Towell is spot on for champs
Dundalk survived a scare away to struggling Sligo Rovers by coming back to earn the win which keep them on top of the Premier Division table.
Morten Nielsen shocked the champions by giving Sligo - without manager Owen Heary in the dugout as his position as boss is still shrouded in doubt - the lead on nine minutes.
But Daryl Horgan levelled for Dundalk on 34 minutes and a Richie Towell (pictured) penalty on 56 minutes, after Alan Keane was deemed to have handled in the box, was enough for Dundalk to get the win they needed to stay clear of second-placed Cork.
Cork City remain in second place, clear of Shamrock Rovers, but John Caulfield's side made hard work of it at home to Bray Wanderers and had to settle for a 1-0 win.
Mark O'Sullivan did the job on 29 minutes after Bray keeper Stephen McGuinness had saved from Colin Healy. But it was a costly win for City as they had ex-international Healy sent off in the first half.
St Patrick's Athletic, like Dundalk, had a scare against an off-form side as bottom club Limerick took a shock 1-0 lead away to St Pats, Dean Clarke putting the Blues in front on 24 minutes. But the Saints responded in the second half with a three goal blitz which left Limerick re-ling and goals from Christopher Forrester (50), Aaron Greene (54) and Chris Fagan (58) sealed the win.
Derry City avoided what would have been a third straight loss as they earned a 1-1 draw away to Drogheda United. Mark Timlin had put Derry ahead six minutes before half-time but a Sean Brennan strike on 56 minutes levelled for Drogheda. Galway United got back on track with a 1-0 win away to Longford Town, Jake Keegan the United hero.