Sean O’Connor reports from Dalymount Park
A late Georgie Kelly penalty earned Bohemians a point on Friday night, in a feisty affair.
After beginning the match brightly, The Gypsies fell behind on the half hour mark after a defensive mix up between Tyreke Wilson and James Talbot. Dundalk could have gone two or three nil up through Greg Sloggett and Sean Murray but missed key chances that could have lifted them further out of the relegation battle.
The hosts began the second half much better and had early chances through Tierney and Omochere. However, Keith Long’s triple change with fifteen minutes remaining paid off.
Substitute Ali Coote was taken down in the box, and Bohs were awarded a penalty after consultations with the linesman.
Bohemians returned from a two-week break, following Andy Lyons, Dawson Devoy and Ross Tierney’s involvement with the Ireland under 21s. James Finnerty and Stephen Mallon both missed out through injury.
In their three meetings so far in 2021, The Gypsies had won the first two, including a 5-1 thrashing at Dalymount last May. Dundalk got the better of Bohs last month with Sam Stanton and Patrick Hoban scoring in a 2-1 win at Oriel Park.
400 Dundalk fans made the trip down South, Dalymount’s biggest away attendance since March 2020. Bohemians’ Irish under 21 trio all returned to the starting eleven with Rob Cornwall captaining The Gypsies.
Vinny Perth made one change to the side that beat Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park last week. Sami Ben Amar replaced the suspended Cammeron Dummigan. Sonni Nattestad returned from international duty to make the bench for the visitors, while Raivis Jurkovskis missed out through suspension.
The game started at a frantic pace, with early chances at both ends. Liam Burt was an early threat down the left-hand side. The game was stopped briefly, as stewards were called to remove flares belonging to the travelling support. With the roof of the Des Kelly stand now removed, the smoke rose high into the Dublin seven sky.
Bohemians had the lions share of the possession in the opening twenty minutes, but Dundalk looked a threat on the counter on three occasions.
Burt was taken down by Cleary on the edge of the box, but Wilson could only send his free kick into the wall. Stanton required treatment having blocked the free with his head.
The Lilywhites, who were under the cosh for the opening period, took the lead on the half hour mark. An poor back pass from Wilson placed Talbot in no man’s land. The ball bounced to Sami Ben Amar who chipped into an empty net to send the travelling support wild.
The Gypsies responded well initially. Wilson went close again from a free kick but Peter Cherrie collected confidently.
David McMillan replaced Patrick Hoban on the stroke of half-time, as it looked like the 30-year-old striker was struggling with a knock. Ben Amar’s thirty-yard effort was the last action of the half, as the Lilywhites looked well on top at the half-time whistle.
The Gypsies began the second half much brighter. A long pass found player of the month Georgie Kelly who chested down to Tierney, but the twenty-year-old sent his effort wide.
Devoy broke through the middle with a dazzling run and found Kelly, who went down and appealed for a penalty which wasn’t given. Tierney went down too shortly after but his appeals were waved away.
Despite starting the second half well, it was the visitors who should have gone two goals up. Just before the hour mark, Sloggett’s effort from six yards was well saved by Talbot. A minute later Sean Murray went through one on one but skied his effort high over the Des Kelly end.
Bohs dealt with the pressure and responded. Promise Omochere’s curling effort was saved brilliantly by Peter Cherrie before the goalkeeper denied an effort from the resulting corner.
Dundalk should have gone two goals up with twenty minutes remaining. Will Patching strolled through the Bohs midfield, before driving his shot at Talbot. Talbot spilled but McMillan blazed his follow up high over the bar.
Andy Lyons powerful effort after running half the pitch, was spilled by Cherrie, although Kelly was just too late to follow up on it. Idowu, who looked a threat after being introduced, sent a superb cross into the six-yard box but it was cleared, as Bohs began really knocking on the door.
The host’s persistence paid off in the dying minutes. After awarding a free out initially, referee Damien McGraith consulted the linesman before pointing to the spot for a foul on Coote.
Kelly stepped up, and his effort slipped underneath Cherrie’s body to equalise against his former club. It was the Donegal man’s 19th goal of the season, and it looks like he will win the golden boot at this stage.
Up next for The Gypsies is a trip to Tallaght Stadium on Monday, to face the Champions-elect in the last Dublin Derby of 2021. Dundalk will also make a trip to the southside as they face St. Patrick’s Athletic in the FAI Cup semi-final next Friday.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Rob Cornwall (c), Anto Breslin, Andy Lyons, Tyreke Wilson; Dawson Devoy (Keith Ward 81), Liam Burt (Roland Idowu 73), Conor Levingston (Keith Buckley 73), Promise Omochere (Jamie Mullins 73), Ross Tierney (Ali Coote 60); Georgie Kelly.
Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Ciaran Kelly, Sean Grehan, Cole Kiernan.
Booked: Anto Breslin (40), James Talbot (60).
Sent off: None.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle (c), Darragh Leahy; Michael Duffy, Sean Murray, Will Patching (Mayowa Animasahun 80), Greg Sloggett, Sam Stanton; Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 45), Sami Ben Amar (Daniel Kelly 67).
Subs not used: Cameron Yates, Alessio Abibi, Sonni Nattestad, Han Jeongwoo, Ryan O'Kane, Mark Hanratty.
Booked: Daniel Cleary (32) ,Will Patching (33) Sami Ben Amar (50).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Damien McGraith
extratime.com Player of the Match: Dawson Devoy
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