Date: 7:45 p.m. May 21, 2010
Venue: Oriel Park
The first half had barely settled when Gary McCabe was given first use of the Sligo shower gel on 14 minutes. Ross Gaynor won a 50/50 ball with him wide on the Dundalk right, as Gaynor turned to leave McCabe he was fouled and went to ground perhaps a little theatrically. Ref Connolly booked McCabe which seemed to bring on the red mist as he returned to Gaynor for a small word with a threat of the head thrown in and ended up seeing the red for his troubles.
The first chance of the half came to the home team as Gaynor sent Maher away down the left, his ball into the box just eluded Neale Fenn in front of goal. JJ Melligan nearly made something from nothing on 21 when he chased down a back pass and arrived just as Brush cleared, the ball ricocheted away just wide of the net.
Sligo Rovers fought back to almost open the scoring on 28 minutes as a Joe Ndo corner was met with a firm downward header at the far post by Padraig Amond. Luckily for Dundalk, JJ Melligan was positioned on the post and cleared.
The set piece delivery of Ndo was causing the Dundalk backline plenty of problems and with their 10 men it looked their most likely route to a goal.
As the second period wore on Sligo were making light of their man less and were taking the fight to the home team. John Russell came on for Conor O’Grady and nearly equalised with practically his first touch. His cross come shot was arrowing for the top corner until Peter Cherrie got a finger tip to it to divert it wide. He came close again on 74 but again Cherrie was equal to the task and tipped it around the post.
Just prior to that Faz had hit the post again when a far post ball again found him and he pulled the ball in to chip from 12 yards but found wood instead of net.
Sligo threw everything at Dundalk in search of an equaliser with Amond hitting a post again via Cherrie’s fingertip but couldn’t apply a fininshing touch. Never the less their supporters and management should be proud of their efforts in this losing struggle.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Liam Burns, Garry Breen, Nathan Murphy (Ciaran McGuigan 69); JJ Melligan, Stephen Maher, Alan Cawley; Fahrudin Kudozovic (Michael McGowan 86), Neale Fenn (Johnny Breen 77), Ross Gaynor.
Subs not used: Matt Gregg, Tiarnan Mulvenna
Sligo Rovers: Richard Brush; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Danny Ventre, Jason McCartney (Derek Foran 46); Gary McCabe, Conor O’Grady (John Russell 66), Richie Ryan, Eoin Doyle (Matthew Blinkhorn 59); Joseph Ndo, Padraig Amond.
Subs not used: John Dillon, Ciaran Kelly
Extratime Man of the Match: Peter Cherrie by a short head from Faz.
Referee: Tom Connolly