Darryl Geraghty reports from Dalymount Park
Dundalk leapfrogged Shamrock Rovers at the top of the table as they grabbed a vital three points in front of over 3500 fans at Dalymount Park
The pre-game showers made for some slickconditions, well suited to two footballing sides and they didn’t disappoint in a hugely entertaining end to end clash.
Both sides started brightly with Danny Mandroiu looking a threat, finding pockets of space behind Dinny Corcoran. But the reigning Champions began to flex their muscle, Michael Duffy looked the liveliest for the visitors and had a couple of efforts straight at James Talbot.
The hosts struggled to retain possession and the pressure told with just 22 minutes played as Bohs conceding their first goal from open play this season. Brilliant play down the left again from Duffy resulted in the ball falling to Georgie Kelly, in for the suspended Pat Hoban, and the front man turned on a six pence to hammer home low past the helpless Talbot.
The Gypsies responded well, and just minutes later the sold out home crowd had a heads in their hand moment. Huge gasps and some celebrations as they thought they had equalised through Danny Mandroiu’s 25-yard free kickthat went inches wide of Gary Rogers post.
The Bohs attacking midfielder really should have equalised just before the break linking up brillintly with fellow under-21 International Darragh Leahy. The young left back showed great determination to get to the end line and cleverly cut back to Mandroiu just inside the area, but his side footed effort was brilliantly tipped behind by Gary Rogers.
The second half took a while to come to life with a few breaks in play, one of which saw Bohs skipper Derek Pender replaced early on with what looked like a muscle injury.
The full blooded clash came back with a bang in a tale of two penalty controversies. One not given and one given. The home fans were in disbelief when it looked like Mandoiu was clumsily bundled over in from behind by Sean Gannon as the attacker looked to strike. Minutes later, Substitute Luke Wade-Slater brought down man of the match Duffy. Up stepped Chris Shields, only to see his spot kick saved by Talbot.
All belief the home side had mustered from the penalty save was sucked out of them shortly after as the Champions sealed all three points. Duffy’s beautifully floated free kick found Sean Hoare in a packed penalty are and the centre back was sharpest to nod home just in front of Talbot who looked to punch clear.
BOHEMIAN FC: James Talbot, Derek Pender,Darragh Leahy, Keith Buckley, Conor Levingston, Danny Grant, Danny Mandriou, Kevin Devaney, Dinny Corcoran, James Finnerty, Aaron Barry
Subs: Sean Bohan, Robbie McCourt, Andy Lyons, Keith Ward, Ryan Swan, Luke Wade-Slater, Michael Barker
Dundalk FC: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Chri Shields, Michael Duffy, Patrick McEleney, Georgie Kelly, Sean Murray, Daniel Kelly, Dean Jarvis
Subs: Aaron McCarey, Jordan Flores, John Mountney, Dane Massey, Cameron Dummigan, Daniel Cleary, Lido Lotefa
Referee: Ben Connolly