Biggest lead at this stage for Dundalk
The eight point lead which Dundalk opened up at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table on Friday is the biggest they have enjoyed at this stage of any title-winning campaign in the Stephen Kenny/Vinny Perth era. In both the 2015 and 2016 league-winning seasons their lead at the end of June was three points, last season it was two and in 2014 it was one.
Another clean sheet
Dundalk kept their 13th clean sheet of the season at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night. For goalkeeper Gary Rogers, who was making his 550th league appearance on the night, the shut out meant he equalled his total number of clean sheets from the 2016 season.
Gr-eight night for Gannon
Sean Gannon’s eighth goal for Dundalk helped them move eight points clear at the top of the table on Friday night. It was the full back’s seventh league goal for the club and 12th of his career. He has never lost a game for Dundalk after scoring – a record which continued after Friday. It was also his second against former club Shamrock Rovers.
Sean Murray, Jamie McGrath and Robbie Benson all returned to action for Dundalk on Friday. Barring the 2-0 win away to Cork on May 17th where he was subbed off injured on 70 minutes, Murray had not featured since the 2-1 defeat away to Sligo Rovers on April 12th – a night when Dundalk fell 13 points behind tonight’s opponents. For McGrath, who set up Sean Gannon’s winner, he was making his return having last featured in the 3-0 win away to Waterford FC two months earlier. Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night, however, was reserved for Robbie Benson who came off the bench to replace John Mountney with 10 minutes to go for what was the 250th league appearance of his career. The midfielder had not played since breaking bones in his foot in the early stages of the season opener at home to Sligo Rovers in February.