Dundalk 1-0 Bohemians
Wayne Hatswell’s 76th-minute close-range effort gave Dundalk their first league win over Bohemians in almost nine years as Ian Foster ended yet another hoodoo at the first attempt with a 1-0 victory over the champions at an electric Oriel Park on Friday night. Bohs dominated possession for long periods, however, they never seriously threatened Peter Cherrie and Dundalk gradually grew into the game, Neale Fenn’s effort which forced Barry Murphy to tip around the post on the hour-mark giving the visitors a taster of what was to come. They failed to heed the warning, though, and Hatswell bundled in from a Ross Gaynor corner to seal the club’s first league win over their Dublin rivals since September 2001.
Dundalk started with the same team for the seventh successive game, although JJ Melligan was forced to retire after just 26 minutes, with young striker Johnny Breen replacing him. Throughout the first half, Bohemians dominated, but for all the ball they seen, they failed to really trouble the home goal. Their first real chance came just past the quarter-hour when Mark Quigley cut in on the left-hand side of the box but his low shot was pushed away by the feet of Cherrie. Bohs threatened again on the half-hour but this time Jason Byrne headed off target after connecting with a cross from the right by Gareth McGlynn. Dundalk’s only real chance of the opening period came shortly after that when Fenn and Fahrudin Kuduzovic combined well with the Bosnian star’s flick almost putting Johnny Breen in, but Jason McGuinness got there first to put the ball behind.
With 19 of the sides’ 22 goals this year coming in the second half it was no surprise that the half-time score read 0-0. After the break the game started in much the same vein, the first half-chance falling to Glenn Cronin eight minutes in, his shot from the edge of the area being headed over by Byrne inside the six-yard box. Bohs continued on the front foot and Quigley teed up Cronin but his effort was brilliantly blocked behind by Cherrie. Against the run of play Dundalk created their best chance of the game approaching the hour-mark. Gaynor won possession on the halfway line and passed to Stephen Maher who setup Fenn, the former Bohs striker’s 18-yard shot being deflected and almost deceiving Murphy who recovered well to push the ball around the post. Dundalk grew in confidence following that and the winner arrived 14 minutes from time. Gaynor was again the creator as his corner was headed goalwards by Tom Miller, Murphy somehow preventing the ball from crossing the line before Hatswell fired the rebound in, creating the biggest eruption seen at the border venue in many, many years.
NICE ONE Man of the Match: TOM MILLER (Dundalk) – it’s hard to believe that Miller is only 19 and has never played first-team football before. It was another excellent and fearless performance by the midfielder who only nine games in has already proven to be the find of the season. In another fine all-round team display, Miller’s midfield partner Stephen Maher also shone.
DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Garry Breen, Liam Burns, Wayne Hatswell; JJ Melligan (Johnny Breen 26), Tom Miller, Stephen Maher; Ross Gaynor, Neale Fenn (Ciarán McGuigan 83), Fahrudin Kuduzovic (Michael Synnott 91).
Goal: W Hatswell (76).
Booked: W Hatswell (77).
Unused Subs: Matt Gregg (GK), Tiarnán Mulvenna.
BOHEMIAN FC: Barry Murphy; Brian Shelley, Jason McGuinness, Stephen Gray, Mark Rossiter; Gareth McGlynn (Killian Brennan 72), Paul Keegan, Glenn Cronin, Ruaidhri Higgins (Paddy Madden 64), Mark Quigley (Aaron Greene 80); Jason Byrne.
Booked: G Cronin (91).
Unused Subs: Chris O’Connor (GK), Conor Powell.
Referee: Dave McKeon (Meath).