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Late drama sees Dundalk edge bottom-of-the-table Longford in 7-goal thriller

The win leaves Stephen Kenny’s side nine points clear at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division.

Dundalk's David McMillan celebrates scoring his second goal of the game with Patrick McEleney.
Dundalk's David McMillan celebrates scoring his second goal of the game with Patrick McEleney.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Dundalk 4

Longford 3

IT WAS BOTTOM against top tonight in the Premier Division clash which saw reigning champions Dundalk beat Longford Town 4-3 in a thriller at Oriel Park and go nine points clear at the top of the table in the process.

A dramatic late goal from Ciaran Kilduff ultimately saw Stephen Kenny’s men edge the relegation-threatened side in less-than-convincing circumstances.

Previously, Longford, at the foot of the table on eight points before this evening’s match, had looked like earning a surprise point, after a Rhys Gorman goal made it 3-3 with just over a quarter of an hour remaining.

Early on, the home side saw a couple of efforts from Daryl Horgan and Patrick McEleney fail to unduly trouble Paul Skinner.

The deadlock was broken soon after, however, as the former Derry City winger lofted a cross into the box and the in-form McMillan rose above a static defence to head home his 10th league goal of the season. Further chances were wasted by the Carrick Road side as Gartland headed an effort straight at Skinner and both McMillan and McEleney shot wide.

Dundalk were made to pay for their profligacy in the 35th minute, as Lee Duffy flicked Kealan Dillon’s corner past Gary Rogers at his near post. The former Drogheda United striker, who had scored for the Boynesiders against Dundalk in the 18th game of the 2015 season, won the corner himself.

The second half began with a flourish as John Mountney linked up with Seán Gannon down the right and the full back’s deep cross was nodded home by the lively McMillan on 49 minutes to put the home side back ahead.

However, the lead only lasted a matter of minutes, as Dillon’s corner was attacked by Haverty and he bundled the ball home in the 55th minute to restore parity.

The midlanders didn’t defend their prospective point for too long, though, as McEleney found space down the left and his pinpoint delivery was nodded home by McMillan. It was the attacker’s second hat-trick in a week and his 12th league goal of the season, and he has now matched his total for all of last season.

12 minutes later, Gorman launched himself at a Dillon corner and the ball flew into the net from close range to tie the scores once more.

Stephen Kenny introduced Kilduff with 10 minutes remaining and the striker duly delivered in injury time, nodding home a Horgan cross to propel his side to a commanding lead at the top of the table and simultaneously break the hearts of a gallant away side.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Stephen O’Donnell, Ronan Finn, John Mountney (Darren Meenan ,66), Patrick Mc Eleney (Ciarán Kilduff, 79) , Daryl Horgan, David Mc Millan (Chris Shields 90+2)
Subs Not Used: Gabriel Sava, Shane Grimes, Paddy Barrett, Robbie Benson

LONGFORD TOWN: Paul Skinner, Noel Haverty, Daniel O’Reilly, Conor Powell, Mark Hughes, Phillip Gannon, Rhys Gorman, Peter Mc Glynn (Kevin O’Connor, 66), Kealon Dillon, Kaleem Simon, Lee Duffy (David O’Sullivan, 63)
Subs Not Used: Ian Molloy, Tristan Noack Hofman, Pat Flynn, John Mc Keown ,

REFEREE: Dave Mc Keon

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Tom O'Connor

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