League Report: St Patrick's Athletic 3 - 1 Dundalk
Ryan Kilbane reports from Richmond Park
Tommy Lonergan was the match winner for St Patrick’s Athletic for the second week in a row after his double strike after the break was enough to seal a 3-1 victory over Dundalk.
Sixteen-year-old Mason Melia grabbed a late birthday goal from the penalty spot to round off a positive night for Pats as they go one point behind Derry City.
On 49 minutes Joe Redmond played a long ball forward and initially there didn't appear to be any danger. Lonergan rolled Hayden Muller
Minutes later another straight ball, this time from Dean Lyness caused Dundalk more problems, Lonergan outmuscled Greg Sloggat and lobbed the helpless Sheppard to double his and Pats tally.
Dundalk had started the game brighter than last Friday's now infamous drubbing away to Galway United, in what was a well-balanced first-half as both sides exchanged an array of half-chances.
The Lilywhites were carving out most of their success in the wide areas with Daryl Horgan and Daniel Kelly looking dangerous throughout.
Ireland international Horgan flashed a shot across the goal from the left after 3 minutes, the first of his many attempts on the night. Kelly brought the best out of Dean Lyness too with a low shot just before the break but the Birmingham native got down well to turn it behind.
If Dundalk were finding joy in the wide areas then Pats were finding gaps through the middle of. the visitors' make-shift back four.
Chris Forrester had the ball in the net after 6 minutes but the assistant ref ruled it out for offside. The ease at which he latched onto a Axel Sjöberg cross before slotting past Nathan Sheppard would have concerned Stevie O’Donnell in the away dugout and paved the way for their eventual undoing.
Minutes later, Forrester found himself with space centrally as he controlled the ball and got a shot away
Once the lead was established Jon Daly’s side seemed happy to try and manage the game from around the 58th minute.
It became scrappy for a time as both teams made changes and appeared like the game may have petered out. Before Kelly popped up with a consolation somewhat against the run of play.
Archie Davies -who looked bright all evening- carried the ball inside, when it looked like he had over run it, he cut back and played a pin-point pass to Kelly who slotted past Lyness.
But as soon as Dundalk had battled their way back into the game any hopes of a comeback were dashed when stand-in left back for the night Robbie Benson received his second yellow of the night and they were down to ten.
The Saints rallied late on and restored their 2 goal advantage as substitute Kian Leavy was brought down for a penalty and Melia slotted home with the last kick of the game
Pats will be looking to continue their good run as they host Drogheda united on Monday while Dundalk - who remain 5th after their 4th defeat in a row in all competitions have a home game against Cork City.
St. Patrick's Athletic: Dean Lyness; Anto Breslin, Sam Curtis, Joe Redmond, Axel Sjöberg (David Norman Jr. 22); Chris Forrester (Mason Melia), Jamie Lennon, Jason McClelland (Mark Doyle 68), Jake Mulraney (Kian Leavy), Adam Murphy; Tommy Lonergan (Conor Carty 68).
Subs not used: Daniel Rogers, Ben McCormack, Thijs Timmermans,, Alex Nolan.
Dundalk: Nathan Shepperd; Robert Benson, Archie Davies, Hayden Muller, Gregory Sloggett; Paul Doyle (Alfie Lewis 85), Daryl Horgan (Ryan O'Kane 85), Johannes Yli-Kokko (Connor Malley 65); Patrick Hoban, Daniel Kelly, John Martin (Samuel Durrant 65).
Subs not used: Peter Cherrie, Darragh Leahy, Robert McCourt, John Mountney, Cameron Elliott.
Booked: Archie Davies (18), Hayden Muller (54), Robert Benson (61), Mayowa Animasahun (82), Robert Benson (82).
Sent off: Robert Benson (82).
Referee: Damien MacGraith
extratime.com Player of the Match: Tommy Lonergan (St Patrick’s Athletic)