Dundalk will be aiming to bounce back from last week’s defeat when they face Bohemians at a sold-out Dalymount Park on Friday night.

The Lilywhites were undone by two first-half goals from newly-promoted Galway United at Oriel Park, but it was the performance that left head coach Stephen O’Donnell and supporters most disappointed.

Dundalk had opened the season with a deserved draw at reigning champions Shamrock Rovers and will hope to rediscover that form when they return to the capital.

Having snatched a point at the death against Sligo Rovers in their first home game, Bohemians collected all three at Saint Patrick’s Athletic in their second outing thanks to a cool 85th-minute penalty from former Dundalk midfielder Jordan Flores.

That result sees Declan Devine’s side sit second in the table alongside Shelbourne, behind only Waterford on goal difference at this early stage.

Dundalk and Bohemians met in the Leinster Senior Cup in early February, but it was a fixture which saw both teams field their U20 players.

In the league last season, Dundalk were beaten twice at Dalymount Park, going down 2-1 in February before a costly 3-2 loss in July having led going into the last 10 minutes.

O’Donnell’s side took four points from their two home meetings with the Gypsies, who again showed their appetite for late goals in the first of those in May, coming from 2-0 down with 13 minutes remaining to claim a point.

The last league clash, on the Carrick Road in October, ended 2-0 to Dundalk thanks to goals in the final quarter-hour from Paul Doyle and Daniel Kelly.

Dundalk’s last win at Dalymount Park came in August 2022 when Tadgh Ryan’s bizarre own goal in first-half injury-time was the difference.

This is a busy few days for teams in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division with another round of fixtures on Monday, Dundalk welcoming Sligo to Oriel Park while Bohs travel to Drogheda.

Team News

Dutch midfielder Koen Oostenbrink is back in the squad after missing the opening two games of the season with a hamstring strain.

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Quotes – Stephen O’Donnell

“My overriding feeling after the Galway game last Friday was that it was a bit of a missed opportunity. From a principal point of view, we didn’t play the game properly, right from the start, and we gave up two poor goals but the reaction has been good this week. 

“We know what went wrong and what we need to clean up on and with a new bunch of players, it might turn out to be a positive that we have such clarity straight off the bat and we know how to go about things so early in the season.

“We’re two games in and nobody around the league has maximum points and that’s the way the league is going to be this season again. You look at the fixtures every week and it’s very hard to pick winners.

“Bohs will be delighted with last week’s win at Richmond Park and there’s a little bit of the unknown about them because they’ve brought in a lot of new players but we have a gauge of them from the opening two games and we’re looking forward to going up there.

“It’ll be a full house at Dalymount Park and the atmosphere will be brilliant. We’ll have a great travelling support so it’s another game to savour.”

Quotes – Jamie Gullan

“I think as a footballer, you like when games come thick and fast. If you win a game, you want to carry that on to the next game as quickly as possible, and if you lose one, you’ve only got two or three days until the next one, so you can turn it around really quickly.

“It will be important for us over the next week to build some momentum and try to get us going from there. I’m excited for these games against Bohemians and then Sligo on Monday night.

“When you lose a game and perform badly, you just want the next game to come so you can try to make it right. It’s always a longer week when you lose. I can’t wait for Friday to come and hopefully, we’ll get the three points.

“It felt like we all gelled as a group fairly quickly against Shamrock Rovers on the opening night. Then last Friday, you could see it was a lot of new players and it had the opposite feel to it.

“We’ve worked really hard in training, we’re all close off the pitch, and we’re only going to get better as we go and gel together. That starts from Friday.”

Match Officials

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea
Assistants: Michelle O’Neill and Brian Fenlon
Fourth Official: Paul Norton