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Match Preview: St. Patrick’s Athletic vs. Dundalk

Derry’s Road Struggles Persist in Stalemate with Dundalk

Dundalk extended their record for most consecutive clean sheets at home, earning a goalless draw against Derry City at Oriel Park and boosting their fight for survival in the league.

While the draw was a positive result for Dundalk, it marked another missed opportunity for Derry City, who failed to close the gap on table-toppers Shelbourne, remaining three points behind following Shelbourne’s home loss to Sligo Rovers.

Ruaidhrí Higgins’ side has now managed just two points from their last three matches, and their struggles on the road, with only two away wins this season, have severely impacted their title aspirations.

For Dundalk, Jon Daly’s first home match in charge did not yield a victory, but the draw was significant in moving his team within two points of neighbors Drogheda United at the bottom of the table. Daly, returning to Richmond Park on Monday, can take heart from his depleted squad’s solid performance after his first full week as manager.

The match almost had a disastrous start for Dundalk, with Paul McMullan finding Adam O’Reilly through slack play at the back, but goalkeeper Ross Munro denied the former St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder with a strong save in the opening 80 seconds.

Munro was called into action again on 23 minutes, redeeming himself after a handling error by saving a low shot from Will Patching.

Dundalk should have taken the lead five minutes later when Cameron Elliott broke down the right and set up Jamie Gullan, whose shot bounced over the bar with only Brian Maher to beat.

Dundalk continued to threaten, with a brilliant break initiated by Paul Doyle setting up Daryl Horgan, whose cross found Elliott, but Maher made a full-stretch save to tip the header over.

Both teams had chances before halftime, with Patrick Hoban heading into the side-netting and Horgan’s header being saved by Maher after denying Elliott moments earlier.

In the second half, both McMullan and Michael Duffy missed opportunities for Derry, while Sam Durrant did the same for Dundalk.

On the hour mark, Dundalk should have tested Maher again after a mistake by O’Reilly allowed Horgan a chance, but Gullan blazed over from nine yards out.

Dundalk had a penalty appeal turned down when Gullan’s header appeared to hit Ciaran Coll’s arm. Gullan’s frustration continued as Maher made a spectacular save to keep out his powerful shot on 75 minutes.

Derry introduced multiple substitutions to change the game, but it was Dundalk’s substitute Ryan O’Kane who nearly found a winner, drilling a shot just wide from distance five minutes from the end.

Ronan Boyce had an effort deflect wide off Andy Boyle in the final moments, but neither side could break the deadlock.


Dundalk: Ross Munro; Archie Davies, Zak Johnson, Andy Boyle, Zak Bradshaw; Daryl Horgan, Hayden Muller, Paul Doyle, Sam Durrant (Ryan O’Kane, 58); Cameron Elliott (Eoin Kenny, 78), Jamie Gullan.

Derry City: Brian Maher; Cameron Dummigan (Ronan Boyce, 78), Mark Connolly, Shane McEleney, Ciaran Coll (Ben Doherty, 78); Sadou Diallo (Daniel Kelly, 78), Adam O’Reilly; Paul McMullan (Patrick McEleney, 78), Will Patching, Michael Duffy (Danny Mullen, 86); Patrick Hoban.

Referee: Daniel Murphy (Dublin).

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