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Dublin: 9°C Monday 12 April 2021

10-man Bohs punished by late whitewash from champions

Two sides with perfect starts to the season met in Dalymount tonight. Something had to give.

Dane Massey celebrates the opening goal of the game.
Dane Massey celebrates the opening goal of the game.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Bohemians 0

Dundalk 3

SOMETHING HAD TO give as league leaders Bohemians and champions Dundalk put their clean sheets and 100% winning starts on the line.

It was the visitors who emerged with both intact thanks to David McMillan’s third goal in two league matches in the first-half and late strikes from substitutes Jake Kelly and Darren Meenan.

The opening goal came against the run of play with Bohemians looking the better side in the first 25 minutes, passing the ball well although without creating any real chances.

The well placed referee waved away penalty claims from the home team after Adam Evans’ cross from the left came off the arm of Brian Gartland inside the box after 14 minutes.

Seven minutes later, Dundalk’s goal was living a charmed life when a corner headed down by Evans to Anto Murphy who fired it off the bar before his centre-half partner Derek Prendergast’s overhead kick whizzed past the goal face and wide.

Bohs held tight until the 27th minute when Daryl Horgan pumped the ball back into the box where it bounced off a couple of heads before McMillan headed it at goal and into the net with the aid of a deflection.

The goal seemed to invigorate the away team who really got into the faces of their hosts and put a stop to their flowing moves around the park while looking more dangerous in the attack themselves.

McMillan had a great chance to complete a brace just before the half hour mark when the striker tried to sweep home a John Mountney cross from just inside the box but Stephen Prendergast was excellent in getting the block in.

The Bohemians centre-half was lucky not to concede a penalty four minutes later when he tripped the goalscorer inside the area but again, the referee said no.

Richie Towell who was really starting to grow into the game had a chance to double the lead right before the half-time whistle half-volleying a shot into the ground which Delany just about managed to gather.

Anto Murphy off Bohs Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The Dundalk midfielder pulled a much better save out of Delany minutes after the restart, hammering a superb effort from about 25 yards but the Bohemians keeper dived high to tip it around the post.

It looked like disaster then for Keith Long’s team when Anto Murphy was given a second yellow card which will be debated but although he won the ball, the defender looked to have dived in off his feet.

Just like McMillan’s goal invigorated Dundalk, the dismissal seemed to do the same for Bohemians who dropped Lopes into the back four.

The next chance fell to the numerically challenged team when striker Dean Kelly had his first real chance in the 63rd minute with a lovely chest down but Gary Rogers got down to save it well.

Paddy Kavanagh was the next man to have a pop when Dundalk failed to clear their lines from a free into the box and the home winger latched onto the rebound before driving a fierce shot at goal but Rogers turned it away for a corner.

Stephen Kenny Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Evans came agonisingly close to finding a leveller in the 73rd minute as Pender put in a superb cross from the corner quadrant which the winger hit first time from just outside the six yard box but Rogers and Andy Boyle combined to block the effort.

As the game wore on, the home team began to tire and Dundalk’s second and third goals really exposed ten-man Bohemians with the fresh legs of the three substitutes helping to catch the home team on the break.

In the 83rd minute Darren Meenan’s measured through ball from the centre of the field sent Kurtis Byrne flying past Roberto Lopes and through on goal but unselfishly Byrne squared the ball for Jake Kelly to sweep in at the far post.

With just three minutes left to play the counter-attacking visitors caught their opponents on the break again and Towell found Meenan out wide in the box before the midfielder blasted it past Delany whose hand wasn’t strong enough to keep the rocket out.

Bohemians: Delany, Pender (C), Murphy,  Lopes, Fitzgerald, Prendergast, Buckley (Dillon 67), Creevy, Kavanagh (Griffin 67), Evans, Kelly (Byrne 75). Substitutes: Moore, Hayes, Wixted, Steacy.

Dundalk: Rogers, Shields, Gartland, Boyle (C), Gannon, Horgan, Finn (Byrne 77), Massey, Towell, Mountney (Meenan 64), McMillan (Kelly 80). Substitutes: Grimes, Barrett, O’Connor, Sava.

Referee: Derek Tomney.

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About the author:

Stephen Doyle

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