Dundalk supporter David Lennon looks on at Oriel Park last night in front of a packed Shed. Picture: Jason McGee
Dundalk squandered the chance to maintain their two point lead at the top of the Premier Division table when Ronan Finn’s injury-time goal rescued 10 man Shamrock Rovers a 2-2 draw at Oriel Park last night.
To add to the Lilywhites’ woes, captain Stephen O’Donnell was stretchered off just before half-time with a suspect crucicate ligament injury that could rule the midfielder out for the season.
Rovers looked to be heading for defeat until Finn popped up on the right of the area in the 92nd minute to fire low past Peter Cherrie to rescue his side a share of the spoils.
Trevor Croly’s side had got off to a dream start when Ciaran Kilduff fired them ahead in the 13th minute after being slipped through by Finn.
However, Dundalk were gifted a route back into the game when Rovers hit the self destruct button on 56 minutes.
Firstly, Richie Towell levelled from the spot after his header came off the arm of Jason McGuinness. Then, as the home side celebrated, Rovers captain Conor Kenna was shown a straight red card for clashing with Daryl Horgan.
With the man advantage, Dundalk pressed for the lead and found it when Darren Meenan made it 2-1 with a cool finish under Barry Murphy in the 62nd minute.
The home side had chances to seal the game late on with Horgan and Meenan both missing one-on-one chances and they were made pay for those misses when Finn popped up with his late strike that means Dundalk fall off the summit on goal difference with Cork City now leading the way.
Dundalk: Cherrie; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Higgins; Horgan (Shields 82), Towell, O’Donnell (Meenan 45), Mountney; Hoban (McMillan 84). Subs not used: Byrne, Griffin, Rossiter, Sava.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy; Madden, Kenna, McGuinness, Heaney; Robinson; McCabe (Waters 66), McPhail (Bayly 68), Finn; Kilduff, Zayed (Cornwall 59). Subs not used: O’Connor, Sheppard, Hyland.
Referee: P McLaughlin (Monaghan).