An early goal from Patrick Hoban was enough to give Dundalk a 1-0 victory over Cork City in the Premier Division at Oriel Park on tonight.
The league champions, who had won their first three games, suffered a first defeat against their rivals in eight games as Hoban nipped in to prod home after goalkeeper Mark McNulty couldn’t hold a Ronan Murray free kick.
The netminder made a number of saves to keep City in the game in both halves, though, not least a penalty save from Robbie Benson in the 73rd minute.
However, at the other end, City got little joy from a home defence which was in mean form as it amassed a fourth straight clean sheet.
The early goal boosted Dundalk and they almost added more in the aftermath of the goal, with Dane Massey and Murray going close to a second goal. City changed things as Barry McNamee came on for captain Conor McCormack and the sub had a chance on 33 minutes but he shot at Gary Rogers and Kieran Sadlier’s follow-up was kept out by Daniel Cleary.
Murray went close just before half-time and he, Hoban and Jamie McGrath all wasted good chances early in the second half. The lead remained safe though as City couldn’t fashion any clear-cut chances.
Dundalk won a penalty when Benson went down under Steven Beattie’s challenge – too easy, in City eyes – but McNulty tipped his spot-kick around the post. However, City couldn’t capitalise, coming closest when sub Jimmy Keohane couldn’t get enough on Beattie’s cross.
Michael Duffy and Benson had late chances for Dundalk, but they didn’t need them as they took the points.
Waterford FC moved level on points with City at the top of the table this evening.
Last year's First Division champions scored late on against Sligo Rovers to secure a 2-1 win.
Shamrock Rovers hammered Derry City 6-1.
St Pat's earned the bragging rights and all three points as they defeated Bohemians 1-0 in their Dublin derby.
Bray remain bottom of the league after they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Limerick.