Niall Newberry reports from Oriel Park
History repeated itself at Oriel Park on Monday night as league leaders Dundalk like earlier in the season secured a late, late stoppage time win over Bohemians to extend their unbeaten run and stay top of the SSE Airtricity League.
The Gypsies had taken an early lead through Daniel Grant, but Dundalk fought back against the ten men of Bohs with Georgie Kelly equalising before Patrick Hoban dispatched a 96th-minute penalty.
Both sides were in action just three days ago and made changes with Dundalk drafting Sean Hoare, Dane Massey, Jordan Flores and Daniel Kelly back into the starting line-up for this encounter.
Bohemians made two alterations from their 1-1 draw at St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday with Andy Lyons and Ryan Swan both coming in for the experienced duo of Derek Pender and Dinny Corcoran.
Bohs went ahead after just two minutes when Robbie McCourt’s pass found its way to Grant and he drew Gary Rogers out of his area before beating the Dundalk goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Dundalk went in search of an immediate response and Sean Gannon did brilliantly on the right to get away from Darragh Leahy before finding Daniel Kelly, who forced James Talbot into a good save.
The Lilywhites really should have equalised when Patrick McEleney nicked the ball off Bohs before his perfectly weighted pass found Michael Duffy, who looked destined to score but instead fired wide.
Bohs weren’t content with just defending their lead though, and Daniel Mandroiu – who had earlier in the day signed a contract extension with the Gypsies – took a deflected shot which had Rogers at full stretch.
The visitors again came close to doubling their advantage just before the break when an uncharacteristic mistake from Gannon allowed Swan to have a pop at goal, but he shot wide.
The league leaders definitely needed to up the ante in the second period and they came close four minutes after the restart when Daniel Cleary turned over from Jordan Flores’ out-swinging corner.
Keith Long’s side had to change their game plan after they were reduced to ten men with substitute Ryan Graydon receiving his marching orders from Robert Harvey orders for two quickfire bookings.
The game swung in Dundalk’s favour after that and they came agonisingly close to drawing level when Duffy’s cross was almost turned home by Georgie Kelly, only for Leahy to clear off the line.
Dundalk continued to press and Hoban headed over from a Flores corner before Dane Massey’s pinged cross from the left was headed into the grateful arms of Talbot by substitute Georgie Kelly.
The striker did manage to find an equaliser on 66 minutes in what was far from a pretty goal when he finished from close range at the second attempt after his initial effort was looped into the air.
Talbot justified his status as the SWAI Player of the Month with two fine saves, first to deny Gannon’s cross-come-shot with his outstretched glove before tipping over a diving header from Hoban.
Just as there was the last time these sides met at Oriel, there was drama late on when Andy Lyons – who had minutes earlier headed Cleary’s effort off the line – conceded a penalty in the 96th minute.
The Bohs right-back was adjudged to have upended Dean Jarvis in the box and Hoban made no mistake from the spot to score his 10th goal of the season to keep the Lilywhites top of the pile.
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey (Dean Jarvis 84); Chris Shields, Jordan Flores (Sean Murray 64); Daniel Kelly (Georgie Kelly 56), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.
Subs not used: Aaron McCarey, Brian Gartland, Cameron Dummigan, Lido Lotefa.
Booked: Dane Massey (71).
Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, James Finnerty, Aaron Barry, Darragh Leahy; Robbie McCourt, Conor Levingston; Daniel Grant (Ryan Graydon 41), Daniel Mandroiu, Luke Wade-Slater; Ryan Swan (Ali Reghba 68 (Scott Allardice 80)).
Subs not used: Sean Bohan, Patrick Kirk, Michael Barker, Sam Byrne.
Booked: Ryan Swan (37), Ryan Graydon (46 and 54), Aaron Barry (59), Ali Reghba (72), Daniel Mandroiu (84), James Talbot (90+1).
Sent off: Ryan Graydon (54).
Referee: Robert Harvey.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Sean Hoare (Dundalk).
Highlights from Oriel Park as the Lilywhites came from behind to defeat @bfcdublin 2-1 thanks to goals from @georgiek2010 and @PaHoban10.— Dundalk FC (@DundalkFC) May 20, 2019
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