Macdara Ferris reports from Dalymount Park
The Lilywhites' lead at the top of table remains two points after they beat a resolute Bohemians side 2-0 at Dalymount Park on Friday.
Dundalk scored early through Pat Hoban and late thanks to Sean Hoare to claim the win against a Bohs side who certainly put it up to them.
It took all of four minutes for Dundalk to grab the first goal of the game, and it was no surprise it was the league’s top scorer Pat Hoban who got on the scoresheet.
He was given way too much space on the edge of the six-yard box and when Michael Duffy got up at the backpost to head back Sean Hoare’s cross, Hoban had his 12th goal of the season.
The Gypsies hadn’t learned their lesson as they had given Hoban a free header from a second-minute corner.
Bohs had assistant manager Trevor Croly calling the shots from the dugout with Keith Long suspended. The Gypsies lined out with a nominal three-at-the-back. However with Dundalk’s Duffy on the left and Dylan Connolly on the right they were pegged back for much of the first half.
Duffy in particular gave Keith Buckley a torrid time while Patrick Kirk, making his league debut for Bohs, did his best to contain Connolly on the opposite flank.
Having taken their time to come into the game, midway through the half Bohs began to take the game to the Lilywhites.
Unsurprisingly the impressive Dylan Watts was central to Bohs best play but Eoghan Stokes and some deft Dinny Corcoran touches played their part.
The closest they came though was a Rob Cornwall shot from distance.
Bohs were giving Hoare too much space to get forward and twice he shot from distance. Both were just off target with one clearing the bar and the other beating Supple but not his left hand post.
Supple then had to pull off a smart save to touch over a Duffy header from a Sean Hoare cross.
There was a big shout for a Bohs goal right on half time as Corcoran’s delicate touch pushed the ball by Gary Rogers only for Chris Shields to save Dundalk with a sliding clearance.
Bohs had the best of the early second half chances. Corcoran set up Watts who tried to lob the advancing Rogers but he couldn’t quite clear the goalkeeper.
Oscar Brennan tried from distance before Watts did likewise just before the hour mark. Rogers did well to touch the ball away as it curled towards the inside of the post.
The firm Dalymount Pitch didn’t help Dundalk on 65 minutes. Duffy’s corner came to Dundalk skipper Brian Gartland but his downward header hit the firm turf and bounced just over the bar.
Five minutes later the visiting fans thought their team had gone 2-0 up. Duffy’s free kick beat the Bohs wall but hit the side netting outside the post.
Stokes should have done better with his tame effort on 73 minutes for Bohs. A minute later somehow Duffy’s effort clipped the cross bar from six yards off to go over off another quality Hoare cross.
Duffy went close again with his effort requiring Supple to touch the ball around the post for a corner on 83 minutes.
That set piece eventually came to Hoare who headed home the second to wrap up all three points for Dundalk’s third league win in a row.
Stephen Kenny’s men just had a little too much quality in their play against a Bohs side who had beaten the bottom two in their last two league games. Next up for Dundalk is a match on Monday at home to Waterford.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Rob Cornwall, Ian Morris, Dan Casey; Keith Buckley, Oscar Brennan (Keith Ward 75), Daniel Byrne, Patrick Kirk; Dylan Watts; Dinny Corcoran, Eoghan Stokes (Danny Grant 75).
Subs not used: Jamie Cleary (gk), JJ Lunney, Philip Gannon, Kevin Devaney, Paddy Kavanagh.
Booked: Oscar Brennan (65).
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Seán Hoare, Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary, Dane Massey; Dylan Connolly (Krisztián Adorján 64), Robbie Benson (Dean Jarvis 86), Chris Shields, Michael Duffy; Jamie McGrath; Patrick Hoban (Marco Tagbajumi 80).
Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (gk), Stephen Folan, Ronan Murray. George Poynton.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
Attendance: 2,421 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Sean Hoare (Dundalk).