Dublin: 21°C Wednesday 10 August 2022

Dundalk lose ground on Cork after being held by Saints

Tonight’s game at Richmond Park ended in a scoreless draw.

Dundalk midfielder Chris Shields is tackled by Ryan Brennan of St Pat's.
Dundalk midfielder Chris Shields is tackled by Ryan Brennan of St Pat's.
Image: Eóin Noonan

St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Dundalk 0

Ben Blake reports from Richmond Park 

DUNDALK LEAVE INCHICORE feeling frustrated tonight as they could only manage a 0-0 draw with St Patrick’s Athletic.

The Louth club are yet to concede in the Premier Division this year, but they didn’t do enough to break the deadlock against a resilient Saints side. Two clearances off the line, one Barry Murphy save from Pat Hoban and a Ronan Murray free-kick that struck the bar were the only real opportunities of note.

Both clubs came into the game on the back of confidence-boosting 1-0 wins from Friday night. Dundalk got the better of reigning champions Cork City at Oriel Park to move to within one point of the top, while Dean Clarke’s first league goal for the Saints saw them overcome Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

Pat’s boss Liam Buckley brought in Darragh Markey for Jamie Lennon, who couldn’t pass a late fitness test. Opposite number Stephen Kenny also made one change — replacing Jamie McGrath with Dylan Connolly on the right side of midfield.

The hosts began by passing the ball around nicely, and Owen Garvan was involved in much of the play early on.

But it was the visitors who registered the first attempt on goal as a floated free-kick was headed into the ground by Sean Hoare, allowing Murphy to save easily.

After some patient build-up, Sean Gannon’s diagonal ball was beautifully controlled on the chest by Hoban. The striker, who scored the winner against Cork, set himself up excellently to get the shot off but the Saints keeper was on-hand to make the vital block.

Dundalk continued to test Murphy and Hoban’s strike from distance was kept out, then Daniel Cleary headed over after latching onto a free-kick from deep.

Before the half was out, Pat’s needed — not one — but two goal-line clearances to maintain their clean sheet. Markey was well-placed prevent another powerful Cleary header crossing the line, and Kevin Toner somehow managed to head away when Ronan Murray looked certain to open the scoring.

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Two teams shake hands before the game 9123/2018 The players shake hands before kick-off. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Pat’s began the second half with a renewed sense of belief and they weren’t far away from creating decent chances on a couple of occasions.

That said, it was the Lilywhites who came closest again — this time from a lightening-quick counter-attack. Dylan Connolly broke down the left and fed Hoban, whose first touch was a heavy one. That allowed Murphy to come rushing out and win his side a free-kick after being caught by the striker’s late challenge.

Leading up to the hour-mark, Garvan earned a yellow card for bringing down Michael Duffy 25 yards out from goal. Murray tried his luck with the resulting set-piece, but saw the strike rattle off the crossbar. When Hoare followed up, Murphy had recovered well to make a stop.

With the game still finely-balanced, Simon Madden found enough time and space to pick out the run of Ryan Brennan in the Dundalk box, but his header looped just over.

Stephen Kenny sent on recent imports Kristian Adorjan and Marco Tagbajumi for the final period, but the clash ended in a stalemate.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brian Murphy; Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (c); Owen Garvan, Darragh Markey (Graham Kelly 92), Ryan Brennan, Conan Byrne (Ian Turner 83), Dean Clarke; Christy Fagan (Jake Keegan 90).

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Karolis Chvedukas 82); Dylan Connolly, Ronan Murray (Kristian Adorjan 70), Robbie Benson, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Marco Tagbajumi 74).

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Ben Blake

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