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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 6 April, 2020

Mountney hat-trick sees Dundalk cruise past Sligo and go three clear at the top of the table

Vinny Perth’s side were 4-0 winners at Oriel Park this evening.

John Mountney bagged a hat-trick for the champions this evening.
John Mountney bagged a hat-trick for the champions this evening.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dundalk 4

Sligo Rovers 0

Keith Wallace reports from Oriel Park

JOHN MOUNTNEY’S HAT-trick helped Dundalk open up a three-point lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, as they cruised past Sligo Rovers on a 4-0 scoreline at Oriel Park on Friday night.

The reigning champions had not been beaten since their trip to The Showgrounds 11 games ago, where they fell behind after only 26 seconds. Here, they returned that favour when Mountney rose to meet Patrick McEleney’s pinpoint cross.

It was a lead that Vinny Perth’s men could not build on despite dominating the first half. Sligo then threatened a revival after the restart, but they were soon put to bed.

Patrick Hoban’s shot was blocked by a hand in the box and he stepped up to bury the penalty on the hour-mark, before Mountney grabbed his second with a close-range header.

Dundalk were awarded another spot-kick 10 minutes from time when Hoban was fouled, and the home captain gifted the ball to Mountney who completed his treble in emphatic fashion.

Fresh from qualifying for the EA Sports Cup semi-finals on Monday, Perth made two changes to last week’s late league win at home to Saint Patrick’s Athletic.

Jordan Flores replaced the injured Seán Murray, while Daniel Cleary came in for club captain Brian Gartland.

Sligo were unbeaten in seven games and they were boosted here by the return of their skipper Kyle McFadden.

He was one of three fresh faces from last Friday’s victory against St Pat’s, as Kris Twardek and Liam Kerrigan also came in. Injured duo Dante Leverock and Johnny Dunleavy dropped out, along with ex-Lilywhite Ronan Murray.

Unusually, Dundalk were shooting into The Town End in the first half, and it paid quick dividends. A quick Dean Jarvis throw-in down the left gave McEleney space and his hooked cross was met by a powering Mountney header which gave Ed McGinty little chance.

John Mountney celebrates scoring a goal in the first minute of the game Mountney was in stellar form this evening at Oriel Park. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dundalk had yet to beat Sligo in two attempts this season but that early opener settled them. They almost added a second on 10 minutes but Flores rippled the side-netting from inside the box.

The Wigan-born midfielder threatened again before the midway point of the period when he glanced another McEleney cross wide.

Sligo gradually grew into the game and on 25 minutes a neat one-two between Daryl Fordyce and Romeo Parkes gave the latter room for a shot, but he dragged his effort across the face of goal.

Dundalk responded with Michael Duffy twice going close. His first shot was deflected over before a second effort shortly after was blocked in the box, as the champions took a 1-0 lead into half-time.

Sligo started the second half with intent as they set about finding an equaliser. A David Cawley free-kick on 58 minutes caused trouble for Gary Rogers, who spilled the ball behind.

However, Dundalk made it 2-0 on 61 minutes when Hoban’s shot was blocked down by McFadden’s arm, and the club’s top scorer made no mistake with his spot-kick, for his 11th goal of the season.

Hoban also played a part in the third on 68 minutes as he cleverly picked out Duffy whose delicate cross was nodded in by Mountney. The Mayo man made it a hat-trick on 81 minutes when he hammered in another penalty, following a foul on Hoban, as Dundalk took full advantage of Shamrock Rovers’ inactivity.

DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers, Seán Gannon, Seán Hoare, Daniel Cleary, Dean Jarvis, Chris Shields, Jordan Flores (Dane Massey 66), John Mountney (Daniel Kelly 81), Patrick McEleney (Georgie Kelly 75), Michael Duffy, Patrick Hoban (c).

SLIGO ROVERS FC: Ed McGinty, Kris Twardek, Kyle McFadden (c), John Mahon, Lewis Banks, Sam Warde (Niall Morahan HT), Liam Kerrigan (Brian Morley 82), Daryl Fordyce, David Cawley, Romeo Parkes, Ronan Coughlan.

Referee: Rob Rogers.

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About the author:

Keith Wallace

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