Dundalk’s Georgie Kelly celebrates scoring their first goal. Ciaran Culligan/INPHO
closely fought

96th-minute penalty sees Dundalk edge past 10-man Bohs

The Dublin side had shocked the league leaders after just two minutes when Danny Grant finished well from a difficult angle.

Dundalk 2

Bohemians 1

Keith Wallace reports from Oriel Park

PATRICK HOBAN REPEATED the trick as Dundalk stole all three points with a 96th-minute penalty, as they held onto top spot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, after coming from behind to down 10-man Bohemians at Oriel Park on Monday night.

Third-placed Bohs had shocked the league leaders after just two minutes when Danny Grant finished well from a difficult angle.

That was a blow that Dundalk struggled to recover from in a first half where their only clear opening was spurned by Michael Duffy.

They were lucky not to find themselves further behind at the break, after a rare mistake from Seán Gannon, but Ryan Swan failed to accept the gift as he struck poorly off target.

Ryan Graydon had only entered from the bench for Bohs on 41 minutes, but early in the second half, he was dismissed, after picking up quick-fire yellow cards, and it proved a match-changing moment.

Bohs had their goalkeeper James Talbot to thank for keeping them ahead on the hour-mark, when he produced an incredible block to deny Georgie Kelly.

However, Kelly was the man to level midway through the half, when he hammered into the net, after a Duffy corner eventually fell to his feet.

Dundalk were camped in Bohs territory for the remainder of the game. The visitors thought they had done enough to hold out, but deep into injury time, substitute Dean Jarvis was taken down in the box, and up stepped Hoban to score a priceless winner.

Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth had introduced four fresh faces to his lineup following the comfortable win in Cork 72 hours earlier. Seán Hoare returned from suspension and joined Dane Massey, Jordan Flores and Daniel Kelly in the starting XI, as Brian Gartland, Dean Jarvis, Seán Murray and the banned John Mountney dropped out.

Bohemians were without two of their more experienced players, with Derek Pender and top scorer Dinny Corcoran absent. They were replaced by Andy Lyons and Swan, in Keith Long’s only switches from Friday’s draw at Saint Patrick’s Athletic.

Dundalk were caught cold inside two minutes. From a promising attack of their own, Patrick McEleney’s attempted through ball for Flores was cut out. With space in midfield, Bohs broke at pace and cut the home defence open, as Grant raced onto the ball, rounding Gary Rogers and firing to the net from a tight angle.

The reigning champions almost responded on six minutes when Gannon fed Daniel Kelly in the box, but his shot was pushed over by Talbot.

On 16 minutes, it should have been 1-1. McEleney produced a slice of magic and played in his fellow Derry native Duffy on the left of the area, but well-placed and with time, he surprisingly fired wide.

Bohs were happy to sit in, although Danny Mandroiu did see a threatening shot deflected off target.

Dundalk needed inspiration from somewhere, with the hosts flat both on and off the pitch. Centre-half Daniel Cleary should have done better with his header after a fine corner delivery from Flores, but they were making little inroads in open play.

Bohs – who lost goalscorer Grant to injury — wasted a glorious opportunity to double their advantage right on half-time. A terrible mix-up in the Dundalk defence gifted possession to Swan, but he fired a poor shot past the post to the relief of Gannon in particular.

On 49 minutes, Cleary again failed to find the target after connecting with another excellent Flores corner at the back post.

Bohs were then reduced to 10 men when substitute Graydon was sent-off after picking up two yellow cards in the space of just eight minutes.

Dundalk then thought they were level on the hour mark. Flores was taken out in the attack, but the referee played advantage, with Duffy crossing for Kelly only for Talbot to produce heroics to block his close-range shot. Talbot then gathered a Kelly header after he connected with a good Massey cross.

It would be a case of third time lucky for Kelly, who blasted in Dundalk’s 66th-minute equaliser, after Duffy’s corner came down to him.

Bohs introduced Ali Reghba and he was fortunate not to suffer the same fate as Graydon, with his manager deciding to sub his player after just 12 minutes of action following persistent fouling.

Talbot looked to have sent the Gypsies back down the M1 with a share of the spoils as he tipped over Hoban’s 88th-minute header, before Andy Lyons cleared off the line from Cleary.

However, there was drama still to come deep into stoppage time, when Jarvis was fouled in the area, and Hoban kept his cool to take all three points, in a near-identical end to when the teams met at Oriel Park last month.

DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers, Seán Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Seán Hoare, Dane Massey (Dean Jarvis 84), Chris Shields, Jordan Flores (Seán Murray 64), Daniel Kelly (Georgie Kelly 56), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy, Patrick Hoban (c).

BOHEMIAN FC: James Talbot, Andy Lyons, James Finnerty, Aaron Barry (c), Darragh Leahy, Robbie McCourt, Conor Levingston, Danny Grant (Ryan Graydon 41), Danny Mandroiu, Luke Ward-Slater, Ryan Swan (Ali Reghba 68, Scott Allardice 80).

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).

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