Football | League of Ireland talking points

Football | League of Ireland talking points
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There were four SSE Airtricity League fixtures this weekend.

We delve into the main talking points from around the country, including Dundalk’s move to the top of the table.

Dundalk beat Bohs to go top

The Lilywhites beat Bohs 2-0 at Dalymount Park to go top of the table.

Georgie Kelly and Sean Hoare scored the goals for Dundalk to take Vinny Perth’s side to the summit for the first time this season.

Dundalk – who have now won six of their last seven league matches – deservedly opened the scoring in the 22nd minute.

Kelly, making his first start for the champions, spun quickly in the box and fired a low shot James Talbot after a deflection off Michael Duffy fell kindly for him.

The lively Danny Mandroiu went close twice for Keith Long’s hosts; first with a free kick that flew narrowly wide, and then with a side-footed effort before the break which forced a fine save from Gary Rogers.

Mandroiu then thought he should have had a penalty in the 72nd minute after going down after a challenge by Sean Gannon, but it was Dundalk who were awarded a spot kick just four minutes later.

Bohs substitute Luke Wade-Slater fouled Duffy in the box, but Chris Shields’ resulting penalty was saved by Talbot.

However, the Lilywhites wrapped up the points three minutes later.

Hoare rose highest in the box to head home Duffy’s in-swinging free kick, with Talbot caught at sea in the box.

Dundalk are now ahead of Shamrock Rovers on goal difference, with both teams on 34 points, while Bohs remain in third place on 30 points.

Cotter’s Cork cruise against UCD

Two wins from two.

Cork City have recorded back-to-back wins under interim boss John Cotter after beating UCD 2-0 at Turner’s Cross.

The Leesiders made a perfect start, with Karl Sheppard’s first goal of the season coming in just the fifth minute.

Sheppard smashed his effort past Conor Kearns after James Tilley’s free kick dropped to the striker in the box.

Graham Cummins squandered a chance to double Cork’s lead seven minutes later, shooting a sliding effort straight at Kearns from Conor McCarthy’s cross.

UCD striker Yoyo Mahdy looked dangerous throughout, and went close twice for the students in the first half.

Defender Josh Collins almost drew the visitors level early in the second half, but his effort crashed back off the crossbar.

Cork scored their second in the 53rd minute.

Kevin O’Connor picked out the onrushing Cummins with an excellent cross, and the striker calmly dispatched a fine finish past Kearns.

The win extended Cork’s lead over UCD in the table to nine points, and the Leesiders are now within seven points of the top four.

Desmond stunner denies Derry

Derry City and St. Patrick’s Athletic played out a 1-1 draw at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Friday night.

Barry McNamee opened the scoring for the hosts in the ninth minute, but Lee Desmond’s stunning strike drew St. Pat’s level on the half hour mark.

Candystripes’ captain McNamee found the back of the visitors’ net with a well hit left-footed strike after Ciaran Coll’s low cross from the wing for what was the midfielder’s first goal of the season.

Five minutes later, Conor Clifford skied a shot from inside the box for St. Pat’s.

When the away team did produce an equalizer, it was a special one.

Desmond’s spectacular strike from 30 yards flew past Peter Cherrie into the top corner.

The wonder goal gave St. Pat’s confidence, and Harry Kenny’s side had several chances to take the lead.

Cherrie made a good save to stop a Gary Shaw header, before Chris Forrester stung the ‘keeper’s hands a few minutes later.

Neither team could find a breakthrough in the second half, and were forced to settle for a point apiece.

Derry are fourth in the table on 26 points, four clear of St. Pat’s in fifth place, and four behind Bohs in third.

Six-goal thriller in Waterford

The best game of the weekend took place at the Waterford RSC.

Waterford United and Sligo Rovers shared the spoils after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Kristopher Twardek gave the Bit O’Red the lead in the 18th minute with a close-range finish, before Cory Galvin restored parity for Waterford just two minutes later with an excellent strike from 20 yards.

A Mitchell Beeney own goal then gave the hosts the lead for the second time; the Sligo ‘keeper inadvertently deflecting the ball into his own net following Shane Duggan’s shot off the bar after good work from Zack Elbouzedi.

Alan Reynolds’ men led 2-1 at the interval after a pulsating opening 45 minutes.

Ronan Coughlan drew Sligo level in the 56th minute after a brilliant cross from David Cawley, and Romeo Parkes fired the visitors ahead for the second time just under 10 minutes later.

Ismahil Akinade scored Waterford’s third in the 80th minute with what proved to be the last goal in a thrilling game.

To add to the drama, each team missed a penalty in the second half.

First, Beeney denied Duggan from 12 yards after Sligo defender Dante Leverock fouled Akinade in the box.

Waterford shot stopper Matt Connor then saved from Coughlan after a handball from Georgie Poynton to salvage a point for the home team.

The teams couldn’t be separated on the night, and there is little between them in the table.

Waterford are ahead of Sligo in sixth place on goal difference only, with both teams sitting in midtable on 20 points.

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