Stephen Kenny’s side had looked unstoppable but last night’s defeat means their lead at the top is cut back to just three points.
With the loss went a run of 22 home matches in the league without defeat, stretching back to their loss to Limerick FC on September 27, 2013. This was also their first defeat in 21 league matches, stretching back to their 1-0 defeat away to St Patrick’s Athletic on September 5 last year.
Take nothing away from Bohs though, they were full value for the win. An early own goal from Gary Rogers might have given them a start manager Keith Long could only have dreamed of but they did superbly well to frustrate the Louth men from the off.
Ismahil Akinade led from the front in that regard with Bohs’ high pressing game leaving the Lilywhites frustrated for long periods.
Indeed, only a late penalty save from Rogers to deny Kealon Dillon — which came about after Paddy Barrett had been sent-off for a second bookable offence for a trip on Akinade in the box — denied the men from Dalymount a more comprehensive win.
The Lilywhites got off to the worst possible start after conceding only their second goal of the season on home soil after just 97 seconds. A heavy touch from Barrett allowed Akinade to dispossess him. The striker then teed up the inrushing Adam Evans for a shot that cannoned back off the crossbar, against the back of keeper Rogers and in for the unluckiest of own goals.
Bohemians’ lead lasted just eight minutes, however, as Daryl Horgan’s corner from the right was met with a bullet header by Dane Massey, who sent his effort across goal to the top left hand corner.
The champions largely dictated proceedings for the rest of the half and could have been ahead just two minutes later when David McMillan got on the end of Horgan’s cross from the left only to see his back post header brilliantly turned around the post at full stretch by Dean Delany.
On 32 minutes Horgan saw his shot deflect to safety off his own team-mate Towell.
It was largely one-way traffic at the start of the second half with McMillan wasting a glorious opportunity to give his side the lead in 63 minutes blazing over from four yards.
Andy Boyle had a header cleared off the line by Lorcan Fitzgerald five minutes later.
Having weathered the storm for long periods Bohs finished with a flourish. Akinade weaved his way into the area on 71 minutes only to fire tamely at Rogers in the end.
But three minutes Bohs went ahead as Fitzgerald’s left wing free was headed to the net by Mulcahy. Dillon’s penalty miss ensured a nervy final few minutes for the visitors but they managed to hold out for deserved win.
Rogers; Gannon, Barrett, Boyle, Massey (Grimes 66); Mountney, Shields (O’Donnell 76), Towell, Horgan; Finn; McMillan (Byrne 86).
Delany; Lopes, Prendergast, Best (Dillon 17), Fitzgerald; Moore, Creevy, Buckley (O’Brien 72), Mulcahy, Evans; Akinade (Kelly 92).
R Harvey (Dublin).