A last gasp goal from David McMillan rescued a 1-1 draw for Dundalk against Sligo Rovers in The Showgrounds last night, keeping the Lilywhites four points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.
Sligo Rovers took the lead in the first-half thanks for a Danny North penalty, but Dundalk equalised through former Rovers man McMillan in the 86th minute.
The league leaders had a couple of early opportunities through midfielder Kurtis Byrne, but it was the home side who were on top for the duration of the first-half. Danny North almost opened the scoring on 11 minutes when Sean Maguire picked out the Grimsby man from the right side and crossed it in, but North could not get to it on time, and managed to just hit the side netting.
North eventually gave the Bit O Red the lead just after the half hour mark. Rovers were awarded a penalty when Andy Boyle upended Eamon Zayed in the box. The striker sent Peter Cherrie the wrong way to put the hosts ahead.
Sligo could well have doubled their lead soon afterwards, when Zayed sent it well over the bar from just inches away from goal. Seconds before half-time, former Rovers man Horgan looked like he had levelled the game when his shot from close range beat Rogers, but was blocked by Seamus Conneely.
Dundalk were troubled and although initially looking better in the second half, they soon found themselves defending once again. David Cawley’s long range effort, which was well wide, should have been a warning signal to the league leaders.
They almost found themselves further behind again when Evan McMillan took down a Zayed ball, and his lob looked like it was creeping in, but it was just wide of Cherrie’s post.
Dundalk looked dead and buried with time slowly ticking away, but Kenny’s side pulled one back with just minutes left. Dane Massey’s superb ball from the left found the unmarked McMillan, who beat Rogers to level things up.
The drama wasn’t over then, though, as Rovers defender Alan Keane was sent off for a second yellow in the 95th minute for a tackle on Patrick Hoban.
The result keeps Dundalk four points clear as Cork City could only draw with Bray Wanderers.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Kalen Spillane, Seamus Conneely; David Cawley, Paul O’Conor; Sean Maguire; Danny North, Eamon Zayed (for Ruairi Keating 92), Evan McMillan.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Sean Gannon, Andy Boyle, Brian Gartland, Dane Massey; Daryl Horgan (for David McMillan 63), Richie Towell, Chris Shields (for Ruaidhri Higgins 67), Darren Meenan; Patrick Hoban, Kurtis Byrne (for Donal McDermott 72).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin