Sean Hoare 90' -
SSE Airtricity League leaders Dundalk will be looking to extend their unbeaten run and make it nine wins from ten when they face St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Lilywhites needed a late stoppage-time penalty to beat third-place Bohemians at the same venue on Monday night, with Patrick Hoban stepping up to convert for his 10th goal of the season.
“We deserved that tonight,” Hoban told the club’s official website following that last-gasp victory.
“First half we weren’t great but I thought second half we were brilliant. We moved the ball a lot better and we were probing before they went down to ten men.
“We created a hatful of chances and it just shows the character and desire to keep going to the end.”
Dundalk have no time to dwell on what was a third win over Bohs in the space of just 35 days with St Pats next to visit Oriel this Friday, and Hoban is out for revenge following a 1-0 reverse back in April.
“You have to move on very quickly, that’s the story in this league,” continued the Loughrea native.
“But we owe Pats one. We dropped points down in Inchicore. We didn’t play that well but I thought we still had enough to get something out of the game.
“It was a frustrating night so we definitely owe them one. We have to make sure we’re prepared right for the game on Friday and I’m sure we will be.”
Dundalk are still without the injured Robbie Benson, who is on the comeback trail while Jamie McGrath is doubtful to face his former side. John Mountney will return from suspension though.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St Pats haven’t won in any of their last nine league visits to Oriel but will take some encouragement from Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Derry City, which ended a four-game winless run for the Saints.
Harry Kenny’s side can also draw confidence from the fact that they’ve already beaten Dundalk this season, when they did so 1-0 in Inchicore in April thanks to a calamitous Daniel Cleary own goal.
“I was pleased with the result on Tuesday night against Derry,” Kenny told the club’s official website.
“The lads worked really hard and played some good football at times. It was good to keep another clean sheet, a good goal from a set-piece from Kevin (Toner) and now we move on quickly to face Dundalk.
“It will be another tough game in quick succession for us. Dundalk have been going really well in the last few weeks, and have moved to the top of the table.
“We have played them twice this season to date, winning one and losing one (in the EA Sports Cup) so we know what to expect from them, and know what we have to do ourselves.”
In team news, Conor Clifford is unavailable to face the club he spent the 2017 season with due to injury, while Dean Clarke and Lee Desmond will also miss Friday night’s encounter with Dundalk.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
St Patrick’s Athletic haven’t won in any of their last nine league visits to Oriel Park. The last time St Pats won at the Louth venue was in August 2012 when Sean O’Connor scored the game’s only goal.
Vinny Perth has guided Dundalk to 12 wins from his first 18 matches in charge. The only other manager in the club's history to win 12 from their first 18 was Alan Fox back in the 1966/67 season.
Of the current Dundalk squad – Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare and Jamie McGrath have all played for St Pats, with the Saints having Simon Madden and Conor Clifford as former Lilywhites.
Dundalk 4/11; Draw 7/2; St Patrick’s Athletic 17/2
Dundalk 2-0 St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Robbie Benson.
Doubtful: Jamie McGrath.
St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Dean Clarke, Conor Clifford, Lee Desmond.