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Can anyone score against Dundalk? 5 talking points from the midweek SSE Airtricity League action

We look back on Tuesday night’s full programme of LOI games.

Dundalk's David McMillan tries to block Anto Murphy Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Dundalk keeping it clean

LIKE ALL LEAGUE champions Dundalk’s winning campaign last season was built on a solid defence and so far their settled back four of Boyle, Gartland, Gannon and Massey are continuing where they left off. At times they rode their luck against Bohemians last night and after watching that game, manager Stephen Kenny will probably set some time aside to work on defending set-pieces.

That said, opposition striker Dean Kelly’s first clear cut chance came midway through the second half and despite long periods of pressure from Bohemians Kenny’s men came away with their fourth clean sheet in four games. If teams do manage to squeeze through Dundalk’s defence, they’ll have Gary Rogers to contend with and the hugely experienced  new signing looks as safe with the gloves as he’s ever been.

– Stephen Doyle

Points the key for Pat’s

Greg Bolger’s wondergoal aside, the action between St Pat’s and Derry last night wasn’t the most exhilarating. The Saints created plenty of chances, especially in the first half, but they lacked the cutting edge necessary to kill off a game they comfortably dominated.

On another night it might have cost them but, with a raft of players missing through injury, suspension and international duty, the three points were always going to be of greater importance than the performance.

– Niall Kelly

Cork’s squad strength

Cork City manager John Caulfield has spoken of how he feels his squad as a whole is a stronger unit this season and last night’s win against Galway would seem to bear that out. Despite Colin Healy and Danny Morrissey being unavailable, the hosts never looked short of options and the versatility of so many players is sure to be of benefit to the boss.

– Denis Hurley

Shaky in Sligo

Sligo Rovers’ defending was poor once again. In four league games, they have conceded seven goals. The defending for Mikey Drennan’s goal, in particular, was abysmal. They will not enjoy watching that back again. Owen Heary has previously alluded to the fact that his side have failed to keep a clean sheet so far, and it’s certainly something they will need to work on if they want to start climbing the table. The Bit O’Red will have to make sure their defence and goalkeeper improve on recent performances, or else they will be relying heavily on their forwards.

– Jessica Farry

Drogs youngsters holding it together

With a squad light on numbers and Premier Division experience, Johnny McDonnell relies heavily on players from the Drogs Under 19 set-up or players coming up from the First Division squad to fill out his panel. With Alan Byrne – arguably their most experienced man, certainly at the back – now suspended, that squad could be stretched even further at the Brandywell on Friday night. Still, the manager will have been very pleased with his side’s ability to fight back against the odds to claim points for the second straight home game. It bodes well.

– Barry Landy

Greg Bolger tells us about the first great goal of the League of Ireland season

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