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Towell brace sends Dundalk five points clear of Cork

SoccerBy Sean Nolan
Richie Towell
Richie Towell
Towell brace sends Dundalk five points clear of Cork

A raucous crowd of 6,900 witnessed a belter of a game in Turner's Cross but the win went to the visitors thanks to two goals from in-form Richie Towell.

A pulsating first half was filled with more endeavour than clear cut chances but Dundalk had the better opportunities.

Daryl Horgan, hugely impressive for the visitors in the opening 45, cracked a stunning 30 yard drive off the bar midway through the first half and the Lilywhites also had a goal disallowed, somewhat harshly, for a foul on the keeper, before the breakthrough.

Cork also suffered a blow when they lost skipper John Dunleavy to a serious looking knee injury in the early proceedings,

But the home side recovered to take the lead. Just at the 30 minute mark a Billy Dennehy cross into the box evaded attackers and defenders alike and after the slightest of flicks of a defender the ball nestled in the back of Gary Rogers' net.

Stephen Kenny's side remained in the ascendency though and they got the equaliser in injury time of the first half when a corner from the right was half cleared by Mark McNulty and it was expertly controlled, and lashed to the net, by Richie Towell.

Dundalk would start the second half as they finished the first and within two minutes of the restart the champions were ahead. A fast break by Dundalk resulted in Alan Bennett hauling down the excellent David McMillan and Towell stroked home the resultant spot kick for his fifth goal of the week after a hat-trick on Monday night against Bray.

The game ebbed and flowed in the remainder of the the second half but the closest either side came to another goal was a fine drive by McMillan that rattled the post with McNulty beaten.

Karl Sheppard almost nabbed a point for the home side but his late header went just the wrong side of the post.

The result leaves Dundalk five clear of Cork at the top of the table.  

Tonight's results:

Derry 1-2 Bohemian FC

Drogheda United 0 - 3 Longford Town

St Patrick’s Athletic 3  - 0 Sligo Rovers

Cork City 1 – 2 Dundalk