Darragh Leahy of Dundalk, second from right, is shown a red card by referee John McLoughlin during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Sligo Rovers and Dundalk at The Showgrounds
SSE Airtricity League
Sligo Rovers 2-0 Dundalk
Ten-man Dundalk FC went down 2-0 to Sligo Rovers in the SSE Airtricity League at The Showgrounds on Monday night – a result which all but ends any faltering title hopes.
The Lilywhites have slipped down to third position in the league standings, and are now just four points ahead of fourth-place St Patrick’s Athletic, who have a game in hand.
John Martin had a good effort kept out by Sligo goalkeeper Luke McNicholas after nine minutes, but Stephen O’Donnell’s side were dealt a huge blow when Darragh Leahy was given a straight red card for a last-man challenge on Frank Liivak after just 22 minutes.
Sligo peppered the Dundalk goal for the remainder of the first half, with Paddy Kirk seeing a shot from distance sail wide, while Lewis Banks curled straight into the arms of Nathan Shepperd, who then saved with his feet from Kirk in first-half stoppage-time.
Shepperd excellently kept out Aidan Keena’s attempt on 57 minutes, but was helpless as skipper Andy Boyle turned Will Fitzgerald’s ball into his own net from the same attack.
The Bit O’Red looked to kill the game off after that, and Max Mata saw his effort trickle just wide, while Fitzgerald hit the side-netting as Sligo continued to mount the pressure.
They made it 2-0 on 83 minutes when Keena’s ball from the right was met by inrushing Estonian international Liivak, who finished into the top of the netting to seal the victory.
It would have been even worse if not for Shepperd, with Keena breaking down the right once more, this time finding Banks, who was somehow denied at point-blank range.
Sligo Rovers: Luke McNicholas; Lewis Banks, Nando Pijnaker, Shane Blaney (Cameron Evans 39), Paddy Kirk; Greg Bolger (Niall Morahan 78); Frank Liivak, Robbie Burton (Kailin Barlow 78), Adam McDonnell (Max Mata 58), Will Fitzgerald; Aidan Keena
Subs not used: Richard Brush (gk), Colm Horgan, Cillian Heaney, Eanna Clancy, Daire McCarthy
Dundalk FC: Nathan Shepperd; John Mountney (Runar Hauge 80), Lewis Macari, Andy Boyle, Darragh Leahy; Alfie Lewis, Greg Sloggett (Robbie Benson 65); Steven Bradley (David McMillan 65), Joe Adams (Keith Ward 80), Ryan O’Kane; John Martin (Sam Bone 30)
Subs not used: Peter Cherrie (gk), Brian Gartland, Robbie McCourt, Paul Doyle
Referee: John McLoughlin (Roscommon)
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