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Dundalk secure local bragging rights and ensure an intriguing trip to Cork on Monday

Stephen Kenny’s men were 3-0 winners over Dundalk and a victory on Leeside would cut the deficit to eight points.

Image: Bryan Keane; ©INPHO/Bryan Keane/INPHO

Dundalk 3

Drogheda United 0

Caoimhin Reilly reports from Oriel Park. 

DUNDALK KEPT ALIVE their slim title hopes with victory over Drogheda United at Oriel Park tonight – their fourth Louth derby win of the campaign and one which was compounded by Thomas Byrne’s late sending off.

Coupled with Cork’s defeat to Limerick at the Markets Field, the result sees the Lilywhites travel to Leeside on Monday night seeking a tenth consecutive victory and one which would cut the Rebels’ league lead to eight-points.

Steven Kinsella gave them the lead in this outing at the end of a bitterly disappointing first half whereby the Drogs had the clearest openings.

Twice Dundalk had to scramble efforts off the line with the first coming after only three minutes as Brian Gartland scooped Shane Elworthy’s effort away to safety before Gary Rogers’ hesitance gave Byrne the chance to lift it over the advanced ‘keeper. However, Rogers redeemed himself with an acrobatic intervention.

Dundalk players observe a minutes applause for Jimmy Magee Before the game there was a minute's applause for the late Jimmy Magee. Source: Bryan Keane; ©INPHO/Bryan Keane/INPHO

The lead goal arrived on 41 minutes when, after David McMillan drew a superb stop from Stephen McGuinness, Kinsella was quickest to react to stab home the opener.

Trailing by the minimum at the break, The Lilywhites doubled their advantage seven minutes after half time when McMillan headed his 21st goal of the season past the stranded McGuinness with Seán Gannon the supplier.

Thereafter, the traffic was relentless towards the town end goal with Dundalk in consummate control. Michael Duffy’s introduction hastened their threat as several opportunities presented themselves.

McMillan came the closest to adding to the lead when cracking the crossbar before the same player flashed a shot inches past the post. This all prior to Byrne receiving his second yellow card following a clash with Patrick McEleney – the second time the Drogs attacker has seen red against Dundalk this season.

But Duffy was to have the final say, facing up Elworthy before teasing Dundalk’s third of the night to the bottom corner.

Dundalk FC: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Vemmelund, Massey; Clifford (Benson 70), O’Donnell; Connolly, McGrath (McEleney 77), Kinsella (Duffy 47); McMillan

Drogheda United: McGuinness; Deasy (Elliott 63), Buckley, Mulcahy, Dunne; McEvoy, Purdy, Brennan (Bayly 81); Wixted (Doyle 71), Byrne, Elworthy

Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin)

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Caoimhín Reilly

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