Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO Billy King celebrates his decisive goal.
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King strikes again for Pat's to leave Dundalk facing relegation battle
The Lilywhites are in a fight for their Premier Division status after a 1-0 loss at Richmond Park.

Saint Patrick’s Athletic 1

Dundalk 0

Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park 

BILLY KING PROVED a thorn in Dundalk’s side once more as his spectacular first-half effort earned St Patrick’s Athletic a 1-0 win at Richmond Park.

The winger had opened the scoring when the Saints ended the Lilywhites’ reign as FAI Cup holders and he found the key to unlock the Lilywhites’ door once more.

The result all but ends Dundalk’s chances of European football next season as they now sit six points behind fourth-placed Derry City with four games remaining. Instead they are looking over their shoulder, just a point clear of Finn Harps in the relegation play-off position having played a game more. 

The frustration for the Lilywhites will be that they’ve now put in two of their best performances in against Pat’s this week and lost both times.

Will Patching had found Vitezslav Jaros in fine form when he denied him acrobatically with the tie still in the balance on Friday night.

And he was the former Manchester City man’s tormentor once more as he touched a free kick bound for the top corner over the bar.

From the resulting corner, David McMillan, in for the injured Patrick Hoban, looked certain to score but King threw his body in the way to block on the line.

Daniel Kelly was the next to test the Liverpool loanee Jaros’ reflexes and again he was equal to it with another fine save.

Amid all this Dundalk pressure, the Athletic hit the front and it was a memorable effort from King, who danced past two would-be tacklers before rifling home from outside the box.

Dundalk were sure they’d equalised when Patching finally found a way past Jaros, but this time Greg Sloggett was deemed to influence the play from an offside position.

Saints bedded down in the second half and looked to catch the visitors on the counter, and they proved impossible to break down as Dundalk’s second push never came.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; Jak Hickman, Sam Bone, Lee Desmond, Shane Griffin; Alfie Lewis, Jamie Lennon, Robbie Benson (Darragh Burns 68); Jay McClelland (Paddy Barrett 87), Billy King (Ian Bermingham 87), Kyrian Nwoko (Nehum Melvin-Lambert 68).

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Raivis Jurkovskis, Cameron Dummigan, Andy Boyle, Darragh Leahy; Greg Sloggett, Sam Stanton (Sean Murray 63), Will Patching; Daniel Kelly (Sami Ben Amar 78), Michael Duffy, David McMillan.

Referee: Graham Kelly.

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