Dundalk
VS
Sligo Rovers


Friday, 27 March, 2015
3 - 0
SSE Airtricity League
David McMillan 17
Richie Towell 26, 84
A David McMillan volley and a brace from Richie Towell gave Stephen Kenny victory against Sligo Rovers as the SSE Airtricity League champions maintained their imperious start to the defence of their league title.
 
Not only was the win their fifth straight victory, the Lilywhites have yet to concede a goal in the league. 
 
Both sides were playing their second game in the space of 72 hours but Kenny and Owen Heary kept changes to a minimum.
 
Darren Meenan, who scored in Dundalk’s 3-0 win over Bohemians at Daylmount Park, came in for John Mountney.
 
For the Bit o’Red, Jake Dykes came in for his first start of the campaign with Sander Puri dropping to the bench.
 
Meenan was involved in tandem with Sean Gannon in the early stages as Dundalk looked for a quick breakthrough.
 
A couple of raking Chris Shields passes gave both players a chance to deliver from the right but the Sligo back four stood firm.
 
Heary’s men threatened themselves after seven minutes. Danish striker Morten Nielsen left Gannon for dead on the left but Dane Massey came across to clear with David Cawley sniffing with intent.
 
From then on it was one-way traffic as Dundalk stamped their authority on the game and the opening goal arrived after 17 minutes. 
 
It was the result of a great pass from Daryl Horgan, who cut the Rovers back four wide open, and a fantastic side-footed finish by McMillan left Ryan Coulter with absolutely no chance.
 
The second arrived nine minutes later. Massey’s pacy cross from the left was headed clear by Folan but Towell pounced from 18-yards and the ball flashed past Coulter to put the champions firmly in the driving seat.
 
Dundalk went for the throats and McMillan was denied by two wonderful Coulter saves in quick succession.
 
The first came after the Dundalk number nine left Folan for dead with a quick turn inside the penalty area, the second from the resulting corner, his header somehow clawed away by the Rovers goalkeeper.
 
The visitors enjoyed a decent five-minute spell before the break and Nielsen was denied by Gary Rogers who came from his line to smother quickly in the 39th minute.
 
Four minutes later the former Sligo Rovers goalkeeper was relieved to see David Cawley’s left-footed effort curl just over the top after he and his defenders were caught guilty of overplaying in their own defensive third.
 
The second half saw Dundalk in firm control again with Coulter having to push Towell and Massey free-kicks around his post before gathering a Ronan Finn header after good approach play by Horgan.
 
Dundalk would not be denied a third, however, and Towell grabbed his second in the latter stages, tapping home from Finn’s unselfish pass to secure Dundalk their third consecutive 3-0 win in the space of seven days before Rogers kept his fine run of clean sheets going with a good stop from Nielsen in time added on.
 
Dundalk: Gary Rogers;  Sean Gannon, Andy Boyle, Brian Gartland, Dane Massey;  Chris Shields, Richie Towell;  Darren Meenan (John Mountney 81), Ronan Finn, Daryl Horgan (Jake Kelly 89);  David McMillan (Kurtis Byrne 87). Subs not used:, Shane Grimes, Paddy Barrett, Jake Kelly, Ciaran O’Connor, Gabriel Sava (GK).
 
Sligo Rovers: Ryan Coulter; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Stephen Folan, Jake Dykes; Steven Beattie, David Cawley, Eoin Wearen, Raffaele Cretaro (Kevin Devaney 61), Danny Ledwith (Dinny Corcoran 75); Morten Nielsen. Subs not used: Gary Boylan, Ryan McManus, Sander Puri, Keith Ward, Ciaran Kelly (GK).
 
Referee: Graham Kelly.