A subdued Bohemians fell to their third consecutive Airtricity League defeat after being put to the sword by Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk at Dalymount Park. Two sloppy, scrappy, stingy goals either side of half time condemned the Gypsies to their fourth defeat in 5 games, and their fourth home game on the spin without scoring, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Following Tuesday’s disastrous injury time defeat to 10-man Limerick, Aaron Callaghan made two changes to his starting line-up, with Stephen Paisley and Karl Moore replacing Dave Mulcahy and Keith Buckley respectively. Happily for Bohs, striker Chris Lyons took up a spot on the bench to bolster the home side’s attacking options.


Indeed, attacking options are in desperate need for Bohs. Unfortunately for the home fans, they were treated to another 90 minutes of frustrating action, with the team in red and black struggling to create any clear cut chances. The Lilywhites featured former Bohs men Stephen O’Donnell and Keith Ward in central midfield, and that duo were the dominant force in a classy performance from the visitors, who continued their 100% away record.

After a relatively promising start, Dundalk began to take control after 15 minutes, and took the lead in the 20th. Dean Delany has had what can only be described as a nightmare week. After arguably being at fault for both Limerick goals on Tuesday, he made another error here. Richie Towell’s 30 yard free kick was struck well enough, but the former Shelbourne keeper only parried the shot in front of him. The ball dropped kindly for Tiernan Mulvenna, who had an easy 4 yard finish.

Credit to Delany, he picked himself up, shrugged off the ire from large sections of the Jodi Stand, and made a string of impressive saves. Mulvenna struck a low shot that Delany tipped around the post, and saved well again from John Dillon after the resulting corner. Mulvenna probably should have doubled the visitor’s lead after 35 minutes, but couldn’t connect with Ward’s devilishly whipped free kick.

Half time brought changes for Bohs as Dave Scully and Chris Lyons entered the fray. The isolated Kevin Devaney was hooked along with Shane Murray, and the subs formed a two-man strike force in the second 45. For the first 15 minutes, things looked up, with the lively Lyons latching onto some of Scully’s bustling knock-ons. Still, no real chances fell for Bohs, and you felt the second goal was always going to come.

When it did, it was yet another sloppy goal for Bohs to concede. A Roberto Lopes header was cleared out to Richie Towell, who let fly with a speculative 25 yard effort. The shot would almost certainly have gone wide, but took a wicked deflection off the charging Lopes, and wrong-footed Delany to seal the deal for Dundalk.

The last ten minutes were as frustrating as the first 80. Set-piece delivery was simply awful all night, with long range free kicks being floated out of play or failing to beat the first man on more than one occasion. When chances are few and far between, set pieces need to yield better results. Bohs have a full week to prepare for what becomes a crunch clash with Bray Wanderers in a week’s time.

Worryingly for Bohs, they now have an identical record to last season – 7 points from the opening 8 games. Given this season’s squad have had a much more settled pre-season, the home fans will be hoping for a repeat of the last term’s mid-season kick-on in the coming weeks.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle, Shane Murray (Dave Scully ’46), Michael Barker, Ryan McEvoy (Conor O’Brien ’75), Karl Moore; Kevin Devaney (Chris Lyons ’46). Subs not used: Keith Buckley, Michael Scott, Greg Murray, Shane Fitzgerald. 

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan, Andy Boyle, Mark Rossiter, Dane Massey; John Dillon, Richard Towell, Stephen O’Donnell, Keith Ward (John Mountney ’64); Tiarnan Mulvenna (Darren Meenan ’70), Vinny Faherty (Pat Hoban ’80). Subs not used: Kurtis Byrne, Stephen McDonnell, Sami Osobi,  Aaron Shanahan.

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