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Saturday 3 December 2016

Ronan Finn: 'Lilies looking to big derby'

Frustrated champions lose record

Ronan Finn in action against Limerick's Ian Turner
Ronan Finn in action against Limerick's Ian Turner

MOST football teams would boast about a record of conceding just one goal in 540 minutes of football.

But while champions Dundalk revel in their status as league leaders with an unbeaten record, it's a sign of the high standards set by Stephen Kenny at the reigning champions that they are frustrated to have lost their run of games without dropping points or conceding a a goal.

Kenny's side were on course for a sixth straight win - and clean sheet - away to Limerick on Saturday night, only for Paul O'Conor to score for Limerick and give the Lilywhites the Blues with a 1-1 draw.

"It is hard to look at the positives because we didn't win but looking at the bigger picture - six games in, one goal conceded, five wins and a draw - it's still a really good start to the season but at the minute it's frustrating for us," said Dundalk midfielder Ronan Finn.

"In the context of the game, the result isn't what we wanted. Coming into the last minute you want to just see it out. I don't think we played particularly well on the night. We put ourselves in a winning position going 1-0 up and to concede an equaliser so late on was disappointing."

"It is a harsh lesson for us but we'll have to learn from it," Finn told dundalkfc.com.

Dundalk still have a two-point lead over the chasing pack of Cork CIty and Shamrock Rovers, both of those sides enjoying a 3-0 win on Friday night, with Bohemians a surprise presence in the top four thanks to their away win over Drogheda United.

St Patrick's Athletic are already six points off the pace as they had to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw away to Longford Town on Saturday.

The Saints will be without key defender Ian Bermingham for their next test, at home to a free-scoring Cork on Friday, due to an automatic suspension while Dundalk steel themselves for a local derby next weekend.

"Drogheda United on Friday is a massive game. They're a good side and it won't be easy for us. There will be a huge crowd there and a great buzz around the place which is what you want. We have to pick ourselves up and go again. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways. We don't want to dwell on this too much," added Finn.

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