The relegation heat is well and truly on for Bohemians after another flat, lifeless defeat left the Gypsies just one point above the automatic relegation spot in the Airtricity Premier Division. Title-chasing Dundalk condemned Bohs to their 5th league defeat in a row after three calamitous, unanswered goals in front of a boisterous home support. In an extremely disappointing second half period, a section of Bohemians supporters audibly turned on Gypsies manager Aaron Callaghan for the first time of real notice during this disastrous run of form.

Goalkeeping errors, defensive mistakes and a ridiculous red card for captain Owen Heary sapped the life out of a clearly disheartened visiting team. Callaghan went for a more attacking 4-4-2 formation but chance and goals still failed to materialise, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


After an initially cagey opening quarter, Dundalk began to turn the screw. Dean Delany saved brilliantly at his near post following a powerful snap-shot from Kurtis Byrne. Unfortunately for the Bohs net minder, that good work was undone when Dundalk grabbed the opener on 27 minutes. Keith Buckley surrendered possession on the right wing and Dane Massey’s looped cross was misjudged by Delany – who could only flap as the ball cannoned off Dave Mulcahy, Pat Hoban, and dribbled into the net.

Bohs’ only real clear cut chance of note fell to Conor Murphy who wriggled his way into the Dundalk box on 35 minutes, however the home side’s bouncy astroturf pitch did him no favours as he couldn’t quite get it down before prodding wide. Dundalk finished the half stronger with a series of free kicks and corners hemming Bohs into their own half.

The opening 15 minutes of the 2nd half yielded little for both teams before a suicidal ten minute spell signalled a change in attitudes both on and off the pitch. First, the usually dependable Dave Mulcahy made what could be described as a schoolboy error of misjudging a floating ball allowing Hoban clean through on goal. The ball bounced kindly for the Dundalk striker who had the relatively simple task of nodding over the on rushing Delany to double the Lillywhites’ advantage. Just 7 minutes later, the game was all but done following another goalkeeping mistake from the ex-Shelbourne keeper. Hoban was a menace to Bohs all night – but there seemed to be little danger when the ball fell to him on the right hand side of the box almost at the by-line. His cross-cum shot was relatively powerful, but caught Delany out at his near post, and the keeper could only bat it into the top corner of his own net.

The atmosphere within the Bohemians fans turned from that point onwards, with manager Callaghan receiving the brunt of their criticism. To compound the misery, captain Owen Heary produced a moment of madness with 20 minutes remaining. Playing at right back, the 37 year old had endured a nightmare of a game – and his groin-high stamp on Hoban gave referee Neil Doyle little option but to show a straight red card. He will miss vital games against Bray Wanderers and Drogheda United; games where his experience could have come in handy.

Bohs ironically began to play a bit following the dismissal of Heary. The introduction of Chris Lyons, and new signings Dinny Corcoran & Lorcan Shannon added some freshness to the already defeated team.

Very few fans applauded the Bohemian players off the pitch, which is a very rare occurrence. To his credit, Bohs goalkeeping coach Fred Davis came out to reason with a group of supporters who were waiting at the side of the pitch at the end of the game. He reiterated Callaghan’s mantra of “young, inexperienced players” and pointed to the crucial next 3 weeks and games against relegation rivals. With Shelbourne closing to within a point at the bottom of the table, next week’s game against Bray becomes absolutely do or die for the struggling Gypsies.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan(69), Andy Boyle, Mark Rossiter, Dane Massey(Brian Gartland 53); Richie Towell, Stephen O’Donnell©; Darren Meenan, Francis McCaffrey(John Dillon78); Patrick Hoban, Kurtis Byrne. Subs not used: Vinny Faherty, Jordan Keegan, Brian Gartland, Aaron Shanahan.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Owen Heary©, Dave Mulcahy, Derek Pender, Luke Byrne; Michael Barker, Keith Buckley, Shane Murray(Lorcan Shannon 58), Karl Moore; Conor Murphy(Chris Lyons 76), Dave Scully(Daniel Corcoran 71). Subs not used: Roberto Lopez, Kevin Devanney, Santiago Folbo, Greg Murray.

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