Rovers battle but are beaten in Dundalk

The scoreline didn’t truly reflect the story of the game as Sligo Rovers were beaten by four goals to nil by Dundalk at Oriel Park.

A John Mountney hat-trick, supplemented by a Patrick Hoban spot-kick put an end to Rovers’ seven-game unbeaten run as the Lilywhites opened up a three point lead over the Hoops at the summit.

In search of their fifth league victory on the spin, Dundalk certainly helped matters when they hit the lead within the opening minute.

A quick throw-in from Dean Jarvis allowed Michael Duffy the time and space to whip a ball onto the head of Mountney, who finished with aplomb.

Buoyed by their early goal, the home side came at Rovers in waves, targeting their right side in particular.

Jordan Flores skimmed the side netting with an effort ten minutes in. While the same man saw his glancing header fly past Ed McGinty’s post from another Duffy cross.

Rovers had their first sight at goal on 25 minutes.

Daryl Fordyce and David Cawley combining in front of the Dundalk area as the latter slipped the ball through to Romeo Parkes.

The Jamaican’s effort from the angle cutting across the face of the goal and just beyond Gary Rogers’ back post.

Duffy was at it again just past the half hour when he ventured inside from his wide position.

McGinty needing to fist the winger’s shot away after Vinny Perth’s side burrowed their way through the Sligo defence.

Rovers then startled the champions somewhat, starting the second half on the front foot.

Rogers was almost caught out by a clever set piece from Cawley, but all of Sligo’s good work was undone on the hour.

Kyle Callan-McFadden somewhat unfortunate to concede the penalty when he dived in front of a Hoban shot.

Hoban missed a penalty on the opening night against the same goalkeeper, but he made no mistake this time as he sent McGinty the wrong way for goal number 11 of the year.

The league leaders made it three on 68 when Duffy delivered another super ball onto the head of Mountney, who placed the ball beyond McGinty for his brace.

Mountney had his hat-trick on 80.

Referee Rob Rogers adjudged McFadden to have upended a Hoban in the area. Mountney firing past McGinty from 12 yards.