Late goals from substitutes Paul Doyle and Daniel Kelly ensured that Dundalk ended their home campaign with a win that saw them leapfrog ahead of Bohemians into fifth place.
Doyle rifled home the opener from close range with 12 minutes to play before threading a subline pass through for Kelly to seal the victory in stoppage time to keep Stephen O’Donnell’s side in the hunt for a fourth-placed finish – and possible European qualification – going into the final day of the season against UCD on November 10th.
The first half proved to be scrappy for most parts and although it started to come to life as things wore on, the sides went in scoreless at the break.
Bohs had a couple of chances within the opening 90 seconds with Jonathan Afolabi denied at close-range in quick succession by Nathan Shepperd.
Dundalk lost Louie Annesley to a hamstring injury in the incident; the Gibraltar international was replaced by Doyle, with Greg Sloggett moving to centre-back alongside Andy Boyle.
Cameron Elliott headed an Archie Davies cross over the top on the half hour and Boyle saw a goal-bound header blocked by a Bohs defender, the Lilywhites captain’s loud appeals for a handball waved away by the referee.
The second half was a much better affair and James Talbot made a brilliant save to push Ryan O’Kane’s thundering half-volley from Elliott’s knockdown away before Shepperd got a big hand on Dylan Connolly’s floated effort to turn the ball over the bar when it momentarily looked like the Welshman was beaten.
Connor Malley, who impressed after coming on as a half-time substitute, then flashed a shot just past the post as Dundalk pushed for the opener and they eventually made the breakthrough with 12 minutes to play.
Just seconds after he was introduced, Patrick Hoban played a major role, knocking a Robbie Benson corner towards the far post and Doyle steamed in to hammer the ball into the roof of the net.
Afolabi wasted another two quickfire opportunities to pull the visitors level and Dundalk banked three valuable points in time added on when Doyle set Kelly away on the inside right and the former Bohemians star punished his old employers with a cool finish.
DUNDALK FC: Nathan Shepperd; Archie Davies, Andy Boyle, Louie Annesley (Paul Doyle 5), Hayden Muller; Robbie Benson, Senan Mullen (Connor Malley HT), Greg Sloggett; Ryan O’Kane (Daniel Kelly 66), Cameron Elliott (Patrick Hoban 77), Daryl Horgan (Sam Durrant 77).
BOHEMIANS: James Talbot; Bart Kukulowicz, Krystian Nowak, Kacper Radkowski, Paddy Kirk (James Akintunde 82); Adam McDonnell, Jordan Flores (James McManus 63); Dylan Connolly, James Clarke (Ali Coote 70), Danny Grant (Declan McDaid 70); Jonathan Afolabi.
REFEREE: Rob Hennessy.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|October 27, 2023||7:45 pm||Premier Division||2023 League of Ireland|