Rovers beaten by Dundalk

Dundalk moved three points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after they recorded their 10th league victory on the road this season with a win over Sligo Rovers.

Two defensive errors lead to both goals as the majestic Michael Duffy made the most of a Kyle Callan-McFadden misjudgement for the opener.

Patrick Hoban picked up his 24th league goal when, unchallenged, he headed a second-half corner past Mitchell Beeney.

Sligo, on a high after their recent win over Limerick, had shouts for an early penalty waved away when Mikey Drennan looked like he was nudged to the floor inside the Dundalk area.

Rovers were back up that end 90 seconds later when captain Rhys McCabe forced Gary Rogers into a smart save low down at his post.

Dundalk, on their way to their 13th league win on the spin, tamed their opponents and began to flex their attacking muscle soon after.

Dane Massey had Beeney at full stretch on 17 minutes, while Hoban struck the side netting after a Jamie McGrath through ball split the Rovers defence.

Sligo played a pivotal part in their own downfall on the half hour.

Callan-McFadden hesitated in closing down McGrath, who teed up the rampant Duffy.

The Northern Irish winger did not need a second chance, as he expertly screwed his effort around Beeney for his tenth league goal of the season.

Beeney had to bat away Duffy’s next effort six minutes later when he was again allowed around the back.

Rovers heads didn’t drop and Ger Lyttle’s men were almost level four minutes from the break, only for a great reaction save from Rogers who denied Drennan following a fine passage of play.

The Louth men should have had a second on 43. But McGrath took his eye off the ball with the goal at his mercy after he was picked out by Duffy.

Talking points were at a premium for the majority of the second period.

Although history was made when Raff Cretaro replaced Regan Donelon in the 70th minute. Cretaro was appearing in a league game for Sligo for the 432nd time, a new club record.

Duffy brought this game back to life on 78.

His run through the middle resulted in a Dundalk corner, from which the same man laid a cross onto the head of the unmarked Hoban who nodded home his 25th goal of the year.

Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Kyle Callan-McFadden, John Mahon, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon (Raff Cretaro 70); Rhys McCabe (Lewis Morrison 82), Jack Keaney, David Cawley, Kris Twardek (Adam Wixted 64); Lee Lynch; Mikey Drennan.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields; Dylan Connolly (Patrick McEleney 70), Robbie Benson (Dean Jarvis 89), Michael Duffy; Jamie McGrath; Patrick Hoban.

Referee: Ben Connolly.