St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Robbie Benson felt the extra weeks of training for his former side Dundalk had an impact in the clubs' 1-1 draw at Oriel Park as the SSE Airtricity League resumed on Friday.

The ex-Lilywhites player's equaliser dented Dundalk's hopes of moving level on points with Shamrock Rovers at the top of the Premier Division table.

Pressing the Dundalk back line early on, St Pat's eventually fell back deeper as the match wore on and tiredness kicked in.

With the home side having been among four League of Ireland clubs to return to training ahead of the rest, Benson told RTÉ Sport that he felt that extra time benefited Dundalk in the closing stages.

"We're pleased with the result given the way the game finished. Dundalk were putting on a lot of pressure," said Benson, who also won the Man of the Match award.

"But on another day, we could have been two up at half-time. We hit the post and on the balance of play, they didn't have too many really clear-cut chances so I think overall a draw is a fair result."

He added: "Obviously we pressed up really high and it was high demand. I think the couple of extra weeks that Dundalk had back training before us kind of took a toll. 

"You could see it towards the end and they finished the game stronger and maybe if there was a big crowd here roaring them on, they might have put us under a bit more pressure so we're thankful for that."

Benson also paid tribute to Dundalk groundsman and cameraman Harry Taaffe, who passed away last weekend.

His manager Stephen O'Donnell was quietly satisfied with the performance of his St Pat's players in earning a draw.

"It's a good point but I don't think it's anything to be over the moon about either. Ultimately, we're trying to breed a culture that we turn up for every game and we want to win every game," he said.

"I'm very happy with the performance in the sense of we've had a month to prepare and then you're coming up against a top team in the country and I thought our fitness levels were tremendous for lads that were nigh on three months without doing even any sort of training together.

"I'm delighted with the application."