Danny North struck either side of the break to cancel out Michael Rafter’s opener for Dundalk as Sligo Rovers maintained their four-point lead at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division with a 2-1 win at Oriel Park.

The home side hit the front on 37 minutes when Griffin crossed for Rafter to head in. 

However, Sligo were back on level terms by half-time as North tapped in a Ross Gaynor cross, and the winner came five minutes into the second half when the English striker shot home after Peter Cherrie dropped a Joseph Ndo corner.

Dundalk had an early chance when hesitancy in the visiting defence allowed Griffin to nip in ahead of Gary Rogers, but he shot wide. Shortly after, the 21-year-old attempted to capitalise on a defensive mistake with a 35-yard lob but the back-tracking Rogers collected. 

It was Griffin who again almost broke the deadlock on nine minutes when his 25-yard free-kick whistled past the top corner. 

On 16 minutes, Sligo had a loud penalty appeal waved away when Dave Cawley went down under a challenge from Stephen McDonnell. Within two minutes, North appeared to be tripped in the box but he was shown a yellow card for simulation. 

Sligo’s first effort on goal came on 20 minutes when Gaynor, on his return to Oriel Park, cut in from the right and fired a low shot past the left-hand post. 

North then showed neat footwork before firing wide from 18-yards. However, after Raffaele Cretaro headed over a Joseph Ndo free-kick, Dundalk took a shock lead. 

Captain Chris Shields and Griffin combined well, the latter putting in a delightful left-footed cross from the left wing for the in-rushing Rafter to power to the bottom corner. 

But Sligo responded in the fashion of potential champions and, after John Dillon tested Cherrie, they were level right on half-time. 

Gaynor came back to haunt his old club as he put in a low, dangerous cross from the left and North stole in to tap in from close range. 

And within five minutes of the second half, North was on the score-sheet again, after Cherrie inexplicably dropped an Ndo corner, the in-form striker finishing with ease for what proved to be the winner. 

DUNDALK: Cherrie, Foran, Danville (Thomas 14), Burns, Osborne, Walsh, Shields, McDonnell (Reilly 67), Mountney, Griffin, Rafter (Shanahan 80).

SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers, Boco, Peers, Ventre, Davoren (Quigley 82), Dillon (Millien 71), Cawley, Ndo, Gaynor, Cretaro, North.

Referee: Dave McKeon (Meath)