Match report: Dundalk 0 Bohemians 1

Dundalk v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

Bohemians grabbed our first win of the season on Friday night with an impressive and morale-boosting win at Oriel Park thanks to an early Georgie Kelly penalty.

Keith Long had spoken in previous weeks about the team needing time to gel with nine new players incorporated in his squad, but this was the perfect tonic as Bohs put in an assured team performance to take all three points back down the M1.

Both sides entered the encounter off the back of a slower than expected start to the season sitting on a point apiece, and desperately hoping to get back on track.

For the visiting Gypsies, Long elected for two changes to the side that fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to St Patrick’s Athletic last Saturday.


In came Tyreke Wilson, for his first start to the season at left-back in place of Anto Breslin, while Keith Ward was included at the expense of Dawson Devoy.

Despite the changes, it was the Lilywhites who looked to enforce their game plan and try to dominate proceedings, with Andy Boyle clipping the crossbar with an early header and Michael Duffy cutting in from the left wing but dragging a tame shot past James Talbot’s near post.

Bohs dealt with these early jabs, and responded well landing a big blow of their own.

Ross Tierney, being deployed in the No 10 position, picked up the ball and drove at the heart of the Dundalk defence, showing brilliant pace and a low centre of gravity, and was eventually scythed down by wreckless challenge by Dan Cleary just inside the edge of the area.

Up stepped Kelly, who confidently sent Peter Cherrie the wrong way to give Bohs the lead against his former side, with just 12 minutes played.

The hosts made a big call in dropping under-fire keeper Alessio Abibi and bringing in the aforementioned Cherrie in a bid to try resolve their defensive woes.

They responded well to the early setback. Pat Hoban, on the occasion of his 200th appearance for Dundalk, went close with a header midway through the first half but was martialled well by central defensive duo Rob Cornwall and James Finnerty.

It was Bohs who carried the bigger goal threat in the first half. They looked dangerous on the break, and were almost gifted a chance to double their lead just after the half-hour mark when Kelly pounced on a sloppy play by Cherrie, dispossessing the keeper but couldn’t pull the ball back to Tierney in the area.

Just before the break, it looked as if Liam Burt had doubled the Gypsies’ lead but, with Cherrie beaten all ends up, he was unlucky to see his powerful low drive narrowly miss the bottom corner.

As expected, the FAI Cup winners came out in the second half with a fire in their bellies looking to push for an equaliser but were met with a strong resolute Bohs defensive unit.

But Bohs’ hard work was almost undone before the hour mark following some sloppy play from their own throw-in, and had Talbot to thank for keeping the lead intact as he denied Sam Stanton from point-blank range with one of the saves of the season so far.

Rory Feely, who had replaced the injured Andy Lyons at right back earlier in the half, delivered a dangerously whipped cross just past the penalty spot but the busy Tierney was unable to guide the ball goalwards, as Bohs continued to carry a threat despite less possession than their hosts.

Kelly also went close with a dipping strike just outside the edge of the area.

As their desperation grew, Dundalk opted for a more direct route, bombarding Talbot’s area with long hopeful crosses and despite appeals for penalties, including a handball claim against Cornwall, did not otherwise create many clear-cut opportunities to trouble the Bohs backline.

The clock ticked agonizingly towards the 90-minute mark and the final whistle was greeted with a sense of relief from the Gypsies players and staff as they secured their first win of the 2021 season.

Long and his troops will be hoping this much-improved performance and result can be the catalyst to make it two wins from two away to Waterford at the RSC next week.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie, Cameron Dummigan (Ryan O’Kane 78), Dan Cleary, Andy Boyle, Sam Stanton (David McMillan 63), Chris Shields (C), Raivas Jurkovkis (Darragh Leahy 63), Han Jeongwoo (Patrick McEleney 45), Ole Erik Midstkogen (Junior 63), Pat Hoban, Michael Duffy. Unused substitutes: Greg Sloggett, Jesus Perez, Val Adedokun, Alessio Abibi.
Bohemians: James Talbot, Andy Lyons (Rory Feely 50), Rob Cornwall, James Finerty, Tyreke Wilson, Keith Ward (Dawson Devoy 84), Ross Tierney, Keith Buckley (C), Ali Coote (Ciarán Kelly 83), Liam Burt, Georgie Kelly. Unused substitutes: Stephen McGuinness, Bradley Rolt, Jack Moylan, Robbie Mahon, Bastien Héry, Anto Breslin.
Referee: Rob Harvey.

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