A minimum of 4 added minutes indicated by the fourth official.
Sam Bone ousts Towell off the ball and curls a ball towards Kelly arriving at the back post but it's just inches away from Kelly's outstretched foot.
Dundalk inject some fresh legs to try and see this game out. They have a numerical advantage now after Finn's sending off.
Ronan Finn (Shamrock Rovers) receives a second yellow card and is sent off. Ronan Finn lunges in on Darragh Leahy and doesn't even look up as he walks for the tunnel taking off his captain's armband. He knew that challenge was going to see him sent off. A desperate challenge and he should have known better.
Robbie Benson (Dundalk) scores. Well that was coming, Benson lunges at a cross into the six yard box and manages to get accuracy and power behind a sublime finish. Oriel is in raptures.
Tonight's attendance has been announced as 3.409.
Rovers win a corner after Boyle nicks the ball from Mandriou on the right. Towell delivers and it's punched clear by Shepperd.
Not for the first time, Doyle robs Mandriou and wins the battle of the fast feet. He plays a ball through to Kelly who is in space and bearing down on goal but Kelly holds the ball up rather than drive forward, it allows Rovers to get men back and the danger is averted.
Paul Doyle (Dundalk) is booked. Dundalk racking up a few yellow cards now, perhaps out of frustration. The Lilywhites just can't crack their visitors and get a goal, despite their dominance.
A free kick is blown for a Gaffney foul on Doyle.
Patrick Hoban (Dundalk) is booked.
This free will give Rovers a chance to catch a break and maybe make a chance of their own: Towell delivers a good ball, but it's blown up for a free out for pushing.
A cross from Leahy goes a-begging.
After the Hoop's bright start to the opening five minutes of the second half, it has been almost all Dundalk.
A sublime crossfield ball from Hoban lets Bradley away on the right. His shot yields a corner.
The corner is met by the head of Connolly under attention and it's straight up in the air before eventually getting clear of the danger zone.
Paul Doyle forces a shot from range after a period of Dundalk ascendency: it's well over but Dundalk certainly need to get some shots away.
Roberto Lopes miscontrols a ball and lets Paul Doyle steal the ball in the box. Doyle tries to play through Hoban rather than shooting off his left and it's intercepted. He should have hit that himself.
The home side almost bundle the ball over the line from a corner. Mannus manages to smother the danger before a white shirt can turn it home. Pinball in the six yard box.
Darragh Leahy (Dundalk) is booked. Correction - I had originally said it was Doyle.
Sean Hoare manages to get on the end of a cross and heads it towards goal. It is gathered by Shepperd as the referee blows for a free kick out. Hoare had too tight a grip of Boyle's shirt.
Rory Gaffney chases down a ball on the edge of the box and does well to turn Leahy (it's advantage Gaffney in this duel) and fires a shot into the Dundalk side netting.
Tempers flare and there is a bit of shoving following a push on Greg Sloggett floors him after the ball went out of play. Referee Neil Doyle, didn't see anything in it and the game is underway again, the half-time whistle looms.
Patrick Hoban forces a corner. The delivery flashes across the goal-line begging for any touch to turn it in but it evades all.
Mandriou is skinned by Paul Doyle in the middle and then beaten again by Mark Connolly as Dundalk counter, in the process Mandriou lashes out at Connolly and he'll be lucky if the ref doesn't go back to him for a word.
Greg Sloggett powers through the middle making good ground and he has support either side; he slips Mark Connolly away on the left. Connolly's cross is turned into a shot by a deflection off Kavanagh's toe and it's gathered by Mannus.
Rovers with an attack now and an overhit cross of their own, Sean Kavanagh overhits his cross from the left and it's out for a goal kick.
Stephen Bradley is away on the right with time to pick a cross for three white shirts in the box. He smashes it across goal but it evades everyone and is out for a throw in on the far side.
Players from both teams are over at the sideline getting some water on board while Greg Sloggett receives treatment for a head injury. He's been putting himself around and doing a lot of mopping up behind the midfield.
Gaffney with Rover's best chance of the game.
Gaffney and Boyle raced for a long ball over the top. Boyle seemed to take a tumble, and going by his reaction after the shot to the referee, he feels he was pushed over.
Either way, Gaffney managed to get a free shot on goal just outside the box as a result, and blazes it over.
Andy Boyle heads wide across the goal from a Leahy Free kick. The foul that lead to that was Danny Mandriou tripping up Greg Sloggett as he nicked the ball away and tried to get forward.
It's a much more even affair now. Dundalk have had more possession but aren't managing to find that cutting edge, Rovers look dangerous on the counter.
Rovers fashion a chance on the counter attack. A Dundalk shot rebounds from the edge of the Rover's box finding Rory Gaffney in space near the halfway line, he manages to make headway down the shed end and get a cross past Darragh Leahy - it finds Danny Mandriou racing to the back post but the former Bohs man can't direct it on target.
Lee Grace does very well to dispossess Stephen Bradley as the Dundalk player cut across the edge of the box, he was certainly teeing up a shot.
Rory Gaffney tangles with Mark Connolly for a ball in the air and Dundalk get a free out. Gaffney seems up for this game but is living dangerously with his early challenges.
Patrick Hoban heads wide from a Stephen Bradley free kick. It's been a promising start for the home side.
Paul Doule catches Towell out in the middle and bursts foward until he is hacked down by Gaffney. Rory Gaffney is perhaps fortunate not to see the first card of this game there.
Dundalk are playing in their familiar white jerseys, black shorst and white socks. Shamrock Rovers are in their black kit with neon green details - which could well be modelled after the seats in a Mitzi Turbo from the early 90s.
Dundalk are shooting towards the Furry Glen end, Rovers towards the town end.
An engergetic run from Leahy down the left evades the Rovers midfield and defence, he cuts into the box and tangles himself up allowing a fantic clearance from the hoops.
Dundalk come into this game on the back of a four game winning streak. Their mid-season break was slightly longer than others', as their fixture V Sligo Rovers was postponed due to international commitments, you'd suspect that Stephen O'Donnell might have liked to have kept that momentum going.
Speaking of the former skipper, current gaffer, he was keen to play down this game's significance at a top of the table clash. He said he was approaching it as any other. Some Dundalk fans might be (pleasantly) suprised at their side's lofty position in the table, given the amoung of players who moved on. But if they can manage a result here tonight, it will be a real statement.
Sean Hoare, Ronan Finn and Richie Towell make up the former Lilywhite contingent starting for Rovers this evening. Sean Gannon is on the bench for the Tallaght side.
Ciarán Fisher here, we are ten minutes out from the action here at Oriel Park. If you haven't looked at the table in a while, it's first V second in a top-of-the-table clash.
Competition: 2022 League of Ireland Premier Division
Date: 7:45 p.m. June 17, 2022