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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Sixth consecutive win over Cork City keeps champions Dundalk flying high

The Lilywhites defied a missed penalty and a late red card to pick up a deserved victory at Turner’s Cross.

Cork City 0
Dundalk 2

Paul Dollery reports from Turner’s Cross

REIGNING CHAMPIONS DUNDALK continue to sit atop the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table after recording another win over the team who spent the past five years duelling with them for Irish football’s top prizes.

John Mountney celebrates scoring with his teammates Brian Gartland leads the celebrations after John Mountney's goal for Dundalk. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

In front of a 3,334 attendance at Turner’s Cross, Dean Jarvis and John Mountney scored the goals that ensured Vinny Perth’s side emerged victorious from a clash with Cork City for the sixth consecutive occasion. Even Pat Hoban’s failure to convert a first-half penalty was an opportunity they ultimately weren’t forced to rue.

The result gave interim City manager John Cotter his first taste of defeat since stepping into the hotseat. The Leesiders had come into the game having posted wins over Bohemians and UCD following the end of John Caulfield’s tenure as boss.

Against the side who continue to find themselves in eighth place, it was a fully deserved victory for Dundalk, who are now unbeaten in the seven games they’ve played since an uncharacteristic stumble last month saw them ship back-to-back losses to St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers.

Dundalk started with a side that showed three changes from last week’s win at Bohemians. Dan Cleary came in for the suspended Sean Hoare in the centre of defence. Dan Kelly made way for John Mountney on the wing. Pat Hoban returned from suspension to replace Georgie Kelly up front.

Cork City made one enforced adjustment from their victory over UCD here seven days ago. With centre-back Dan Casey injured, Gary Boylan got the nod for his second league start for the club. He was selected at right-back, allowing Conor McCarthy to revert to the centre.

Daire O'Connor and Dean Jarvis Dundalk's Dean Jarvis under pressure from Daire O'Connor of Cork City. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk needed just nine minutes to gain the upper hand. When Michael Duffy’s free-kick from the right was headed clear by Sean McLoughlin, the ball fell to Patrick McEleney just outside the box. City goalkeeper Mark McNulty couldn’t adequately deal with a shot that bounced awkwardly in front of him, and Dean Jarvis was the unlikely beneficiary. The left-back was the first man on the scene to capitalise on the rebound, scoring his first Dundalk goal since his move from Derry City ahead of last season.

The visitors passed up a chance to increase their advantage just before the half-hour mark. Pat Hoban placed the ball on the penalty spot after Sean Murray had been brought down in the box by Garry Comerford. However, as he sought to take his tally for the season into double figures, the Lilywhites’ all-time leading goalscorer watched his effort strike the post.

That incident briefly sparked the game into life as it momentarily resembled the type of highly competitive fixture that these teams have so often contested previously.

Having given Dundalk little to worry about for the first 30 minutes, City soon created a couple of fine opportunities to equalise, both of which fell to Graham Cummins.

After good work from James Tilley allowed Daire O’Connor to deliver a cross from the right, the ball was slightly too high for Cummins, whose header sailed over.

Pat Hoban misses a penalty Pat Hoban sees his penalty strike the woodwork. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Moments later, the striker was released by Comerford’s quick throw-in, but Gary Rogers came to Dundalk’s rescue by producing an excellent save with his legs to ensure his side remained in front at the break.

With just over four minutes of the second half played, the champions doubled their lead. McEleney spread a lovely ball wide to Sean Gannon, whose cross was emphatically headed home at the near post by John Mountney.

While the onus was now on the hosts to chase the game, Dundalk continued to control proceedings. McLoughlin had to intervene to divert a drilled effort from Hoban off target, before Mountney forced McNulty into a good save after being teed up by Hoban.

Playing into the Shed End, City eventually began to threaten as they searched for a goal to reduce the deficit. Tilley came close on two occasions, the first of which resulted in his curling effort from 25 yards drifting narrowly wide of Rogers’ far post. The Dundalk goalkeeper then produced a good stop to deny Tilley from close range, after the on-loan Brighton & Hove Albion youngster combined well with Daire O’Connor.

Dundalk were a man down for the final 11 minutes after Mountney was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Tilley. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the outcome was never in doubt in the closing stages. 

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Gary Boylan, Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin, Garry Comerford; Conor McCormack, Kevin O’Connor; Daire O’Connor (Darragh Rainsford, 80), James Tilley, Karl Sheppard; Graham Cummins (Darragh Crowley, 75).

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Dan Cleary, Dean Jarvis; Chris Shields, Sean Murray (Jordan Flores, 70); John Mountney, Patrick McEleney (Dane Massey, 90), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly, 82).

Referee: Rob Rogers.

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Paul Dollery

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