Derry City’s shock result away at Finn Harps opened the door for the Saints to get right back in the thick of things in the European race. Dundalk, in the middle of their massive Champions League double header w
It was a huge game for both sides, as Derry City’s shock result away at Finn Harps opened the door for the Saints to get right back in the thick of things in the European race.
Dundalk, in the middle of their massive Champions League double header with Qarabag FK also have Shamrock Rovers breathing down their necks in the title race.
The heat definitely played a factor, apparently 22 degrees at kick-off time, but it felt a lot hotter as both sides looked to play themselves into the occasion.
And as expected, the Champions made a host of changes – eight in total – but started brightly dominating possession.
It wasn’t until the 20th minute that the packed out crowd saw some goal mouth action.
Jarvis found a yard of space on the left wing and delivered a deep cross to the unmarked Daniel Kelly, but the right winger's well taken volley was sharply saved by Brendan Clarke.
Just before the break, skipper Brian Gartland found a yard of space in a busy penalty area and really should have put his side in front.
A beautifully delivered Sean Murray corner beat everybody, and seemed to catch the centre back by surprise as he couldn’t get any contact from six yards out.
The visitors came flying out of the traps in the second half and grabbed the lead after just seven minutes.
The excellent John Mountney was played in down the left and did well to cut back his cross to the penalty spot, where, after a swing and a miss by Sean Murray, John Mountney swept home with his left foot.
The Saints enjoyed a little more possession as the second have went on but rarely threatened Gary Rogers in the Dundalk net.
This frustration got the better of the home side as Mikey Drennan was shown two yellows in quick succession for dissent after his late challenge on Rogers in the air as the stopper punched clear.