Brendan Graham reports from Dalymount Park
Bohemians recorded a well deserved 2-1 victory over league champions Dundalk this evening and brought to an end a thirty one game unbeaten run domestically for Dundalk.
Dundalk started the game on the front foot completely pinning Bohs into their own half. Dundalk were warming and growing into the game gradually though and as the first half progressed they began to show more vigour in their attacking runs.
Georgie Kelly went close from a Dane Massey cross into the box but just couldn’t get his head to the ball with Talbot left to collect and restart for Bohs.
Moments later and it was Sean Murray with the chance. The lively Jamie McGrath spotted the early run of Murray past Finnerty and played a perfectly weighted through ball to the feet of Murray close to goal. With Talbot rushing out to put pressure on the striker Murray with a deft touch tried to dink the ball over the keeper but Talbot stayed on his feet saving comfortably in the end
With half an hour played and fair to say against the run of play the Jodi stand was rocking when Bohs took the lead through Luke Wade-Slater.
A fantastic move from the home side started with Danny Grant picking the ball up in midfield and spraying the ball out to the left wing for Wade-Slater to run onto leaving Massey caught out of position and sprinting back in an attempt to recover and stop the Bohs midfielder from getting a shot away.
Wade- Slater only had one thing on his mind and that was finding the back of the net. Once he got inside the box and saw Gary Rogers making a move he slotted the ball under the advancing Rogers before wheeling away towards the Jodi stand as he watched the ball all the way to the bottom corner.
Rob Cornwall’s evening came to a premature end minutes before the end of the first half with the Bohemians defender carried off on a stretcher with a leg injury after a coming together with Kelly following a cross into the box.
Keith Ward had a fantastic chance to double the home sides lead just before the break with the tricky midfielder displaying a great first touch to take the ball into his feet from a ball over the top by goal scorer Wade-Slater. However, Ward rushed his shot and cleared the crossbar for the last piece of action in the first half.
With the league title already in the bag and Dundalk seventeen points clear of second placed Shamrock Rovers ahead of tonight’s fixtures the away performance just wasn’t the type of performance you would typically associate with Dundalk with quite a few passes going astray as the game progressed and that final ball really letting them down.
Vinny Perth introduced stalwarts Sean Gannon and Michael Duffy into the game with sixty five minutes on the clock to see if they could muster up a few more chances for the away side up front who had so far failed to fire.
The reinforcements had plenty to do trailing 1-0 in the game but minutes after coming Perth made his changes and Bohs were 2-0 in front with a fantastic goal from Andre Wright.
Wright picked the ball up just outside the box and showed fantastic strength to shield the ball away from Hoare in defence. Despite the best efforts of Hoare to keep Wright at bay, the Bohs striker took the ball across the box and buried a low shot past Rogers to double the lead for the Gypsies.
With the security of a 2-0 lead behind them Bohs could afford to play with a bit of risk and adventure and a fantastic through ball from the silky Ward for youngster Ross Tierney almost led to the third goal of the night for Bohs.
Ward’s ball took Daniel Cleary out completely with the through ball for Tierney but the midfielder somehow managed to miscue his shot inches from goal and send the ball wide. A huge let off for Dundalk once again.
Into the final ten minutes and it was the turn of the lively Danny Grant to test Rogers in the Dundalk goal. His quick feet deceived the Dundalk rearguard with Grant unleashing a shot towards goal which inched narrowly wide of the post.
Michael Duffy pulled a goal back for Dundalk with the final kick of the game drilling a low shot across the box and into the net past Talbot but then followed the sound of the referees whistle to signal full time.
Bohs held on to record a really impressive victory over this years league champions and inch themselves ever closer to that coveted European place with just two games remaining.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Derek Pender, Rob Cornwall (Aaron Barry 43)James Finnerty, Paddy Kirk; Luke Wade-Slater, Ross Tierney,, Scott Allardice, Keith Ward (Dawson Devoy 82)Danny Grant, Andre Wright (Ryan Swan 90)
Subs not Used: Michael Kelly, Conor Levingston, Ryan Graydon, Michael Barker
Bookings: Paddy Kirk (82)
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Hoare (Lido Lotefa 71), Dane Massey, Andy Boyle, Daniel Cleary; Daniel Kelly ( Michael Duffy 65),Robbie Benson,Jamie McGrath, Sean Murray, Cameron Dummigan (Sean Gannon 65) Georgie Kelly
Subs not Used: Aaron McCarey, Chris Shields, Dylan Hand, Dean Jarvis
Bookings: Robbie Benson (40)
Referee: Graham Kelly
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Danny Grant