Shamrock Rovers held Dundalk to a drab 0-0 draw on Friday night at Tallaght Stadium as Stephen Kenny’s side drop more points in a game which did not live up to the billing.
Both sides went with their strongest line-ups in what promised to be an exciting and tense affair with pressure on both sides to get their first three points of the season.
It was Stephen Kenny’s side who had the better of the opening minutes, but the Lilywhites did not really take advantage in terms of creating goalmouth action with the action being scrappy and tense.
Rovers did come close to scoring just before the 20-minute mark, as good work by Greg Bolger won the Hoops possession back in the middle of the park.
Luke Byrne then found Graham Burke in space, and he found Brandon Miele, who was invited to cut inside.
He did exactly that, hitting a fantastic strike on his left foot which hit the inside of the post before bouncing back out into play.
Soon after the home side nearly shot themselves in the foot. An awkward back pass from Ally Gilchrist went past Kevin Horgan and, to the relief of the Rovers support, Horgan got back in time to divert it past the post for a corner, before showing his frustration at Gilchrist for the poor pass.
Dundalk came close once again as a free kick from Michael Duffy caused havoc in the Rovers area. A poor punch from Horgan fell to the feet of Daniel Cleary but he volleyed the ball over the bar.
The first half had nothing really to write home about. Pot shots aplenty were taken by both sides throughout, with Jamie McGrath the closest in what was a frustrating opening half for both attacks.
The second half’s opening exchanges continued from how the first half went, with not a lot of openings for each side to work with both defences staying strong with a shot from Brandon Miele being alleither keeper had to deal with.
The Louth side had the best chance of the game just before the hour mark hen a brilliant pass from Robbie Benson sent Patrick Hoban on his way.
Hoban made a fantastic run but he dragged his shot past Kevin Horgan’s right hand post to the shock of the Dundalk fans who would of bet their house on him to score.
As the game came into the final 15 minutes both sides showed intent with attacking changes made by both sides to try and chase a winner, both strike forces having lived off scraps for most of the second half.
Neither side made much of a case to say that they deserved to win the game in what was for the majority both sides cancelling each other out with a few stand out moments.
Shamrock Rovers: Kevin Horgan; Ethan Boyle, Lee Grace, All Gilchrist, Luke Byrne; Greg Bolger, Brandon Miele, David McAllister, Joel Coustrain (Sean Kavanagh 80), Graham Burke; Gary Shaw (Daniel Carr 69).
Subs not used: Tomer Checinski (gk), Roberto Lopes, Sean Boyd, Aaron Bolger, Sam Bone.
Booked: Luke Byrne (26) Ethan Boyle (64).
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Stephen Folan, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson, Michael Duffy, Jamie McGrath(Kriztan Adorjan 70); Ronan Murray(Dylan Connolly 55), Patrick Hoban (Marcus Tabajumi 60)
Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (gk), Karlios Chevoukas, George Poyton, Dean Jarvis.
Booked: Ronan Murray (13).
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Attendance: 4,065 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: TBC