Dundalk show cutting edge to return top

Despite the fixture coming in the middle of their Europa League double header with AEK Larnaca, Dundalk showed their commitment to domestic affairs by overtaking champions Cork City once more after the Rebels had moved two points clear.

Dundalk show cutting edge to return top

Dundalk 2 - Bohemians0

Despite the fixture coming in the middle of their Europa League double header with AEK Larnaca, Dundalk showed their commitment to domestic affairs by overtaking champions Cork City once more after the Rebels had moved two points clear.

The Lilywhites also have a game in hand on Cork, but this was by no means a vintage performance from Stephen Kenny’s side but their cutting edge proved the difference as Bohs struggled in the final third.

The Phibsborough outfit were on top for long spells but failed to make it count as goalkeeper Shane Supple kept them in the game with a string of top-class saves in the second half.

The end result was a replica of the Dalymount Park meeting in March when Hoban and Hoare were also on target in a 2-0 win.

Coming on the back of their European exploits three days earlier and ahead of the return leg in Cyprus this Thursday, Dundalk surprisingly only made one change, with Dean Jarvis coming in for Dane Massey at left back.

It showed their manager’s desire in relation to the league but it was the visitors who made the most of the early running with Daniel Kelly, who scored a brace in the recent 6-0 win over Bray Wanderers, conjuring up the first chance on eight minutes.

After being picked out by an Ian Morris free, he turned Brian Gartland in the box only to fire straight at Gary Rogers.

The Gypsies enjoyed most of the early possession either side of that chance but the home side were always dangerous.

On 17 minutes Michael Duffy cut in from the left only to fire just over while Hoban should have done better on 26 minutes when he could only fire over after Robbie Benson had picked JJ Lunney’s pocket to set his side off on the counter.

Those were warning signs ahead of the breakthrough on 31 minutes. Duffy’s corner was floated into the near post where Hoare rose highest to head past Supple.

Bohs pressed for an equaliser with their best chance falling Kelly’s way on 37 minutes when he cut in off the left only to be denied by Rogers at close range before Chris Shields hooked clear to deny him a rebound.

Any hopes Keith Long’s side had of a turnaround were all but ended within six minutes of the restart when Hoban converted from the spot, after Jarvis had been upended by Dan Casey.

It took some brilliant goalkeeping from Supple after that to prevent the Louth men adding to their advantage.

He twice denied Hoban a second, firstly with his feet on 55 minutes before a fine stop at close range eight minutes later.

In between, Hoare went close to his second when he met another Duffy corner only to head wide.

Supple was then called into action again on 70 minutes when he was forced to push clear Robbie Benson’s effort from the right.

Bohs did finish well but Ian Morris could only find the side-netting after Keith Ward’s free broke to him while Ward himself was denied by the butt of the post two minutes from the end.

DUNDALK: Rogers; Hoare, Gartland, Cleary, Jarvis; Shields, Benson (Chvedukas 75); Connolly (McEleney 59), McGrath, Duffy; Hoban (Kelly 85).

BOHEMIANS: Supple; Lyons, Morris, Casey, Leahy; Kelly, Buckley, Brennan (Byrne 56), Lunney (Ward 60), Devaney, Corcoran (Grant 75).

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Limerick)

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