Dundalk need just four points to be sure of regaining the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after Chris Shields’ third-minute goal proved to be the winner at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
Stephen Kenny’s side were already short-priced favourites to take back the trophy from their rivals, but this result now leaves them nine ahead of City with five games left, while the Rebel Army have just four left.
Victory over Derry City on Tuesday will give the Lilywhites a 12-point cushion, but even if that were to eroded, their goal difference is 22 better than John Caulfield’s side.
It was a night to forget for the hosts, unable to break down the visitors in the second half, with their manager having been dismissed by referee Neil Doyle at half-time following a tunnel incident.
Dundalk had taken control of the game after Shields struck, his low shot deflecting in off Conor McCarthy after a lay-off with Patrick Hoban.
Michael Duffy was dangerous for Dundalk as they looked to get a second, though City felt they should have had a penalty after Graham Cummins tangled with Brian Gartland under a corner.
Gearóid Morrissey, with a shot from outside the area saved by Gary Rogers, had City’s best chance of the first half and unfortunately for them, opportunities for them were all too rare in the second half.
Dundalk might have added more as John Mountney and Shields went close, but they didn’t need a second.
: McNulty; Beattie, McCarthy, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack (Delaney 89), Morrissey; Keohane, Buckley (Coughlan 61), Sadlier; Cummins (Daly-Bütz 71).
: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Hoare, Massey; Shields, Benson (Jarvis 86); Mountney, McEleney (McGrath 75), Duffy; Hoban (Kelly 90).
N Doyle (Dublin).