Dundalk and St Patrick's Athletic played out their second 1-1 draw this season as the Lilywhites once again failed to seal a European spot for next season and must now go to the final day.

Robbie Benson goal cancelled out Patrick Hoban earlier strike, the same scenario from back on 31 July, on a wet night by the Camac in Richmond Park.

An eerily quiet Inchicore played host to an important game for both sides behind closed doors.

The result means that Dundalk are not quite certain of a top-three finish, while St Pat's are still in the hunt for fourth spot which could mean European football next season.

Filippo Giovagnoli's side now need a point on the final day of the season against Sligo Rovers. 

Neither side was especially convincing on a miserable evening for football but Saints will be happier after coughing up the lead.

The conditions made life difficult for the participants, those obvious long-range passes taking on a different life, but Pat's were intent on pressing the Dundalk back-line and Benson did really well to win back possession, which Jordan Gibson promptly surrendered in the face of Brian Gartland early on.

The first big chance came on 19 minutes. Gibson found Billy King who brilliantly turned onto his left but drove at Gary Rogers, who got down well. Dundalk had been disappointing so far, Hoban's shot outside the box seemingly born out of frustration on 20 minutes and accordingly errant.

Dundalk worked a lovely goal midway through the half.

A raking Stefan Colovic delivery found Darragh Leahy at the back post and he connected to find Hoban who could not miss from close range.

Gibson should have equalised shortly afterwards. He got in behind the Dundalk defence, the wind playing its part, but Rogers did well and the Englishman couldn't quite get his angle right. Hoban is made for nights like this and he used his strength to fashion a shot on 33 minutes but he dragged it wide with his left foot.

Hoare then had to be alert to hook the ball out for a corner after a superb Feely cross. From the corner which followed, Feely had a decent chance but missed the target with his left foot.

Saints equalised 19 minutes into the second half. Robbie Benson, who rarely scores headers, got enough power from close range after Lee Desmond's cross to equalise, the ball hanging in the air in a way that would make your average defender uncertain – this on a night when Dundalk did look especially certain at the back.

A poor mistake from Desmond nearly resulted in a Dundalk equaliser with 20 left but Duffy's shot was deflected over. Moments later Dan Cleary got his angle all wrong when gifted a free header in the box.

Dundalk changed three of their back five in the second half, with Darragh Leahy, Sean Gannon and Cleary all taken off. Saints waited until 80 minutes to bring in their first sub, young Darragh Burns replacing King.

Dundalk were on top now and Hoban played in David McMillan but the angle was tight and Brendan Clarke blocked.

Luke McNally, one of the league's most promising youngsters, excelled in the final minutes to ensure Patrick's held on for a point, while an inspiriting sliding block from Jamie Lennon emphasised his endeavour.

Home boss Stephen O'Donnell, who was irked by many decisions, was given a late yellow card by referee Paul McLoughlin.

Neither side could find a winner as Dundalk continue to bring a domestic headache into their European campaign, with a trip to Rapid Vienna on Thursday next. 

St Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Rory Feely, Lee Desmond, Luke McNally, Ian Bermingham, Shane Griffin; Jamie Lennon, Chris Forrester, Robbie Benson; Billy King (Darragh Burns 80), Gibson (James Doona 85).

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon (John Mountney 67), Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary (Andy Boyle 78), Darragh Leahy (Cameron Dummigan 67); Chris Shields, Greg Sloggett, Michael Duffy (Dave McMillan 78); Stefan Colovic (Jordan Flores 56), Patrick Hoban.

Referee: Paul McLoughlin