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The title race is back on baby, as Bohs breach Fortress Dundalk

Stephen Kenny’s men must leave their league unbeaten streak at 25 games.

Dundalk's Chris Shields and Keith Buckley of Bohs.
Dundalk's Chris Shields and Keith Buckley of Bohs.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk 1

Bohemians 2

DUNDALK FELL to defeat at Oriel Park for the first time in the league since 2013, as an early Gary Rogers own goal and a Dave Mulcahy header undid the champions and opened up the title race in the Premier Division.

Stephen Kenny’s men must leave their league unbeaten streak at 25 games and the game at Sligo Rovers next will see them start once again from scratch. Dundalk were under par tonight, but for now this will be seen as a blip rather than anything more substantial.

Bohs for their part excelled throughout and certainly warranted something from the game. After Mulcahy’s 74th minute header had them in front, Kealan Dillon saw a late penalty saved which would have given the Gypsies a little more comfort in injury time. Dane Massey had earlier equalised for the home side.

In front of a watching Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane, the champions didn’t do themselves justice. They fell behind after just two mintes. When the haphazard Paddy Barratt lost possession in a dangerous area, debutant Ismahil Akinade played in Adam Evans. The striker’s shot canned off the crossbar and then Gary Rogers’ back and into the net.

Roy Keane Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

That was unfortunate and could hardly have been helped but Bohs had really come out of the traps and deserved their lead. However, Dundalk were level inside ten minutes. Daryl Horgan’s corner was met by the head of Massey – himself recently linked to the Republic of Ireland senior squad – and he arrowed a header across goal and past Dean Delany and some covering defenders.

The home side saw plenty of the ball but lacked the incision normally associated with them on home turf. David McMillan looks a striker lacking in confidence. His first half header was well saved by Delany before he passed up two presentable opportunities in the second half. He was substituted before the end as Dundalk chased the game.

In the second half, the Lilywhites presed. Richie Towell – the league’s top scorer – made Delany work before Andy Boyle’s header was cleared off the line by Fitzgerald. Moments later, the impressive Akinade outmuscled Barratt and rounded Boyle but his shot was saved.

Robbie Creevy celebrates Bohs' Robbie Creevy celebrates after the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The winner arrived on 74 minutes when Dave Mulcahy was free to glance in Fitzgerald’s left wing cross and it could have been more after Barratt was shown a second yellow late on for taking down former Bray man Akinade in the area.

Kealn Dillon took the spot kick but Gary Rogers palmed it away. It was futile in the end, as Dundalk could muster little in way of a reply.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Andy Boyle, Paddy Barratt, Dane Massey (Shane Grimes, 66), Chris Shields (Stephen O’Donnell, 76), Richie Towell, John Mountney, Ronan Finn, Daryl Horgan, David McMillan (Kurtis Byrne, 86).

Substitutes: Gabriel Sava, Brian Gartland, Darren Meenan, Jake Kelly.

BOHEMIANS: Dean Delany, Stephen Best (Kealan Dillon, 17), Roberto Lopes, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Karl Moore, Robbie Creevy, Dave Mulcahy, Keith Buckley (James O’Brien, 73), Ismahil Akinade (Dean Kelly, 91), Adam Evans.

Substitutes: Lee Stacey, Dylan Hayes, Jake Hyland, Adam Wixted.

REFEREE: Rob Harvey

Man of the match: Ismahil Akinade (Bohs)

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About the author:

Barry Landy

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