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Dundalk continue strong start with convincing win over Sligo

Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy, Ciaran Kilduff and Tommy Stewart were all on target for the Lilywhites.

Dundalk’s Ciarán Kilduff celebrates scoring his side's third goal.
Dundalk’s Ciarán Kilduff celebrates scoring his side's third goal.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Sligo 0

Dundalk 4

Jessica Farry reports from The Showgrounds

DUNDALK CONTINUED THEIR strong start to the 2017 season, putting Sligo Rovers to the sword with a 4-0 victory at The Showgrounds.

In a miserable night for the Bit o’Red, Dundalk saw them off with ease thanks to goals from Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy, Ciaran Kilduff and Tommy Stewart.

Dave Robertson made four changes to his side that suffered a 5-1 defeat to Limerick on the opening weekend. Micheal Schlingermann, Gary Boylan, Kieran Sadlier and Chris Kenny made way for Shaun Patton, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Liam Martin and Jonah Ayunga.

Dundalk made a couple of changes too, with Conor Clifford and Niclas Vemmelund starting in place of Stephen O’Donnell and Dane Massey.

The champions started well and Sligo succumbed to their pressure after 12 minutes.

A foul on Robbie Benson by Craig Roddan on the edge of the area led to referee Ben Connolly awarding the free-kick. McEleney curled his effort excellently past Patton for 1-0.

The visitors continued to attack the Rovers goal, with Benson, McEleney and Kilduff coming close.

But their dominance was coming through and they doubled their lead shortly after the half-hour mark.

Michael Duffy got on the end of an excellent Paddy Barrett through ball, slotting past Patton to make it 2-0.

The hosts’ misery was further compounded in the second-half, when they were reduced to 10 men. Striker Jonah Ayunga, who was booked in the first-half, received a second-yellow for a challenge on Paddy Barrett.

The Bit o’Red were adamant they should have had a penalty minutes later when Raff Cretaro appeared to be taken down by Brian Gartland in the box, but referee Ben Connolly was not convinced.

As the game went on the Lilywhites were more and more comfortable, playing the ball around at their own leisure. They soon made it 3-0 following a lengthy build up. A sublime ball from McEleney came to Sean Gannon, whose cross was headed into the back of the net by Kilduff.

Dundalk refused to settle for a three-goal win, and they continued to apply pressure on the hosts, without ever really having to exert themselves too much.

Substitute Tommy Stewart added a fourth for the Lilywhites minutes after his introduction — his first effort hitting the post before he tapped the ball into the empty net.

The result means the visitors move joint top of the Premier Division table, while it’s a different story for the Bit o’Red, who now sit at the bottom.

Sligo Rovers: Shaun Patton, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Regan Donelon, Mick Leahy, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Liam Martin, John Russell, Craig Roddan, Daniel Kearns (Kieran Sadlier, 62), Raffaele Cretaro (Mathew Stevens, 77), Jonah Ayunga.
Subs not used: Ed McGinty, Gary Boylan, Chris Kenny, Mikey Place, Jack Keaney.

Dundalk: Gabriel Sava, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Paddy Barrett, Niclas Vemmelund, Michael Duffy (Steven Kinsella, 83), John Mountney (Jamie McGrath, 71), Patrick McEleney, Conor Clifford, Ciaran Kilduff (Tommy Stewart, 79), Robbie Benson.
Subs not used: Keith Dalton, Chris Shields, Emmet Hughes,Ben Kelly.

Referee: Ben Connolly

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About the author:

Jessica Farry

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