Bohemians have tightened their grip on second place in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after a narrow 1-0 win away to Finn Harps, who remain bottom of the league with four points from eight games.
Daniel Grant netted midway through the first half as Keith Long’s side moved four points clear of Dundalk.
With both sides fighting for points for contrasting reasons, the game witnessed a fast start.
The hosts fashioned an excellent chance just three minutes in, but Karl O’Sullivan narrowly missed out on a crucial touch on the right side after a header across goal from Kosovar Sadiki.
Keith Ward replied moments later with a deceptive free kick on the left side, it almost caught out Mark McGinley, but he managed to clear.
Harps were having trouble winning the crucial headers at both ends and it was one such event that resulted in the opening goal.
After a lobbed ball up top, Andre Wright cushioned a header into the path of the oncoming Daniel Grant who skipped past his man before slotting past McGinley into the bottom right corner.
Shortly after the half hour, the visitors nearly doubled their lead, with two chances in quick succession.
Dan Casey had his initial header blocked on the line and it bounced kindly for Wright who attempted an overhead kick which was saved on the line by McGinley before Connolly cleared.
Harps had a nice opportunity to level just before the break, McNamee playing a one-two with Cretaro, with the former playing a disguised pass forward, Cretaro latched onto it but was thwarted by a well-timed tackle from Casey.
Keith Long’s side had the first opportunity of the second half just five minutes in with Casey heading wide following a free kick on the right from Ward.
With only a slender lead, Bohs remained on top approaching the last 20 minutes of play as both sides made some attacking changes.
With just shy of ten minutes to go in the match, Ollie Horgan was given his marching orders by Referee Ben Connolly after getting in the ear of the officials one too many times for their liking.
Entering the last stretch nursing a 1-0 lead, Bohs remained on top but the hosts were by no means out of the game and came close to a leveller with Tony McNamee stinging the gloves of McGuinness from close range.
In a bid to force the issue late on, Harps moved Sadiki further forward, but it was in vain as Bohs held on for the victory.
Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Stephen Folan, Shane McEleney (Adrian Delap 58), Sam Todd, Dave Webster, Kosovar Sadiki; Barry McNamee (Tony McNamee 71), Karl O’Sullivan, Leo Donnellan (Alex Kogler 80), Ryan Connolly (Mark Coyle H/T); Raff Cretaro.
Subs Not Used: Tom McDermott, Ruairi Harkin, Mark Russell.
Booked: Folan(12), Connolly(28), Webster(90)
Bohemians: Stephen McGuinness; Andy Lyons, Rob Cornwall, Dan Casey, Anto Breslin; Keith Buckley, JJ Lunney, Keith Ward (Danny Mandroiu 76); Andre Wright, Kris Twardek, Daniel Grant (Ciaran Kelly 88).
Subs Not Used: James Talbot, Promise Omochere, Conor Levingston, James Finnerty, Dinny Corcoran.
Booked: Keith Ward(58), Keith Buckley(68), Anto Breslin(90).
Referee: Ben Connolly
Extratime.com Man of the Match: Keith Ward (Bohemians).