Irish champions held to away draw


Irish Premier Division Champions Shamrock Rovers failed to go top of the league after 0-0 draw away to Dundalk in front of a 4,000 packed stadium.

Stephen Gormley (Red Eye Photo Agency)

It was a baltic night in Oriel Park but the first half started very open with Rovers playing the silky football coming flying out determined to get their first away win of the season on the board. Sean Hoare played a great ball through to Richie Towell only for Dundalk keeper Nathan Shepard to make a great save to keep it at 0-0.

But it was not all Rovers in the first half. Dundalk played a more direct game and at times it was just lady luck that kept the ball from going into the back of the Rovers net with the Rovers goalkeeper Leon Pohls making two decent saves from set pieces in the first half to leave it at 0-0 at half time.

In the second half again Rovers were playing the silky football looking very confident on the ball. Substitute Aaron Greene nearly found the back of the net with a header but again Shepard was there to tip it over the bar.

Dundalk almost snatched it at the end but Pohls made a brilliant save from Patrick Hoban. It would have been a smash and grab to be fair. Rovers played better football in front of 500 of their travelling support. But on a very cold night in Dundalk it ended 0-0 but maybe Rovers look a better bet for three  league titles in a row.

Dundalk’s manager Stephen O’Donnell was content with the home point.

“We went for it against Rovers in regards changes as the second half went on so that’s the way we want our teams to play.”

Up next for Shamrock Rovers is Sligo Rovers in Tallaght while Dundalk have just the small matter of the Louth Derby on Friday night against Drogheda United.

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