Dundalk hold Waterford United to draw in playoff first leg

Ten-man Dundalk played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg of the Airtricity League promotion/relegation playoff
Dundalk and Waterford drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Airtricity League promotion/relegation playoff at Oriel Park, as the Lilywhites came back from a goal down despite being down to ten men.

Dundalk sufferred an early setback when Liam Burns was forced off after just ten minutes. The defender was on the receiving end of a strong challenge, and tried to play on but could not continue. Waterford were the better side in the opening twenty minutes, but the best chances fell to the hosts, and they took the lead when Lorcan Shannon met Chris Reilly's cross.

Peter Cherrie was impressive in the Dundalk goal, and their task of holding onto their lead was made more difficult when Stephen Maher was sent off for lashing out at Peter Higgins on 33 minutes. Four minutes after the interval, Waterford were level. The goal was deserved as Paul Phelan headed in after Peter Higgins' cross.

Higgins was replaced by Ben Ryan on the hour mark, and Ryan made it 2-1 within a minute of being introduced after a fine ball from Dylan Mernagh. Dundalk fought hard to get back into the game, and levelled with 15 minutes remaining. Stephen McDonnell grabbed the equaliser for the hosts from long range, leaving Packie Holden with no chance.

The RSC in Waterford will host the second leg on Friday evening.