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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020
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Dundalk go three points clear at top of the table with demolition job on St Pat's

The reigning champions were very impressive in a 4-0 away win.

St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Dundalk 4

DUNDALK MOVED THREE points clear at the top of SSE Airtricity Premier Division with a clinical 4-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on tonight.

The reigning champions bounced back from their first defeat of the season to Cork City with an impressive win courtesy of goals from Stephen O’Donnell, Dave McMillan, Daryl Horgan and Brian Gartland.

Liam Buckley named the same starting XI that won 2-0 away to Shamrock Rovers last Friday but their form from Tallaght deserted them tonight.

The opening goal came after a defensive mix-up by Pat’s presented O’Donnell with the chance to seize an early lead.

A misplaced pass from Keith Treacy went straight into the path of the Dundalk captain and he duly punished the mistake when he calmly slid the ball into the bottom right corner of Brendan Clarke’s net to give the Louth men an early lead.

Stephen O'Donnell scores a goal Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell scored his side's first. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

A couple of minutes later a cross from Chris Shields found Ciaran Kilduff, who had the chance to double the lead against his old club, but his acrobatic effort was well blocked.

The home side responded well midway through the half and came close to equalising 20 minutes in with a long-range effort from Treacy.

His midfield partner, David Cawley set him up as he tried to make amends for his mistake that led to the opening goal but his rasping effort from 20 yards flew just over.

Christy Fagan then shot on the turn to bring out a finger-tip save from Gary Rogers as Pat’s appeared to be growing into the game.

Minutes later, another left-foot strike from Fagan went over the bar after a mix-up in the Dundalk defence. The away side saw out the Pat’s period of pressure though to take a slender lead into the break.

The home team continued to press early in the second half but Dundalk soaked up the pressure with a solid defensive display.

And they went two up after McMillan scored with his first touch after coming on as a sub. As the ball spun his way in the box, McMillan eased the ball past Clarke after a neat pass from Horgan.

Five minutes later, Ronan Finn saw his right-foot shot comfortably saved but it was soon a three-goal lead as a snap-shot from Horgan, on the edge of the box, flew into the top corner to put the game beyond the Saints.

Dundalk's Brian Gartland celebrates a late goal Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Gartland put the icing on the cake for Stephen Kenny’s men as he headed in a fourth in injury time, after a free-kick from sub Robbie Benson, to seal the victory for the Lilywhites.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brendan Clarke, Ger O’Brien (c), Ian Bermingham, Darren Dennehy, David Cawley, Keith Treacy (Sam Verdon, 75), Mark Timlin, Graham Kelly (Conan Byrne, 67), Shane McEleney, Christy Fagan (Dinny Corcoran, 46), Billy Dennehy.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Chris Shields, Stephen O’Donnell (c), Daryl Horgan (Darren Meenan, 84), John Mountney, Ronan Finn (Robbie Benson, 75), Dane Massey, Ciaran Kilduff (Dave McMillan, 62).

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