FOR THE first time this season, Dundalk's lack of discipline cost them dearly as St Pat's dumped a spirited eight-man Dundalk team out.
Two moments of madness on the stroke of half-time saw the Lilywhites reduced to nine men. Coming into the game, the Lilywhites boasted one of the best disciplinary records in the country, but all that was undone by Ciarán McGuigan, JJ Melligan and a third late red card for Garry Breen.
McGuigan was the first to see the red mist for his ill-timed lunge on Ian Bermingham. Referee Anthony Buttimer had only put his card away when Melligan flashed a V-sign at the travelling Pat's fans.
Referee's assistant Mark Douglas spotted the incident which resulted in Melligan seeing Dundalk's second red.
In what was nearly an embarrassing result for the visitors, they struggled to break down the home side only for Brian Cash's 89th-minute winner when he headed the ball into the corner of the net.
The Inchicore side tried everything as former Dundalk striker Alex Williams hit the post in the very first minute and later pushed the ball wide from six yards.
Conor Kenna was next to find the woodwork at Oriel Park as his header just short of the hour mark came back off the crossbar.
A replay looked certain when Ryan Guy's fierce strike smacked the post. However, Dundalk's hearts were broken when substitute Cash headed home late on and Ian's Foster's woes continued as Breen was sent off late in injury time for an off-the-ball incident.
© The Irish Times