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5 Things We Learned From Week 15 Of The SSE Airtricity League

John Dodge
By John Dodge
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With the World Cup running scared on Friday, the SSE Airtricity League came back from it's mid-season break. Here's the pick of the action

1) Dundalk get another late goal and stay on top

For the 9th time this season, Dundalk scored after the 85th minute with Friday's equaliser from Richie Towell being the latest yet.  It's a testament to their physical fitness that even with their high tempo game, they usually outlast all other teams.  Derry had take a 2-1 lead but when centre half Cliff Byrne was sent off for an off-the-ball incident, the whole league expected Dundalk to equalise.  For Dundalk, they'll look to keep that fighting spirit going as they travel to Luxembourg to start their Europa League campaign tomorrow (Tuesday).

2) Another win for Cork sees them close the gap

Cork City have won their last 5 league games and now lie only a point behind Dundalk (with a game less played).  Limerick had been on their own run of form recently so for Cork to dispatch them so easily must give them great confidence for the remainder of the season.   With Dundalk idle next weekend, Cork will know a win away to Sligo Rovers will see them go top.  No other team has a better record away than Cork this season.


3) Pats defensive issues still haven't been sorted


A 3-2 for St Pats over Bray saw them continue to average 3 goals per home game.  They contain the league's top two scorers in Christy Fagan (15) and Conan Byrne (10).  If they could sort their defence out, you'd have to think they could retain their league title. Friday night saw Ger O'Brien and Derek Foran at centre half with Sean Hoare continuing to miss games through injury and Kennies Brown & Oman suspended.  Pats have big games coming up starting with Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght on Saturday night. They'll need to get a defence settled quickly.


4) A good start for John Coleman at Sligo Rovers

The John Coleman reign at Sligo Rovers started with a 2-1 win over Drogheda United. The new manager will have been particularly happy to see Danny North scoring again.  Well known Sligo fan Eamon Sweeney had a pop at the Rovers board in his Sunday Indo column yesterday so it's clear that Coleman will have to work to get everybody on side. A win on Thursday in Lithuania against Bangu would definitely help him in that regard.


5) Another home game without a win for Bohs and Athlone's first point away

Bohs fans may be starting to think that all the buying and selling of Dalymount has cursed the ground.  Despite falling 2 down to Athlone, Bohs ralliled back to level at 2-2 before earning a last minute penalty.  Top scorer Dinny Corcoran stepped up but saw his effort saved and Bohs continue their winless run at home. Athlone may feel they should ahve hung on to win at 2-0 but they've gained their first point away from home this season and gained slightly on UCD and Drogheda. That should be some comfort

Big week for the LOI teams in Europa League action. Dundalk travel to Luxembourg to face Jeunesse Esch on Tuesday (KO 16:45 Irish time). On Thursday, Sligo Rovers are first in action against Bangu in Lthuania (KO 16:00 Irish time), followed by Derry City hosting Welsh side Aberystwyth at 19:45pm. Good luck to all three!


In case you missed these over the weekend;

  1. The lino being smacked in Derry
  2. Mark Salmon's great goal for Longford Town


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