It's deja vu for Candystripes as they lack a clinical edge
Dundalk 1-0 Derry City
Derry City's wait for a win over Dundalk continues after they narrowly lost out to a second-half Daniel Kelly goal at Oriel Park.
This was no match to the recent thrillers between the teams in cup competition, but the champions still did enough with Derry failing to take chances.
It was the Candystripes who should have taken the lead when Barry McNamee dispossessed Brian Gartland just outside the Dundalk penalty area.
The Derry captain just had to run through on goal but opted for the quick shot in an attempt to catch Gary Rogers out but he was way off target.
The game almost burst into life as half-time approached and Dundalk should have had the lead but for a brilliant save from Peter Cherrie, who somehow kept out Patrick Hoban's diving header.
The goal the game needed finally arrived on 64 minutes and it was Sean Gannon who took all the credit. The full-back latched onto a loose ball and raced forward before crossing to the back post where Kelly fired home from close range.
Derry came so, so close to levelling the game 15 minutes from time.
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The Candystripes caught Dundalk sleeping with a quick corner and while David Parkhouse missed McNamee's cross completely, the ball came to Grant Gillespie who, at the second attempt, lashed it past Rogers only to be denied by the frame of the goal.
That proved to be the last chance for Derry, whose fight for European qualification will go to the final three games of the season.
Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Gartland, Shields, Duffy (Lotefa 60), Hoban, Murray (Kelly 66), Dummigan, Benson, Kelly (Hanratty 87), Boyle.
Derry City: Cherrie, McDonagh, Toal, Gilchrist, Coll, Sloggett (Gillespie 32), McNamee (McCrudden 80), Harkin, McCauley (Davis 57), Ogedi-Uzokwe, Parkhouse.
Referee: Neil Doyle