Sligo Rovers 0 Dundalk 1
Ten-man Sligo Rovers fell to their first home defeat of the season in a dramatic game at the Showgrounds last night.
A long-range shot by Dane Massey nestled in the top corner of the Rovers net on 40 minutes to stun the home faithful.
And it got worse for the Bit O’Red in the second half as star striker Anthony Elding was dismissed on 71 minutes for an off-the-ball incident.
This win was no fluke, either. Dundalk were on top in the opening 45 minutes of the game, defending solidly. Patrich Hoban unhinged the home defence in the 12th minute but his effort went narrowly wide.
A stinging Anthony Elding shot from 30 yards went behind off the woodwork on 15 minutes as Sligo pressed forward.
Sligo keeper Gary Rogers did well to tip the ball over the bar from a blistering Keith Ward shot after 32 minutes. The Lilywhites had another chance to open the scoring on 36 minutes but Andy Boyles header flew inches wide.
But Stephen Kenny’s men took a richly deserved lead five minutes before half time when a looping long-range shot by Massey flew into the top corner of the net.
And it got worse for the champions when Dundalk were awarded a penalty in the 77th minute.
Luckily for Sligo, Patrick Hoban’s kick came back off the post and Stephen O’Donnell was unable to finish the rebound.
Nevertheless the win boosts Dundalk’s hopes of European football but the result puts a major dent in Rovers’ hopes of retraining their title.
SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers, Keane, Henderson, Peers, Gaynor, Ndo, Cawley, Ventre, Cretaro,Greene, Elding.
Subs: Djilali for Ventre 59, Davoren for Gaynor (79), Millien for Pretero (82).
DUNDALK: Cherrie, Sullivan, Boyle, O Donnell, Meenan, Mounteney, Hoban, Ward, Massey, Towell, Rossiter.
Subs: Mulvenna for Meenan (72), McDonnell for Ward (87), Byrne for Mounteney (87).
Referee: Paul McLoughlin (Donegal).
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