Hoban acrobatics keep Lilywhites flying high

Dundalk 2 Sligo Rovers 0

Hoban acrobatics keep Lilywhites flying high

A first-half wonder strike from Pat Hoban and a bullet header from substitute Chris Shields on the hour mark ensured the unfancied Louthmen remain very much in the hunt for a first league title since 1995.

With so much at stake for both sides, it was no surprise to see them start nervously. However, leading scorer Hoban lit up Oriel Park on 15 minutes when he latched on to a Richie Towell header inside the box before somehow steering it to the net acrobatically, despite having his back to goal.

The Lilywhites were a much better side on the restart though, and a spell of sustained pressure finally told in the 60th minute when sub Shields met Darren Meenan’s right-wing cross at the back post to send an unstoppable header past Gary Rogers at his near post.

Ian Baraclough’s visitors did go close to pulling a goal back in the 79th minute, but Raffaele Cretaro’s effort came back off the post as their own title ambitions suffered a major blow as this result, coupled with Pat’s victory over Shelbourne, leaves them seven points off the pace.

DUNDALK: Cherrie; Rossiter, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Dillon (Shields 52), O’Donnell, Towell, Meenan; Byrne (Sullivan 88), Hoban.

SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers; Keane, Henderson, Peers, Greene; Djilali, Ndo, Cawley, Conneely (North 64), Cretaro (Lynch 81); Elding.

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).

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