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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019

Three and easy for the champions as Dundalk beat 9-man Pat's

Dave McMillan got his first two goals of the season as the champions continued their 100% start.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dundalk 3

St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Niall Kelly reports from Oriel Park

CHAMPIONS DUNDALK PUT three past St Pat’s as they made an early statement of their back-to-back credentials in Oriel Park.

Dave McMillan scored twice in the second half as Stephen Kenny’s side continued their 100% start and returned to the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Pat’s lost Conor McCormack to a second yellow card late in the first half, and a nightmare night got even worse when Killian Brennan was shown a straight red for violent conduct.

Beaten by Shamrock Rovers on opening weekend, Liam Buckley’s side gave up further ground on their title rivals with a second defeat in three games.

The visitors’ only change was an enforced one in goal where the injured Brendan Clarke was replaced by 20-year-old Conor O’Malley.

The youngster had hardly been called into action before he had to pick the ball out of the net in the 16th minute. Brian Gartland’s goal tally finished in double figures last season and he rose highest to meet John Mountney’s corner and steer his header inside the far post.

Clear-cut chances were scarce for both sides in that opening half, although most of the meaningful football was played in Pat’s defensive third. Gary Rogers was equal to the visitors’ best effort, a 20-yard drive from Chris Forrester that he tipped around the post.

Otherwise, it was a relatively quiet night for the Dundalk keeper as he kept his third clean sheet in as many games. That defensive form will be put to test again over the next seven days with a trip to Bohs on Tuesday followed by the visit of Sligo Rovers to Oriel next Friday night.

Pat’s can have little argument about either red. Already booked for a late challenge on the lively Daryl Horgan, McCormack clattered Dane Massey with a leading arm as the two jumped in front of the dugouts.

Brennan’s red in the 62nd minute was even more avoidable. Dundalk still led 1-0 as the Pat’s midfielder made huge ground before putting in a perfectly-timed challenge on Richie Towell. The two then appeared to exchange a few words and although the contact was minimal, Brennan was foolish to put a hand into his opponent’s face.

McMillan doubled Dundalk’s lead in the 68th minute with the pick of the bunch, a sweet volley from Darren Meenan’s corner.

And he was there again to add the gloss five minutes from time, heading Massey’s cross into the ground and past O’Malley.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (c), Dane Massey, John Mountney (Darren Meenan, 63), Chris Shields, Richie Towell, Ronan Finn (Kurtis Byrne, 83), Daryl Horgan (Jake Kelly, 79), David McMillan.

ST PAT’S: Conor O’Malley, Conor McCormack, Sean Hoare, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham (c), Greg Bolger, James Chambers (Lee Desmond, H/T), Conan Byrne (Ciaran Kilduff, 66), Killian Brennan, Chris Forrester (Aaron Greene, 78), Christy Fagan.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin

Man of the match: Daryl Horgan (Dundalk)

Attendance: 3,749

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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