Rare two goal lead let slip
The last time Dundalk held a two-goal lead in a game and failed to win was on February 11th 2018 when Cork City came from behind to beat the Lilywhites 4-2 in the President’s Cup final. Prior to that it was the FAI Cup semi-final at home to Derry City on October 2nd 2016 when Dundalk led 2-0 at half-time only for the Candystripes to force a replay with second half strikes from Rory Patterson and Ronan Curtis. Dundalk would go on to win the replay 2-1 in the Brandywell. The last time it happened in the league was in a 2-2 match away to Cork City on October 23rd 2015 at a time when Dundalk had already won the league. Goals from David McMillan and Richie Towell had given Stephen Kenny’s side a 2-0 lead after 26 minutes but Mark O’Sullivan and Karl Sheppard had John Caulfield’s side back on level terms by the 38th minute. The last time Dundalk dropped points in a league match at home having led by two goals was on July 10th 2004 against Cobh Ramblers. Trevor Vaughan and Stephen McGuinness had Dundalk 2-0 up after 20 minutes only for Cobh to fight back to claim a share of the spoils. Despite the dropped points against Derry City on Friday, Dundalk have the same number of points (31) after the same number of games (15) as this time last year.

Poor penalty record
Since Vinny Perth arrived at Oriel Park at the start of the 2013 season, Derry City have won more penalties against Dundalk than any other side (4). All of them have been in Oriel Park. Of the 28 penalties Dundalk have conceded since 2013 only four have been saved but only once in that time has a save coincided with a Dundalk win when Gary Rogers saved Shane Tracy’s effort in the 6-2 win over Limerick on June 25th 2015. Prior to that you have to go back to May 26th 2011 when Dundalk beat Derry City 1-0 in Oriel to find the last save in a Dundalk win. That night Peter Cherrie saved from Gareth McGlynn before Colin Hawkins scored what proved to be the game’s only goal.

Second red of Hoban’s career
Pat Hoban’s red card against Derry City on Friday was the second of his career. He also scored a brace the day he picked up his first in a 4-5 defeat for Mervue against Longford Town at Fahy’s Field on June 29th 2012. Mervue were 4-2 up at the time of Hoban’s dismissal with stoppage time goals from Gary Shaw and Mark Salmon winning it for Longford.

Top scorer
Despite his red card on Friday, Patrick Hoban’s double – the second of his career – brought his tally of league goals this season to nine. He has now scored six career goals against Derry. Including the President’s Cup Hoban now has 10 goals for the season. His second was also his 90th league goal in Irish football.

Player landmarks
Gary Rogers made league appearance number 543 on Friday, equaling Alan O’Neill’s total as the most for a goalkeeper in the League of Ireland. Only three players have now played more league matches than Dundalk’s current number one. Meanwhile, Michael Duffy started his 100th game for Dundalk on Friday against his hometown club. It was also his 80th league start for the Lilywhites. Fellow Derry man Dean Jarvis made his 25th league appearance on the night. It was also his 25th start for Dundalk in all competitions. Finally, John Mountney came off the bench for what was his 175th league appearance for Dundalk.

As published in The Argus May 7th 2019