Lilywhites Go Top At Dalymount
Dundalk moved top of the SSE Airtricity League table, on goal difference, on Friday evening with a 2-0 win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
Goals in either half from Georgie Kelly and Sean Hoare saw the champions secure back-to-back away victories in the league for the first time in 2019.
The Lilywhites were on the front foot early on and had Michael Duffy threatening with an early effort however it was charged down and into the path of James Talbot.
Patrick McEleney had an ambitious effort from 40 yards also easily picked up by the goalkeeper and the returning Sean Murray blazed over the bar also in a lively opening 15 minutes.
Duffy had the best opportunity of the opening stages when Georgie Kelly’s clever lay off found the winger. He stepped inside and fired a low drive to the bottom left but Talbot was equal to it.
Dundalk deservedly took the lead in the 22nd minute.
Duffy again caused problems and as he crossed down the left, the ball rebounded into the path of Georgie Kelly who turned brilliantly and fired low to the net past Talbot from 12 yards.
McEleney then raided on goal when Dean Jarvis put him in and it all opened up for a shot for him however he could only steer it to the right and wide.
Bohs had their first real chance around the half hour mark when Danny Mandroiu fired inches wide with a free-kick from 25 yards.
Mandroiu came closer just before half-time when he got himself free on the edge of the area to meet Darragh Leahy’s pull back however Gary Rogers was able to make the save down to his right.
Dundalk were able to go in 1-0 up at the break and almost made it 2-0 immediately after when McEleney’s outstanding cross was met by Kelly who was looking for his second however he could only knock it over the bar.
Murray then had a cross which turned a shot and almost caught Talbot out but the netminder recovered well to claim the ball before it went under his crossbar.
Shields was next to have a go but his effort, from 30 yards, sailed well over the crossbar.
Duffy won a free-kick on the left that Murray stood up to take however his curling effort was gathered at the second attempt by the goalkeeper.
With 20 minutes remaining on the watch, the hosts were looking for a penalty when Danny Grant was one on one with Sean Hoare however he went down to easily and the referee rightly waved play on.
At the other end 5 minutes later, Dundalk were awarded one when Duffy was through on goal and Luke Wade-Slater brought him down.
Shields stepped up to take however Talbot pulled off an outstanding save to keep it 1-0.
It would be forgotten about moments later though as Duffy’s wonderful free-kick caused all ends of panic and it was nodded in by the head of Sean Hoare who beat everyone to find the net.
It was almost 3-0 with the next attack when Daniel Kelly showed blistering pace on the right to get in behind and his cross was brilliant but Talbot managed to claw it away just as Duffy was arriving at the back post to keep it at 2-0.
It should have been 3-0 with the next attack too as Dundalk broke from their own corner with Duffy who played in Daniel Kelly once more but his shot was saved by the legs of Talbot.
Jarvis had one final opportunity to add to the scoreline however his shot from just inside the area went wide of the target.
And so it finished 2-0 with an accomplished display from the champions to see them top for the maiden time in the campaign.
BOHEMIANS: James Talbot; Derek Pender (capt) (Andy Lyons 52), Aaron Barry, Conor Levingston, Darragh Leahy; Keith Buckley, James Finnerty; Danny Mandroiu, Kevin Devaney (Keith Ward 60), Danny Grant (Luke Wade-Slater 73); Dinny Corcoran.
Substitutes not used: Sean Bohan (GK), Robbie McCourt, Michael Barker, Ryan Swan.
Booked: Pender (37)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Sean Hoare, Dean Jarvis; Chris Shields, Sean Murray (John Mountney 73); Daniel Kelly (Cameron Dummigan 88), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy; Georgie Kelly (Jordan Flores 82).
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Daniel Cleary, Lido Lotefa, Dane Massey.
Booked: McEleney (23), Jarvis (55)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Ben Connolly