Dundalk FC striker Patrick Hoban celebrates his team's late winner against Cork City with Michael Duffy. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Dundalk FC striker Patrick Hoban says the jab in the mouth he got from Alan Bennett was worthwhile after his side secured the three points.
The Cork City defender appeared to elbow Hoban as he chased down a loose ball during the second half of Friday’s league match at Oriel Park - which the Lilywhites won courtesy of Seán McLoughlin’s late own goal.
To compound matters, as Hoban was stricken on the deck, Bennett began berating him with abuse before referee Robert Harvey intervened.
“It wasn’t great (the tackle) and I wasn’t happy about him going back over to me on the ground and shouting abuse in my ear,” said Hoban.
“It is what it is. It wasn’t great, but, at the end of the day, we got three points so getting a jab in the mouth is worth it.
“I thought we outplayed them at times. We kept most of the ball and that’s a big thing in these conditions, and I think they got a bit tired towards the end, by how well we kept the ball.
“It’s a great feeling,” he added.
The reaction of the crowd to the injury-time winner mirrored the scenes created by Stephen O’Donnell’s opener in the 2014 title decider between the sides. And Hoban feels this season bears all the hallmarks of the club’s league win of four years ago.
“Every game is crucial, every point is crucial. Cork aren’t losing games and we aren’t losing games at the moment. It’s only two points, but it sets up a great ending to the season and it reminds me a lot of 2014 even though we were probably further ahead at this stage. Hopefully, we’re the ones lifting the trophy again.”