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More Dundalk disappointment leaves Cork City just 11 points away from the title

With 11 games remaining, including two in hand over Dundalk, Cork City are 17 points clear at the top.

Sligo Rovers 1
Dundalk 1

SLIGO ROVERS CAME from behind to secure a crucial point against league champions Dundalk at The Showgrounds tonight.

Niclas Vemmelund gave the visitors the lead on nine minutes, before Benny Igiehon levelled for the hosts on 24 minutes.

Stephen Kenny Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny (file pic). Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Gerard Lyttle’s Rovers came into this game desperately needing to pick up points, sitting second from bottom of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table. The Bit O’Red were looking for their first win since they beat Shamrock Rovers on 1 July.

Dundalk’s fortunes of late have been somewhat mixed. Stephen Kenny’s side have been left disappointed following their Champions League exit at the hands of Rosenborg, and a league defeat last week to Shamrock Rovers didn’t make matters any easier.

The league champions looked dangerous from the off and set the tone for the opening 10 minutes, with David McMillan’s early effort just trickling wide of Micheal Schlingermann’s post.

The Lilywhites then took the lead when Vemmelund’s bullet header from a Michael Duffy free-kick flew past Schlingermann and into the back of the net.

It really should have been 2-0 to the visitors just three minutes later, as Duffy’s corner evaded the Rovers rearguard, who somehow left Brian Gartland unmarked in the box. He nodded just wide, though.

Gerard Lyttle Sligo Rovers boss Gerard Lyttle (file pic). Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

But Sligo eventually turned up the dial and started to really threaten the Lilywhites goal. First, Regan Donelon’s corner was nodded forward by Michael Leahy, but former Lilywhite Daniel Kearns’ effort was blocked by the opposition’s defence.

Shortly afterwards, Donelon dispossessed Gartland just outside the box, and with only Gary Rogers to beat, he was unable to make the most of it, with the Meath man smothering the ball.

Just beyond the midway point of the first half, the hosts were back in it. New striker Igiehon unleashed an effort from the right-hand side from around 30 yards out, which somehow went untouched and smacked the post on its way in — his first goal for the club. Rhys McCabe then dragged a shot wide as half-time approached.

The visitors had the best of the chances in the second half. Vemmelund and McMillan both went close, but not close enough to take the lead once again.

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Niclas Vemmelund Niclas Vemmelund gave Dundalk the lead (file pic). Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

There was almost late drama for Stephen Kenny’s side in the dying minutes when Sligo’s Mick Leahy almost put the ball into his own net. Luckily for the former Limerick native, Schlingermann’s fingertips just forced it wide.

Dundalk are now 17 points behind Cork City, while Sligo Rovers remain in the danger zone — now third from bottom, three points off St Patrick’s Athletic in ninth.

Sligo Rovers: Micheal Schlingermann, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Leahy, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Regan Donelon, Daniel Kearns, Gary Boylan, Craig Roddan, Chris Kenny, Rhys McCabe (Jack Keaney, 88), Benny Igiehon (Gary Armstrong, 90).

Dundalk: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Niclas Vemmelund, Dane Massey, Michael Duffy (Steven Kinsella, 84), John Mountney (Dylan Connolly, 62), Robbie Benson, Chris Shields, Thomas Stewart (Jamie McGrath, 76), David McMillan.

Referee: Graham Kelly

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Jessica Farry

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