Bohs eye Europe after Dundalk run ends

Brilliant Bohemians smashed Dundalk’s domestic 31-match unbeaten run last night to all but secure their place in Europe next season.

Bohs eye Europe after Dundalk run ends

John Fallon

SSE Airtricity LeaguePremier Division

[team1]Bohemians[/team1][score1]2[/score1][team2]Dundalk[/team2][score2]1[/score2][/score]

Brilliant Bohemians smashed Dundalk’s domestic 31-match unbeaten run last night to all but secure their place in Europe next season. Vinny Perth’s Lilywhites will be seeking to complete the treble in the FAI Cup final on November 3, but now have to head to Lansdowne Road without their peerless record.

A goal in each half from Luke Wade-Slater and Andre Wright did the damage to clinch a full-deserved win for the Gypsies. Substitute Michael Duffy pulled back a consolation with the last kick of the game.

On 10 minutes, Dundalk’s Sean Murray ghosted into the box to get a sight on goal, but Scott Allardice did enough to force him into a tame effort at James Talbot.

Bohs, while holding their own in midfield, were struggling to ruffle Dundalk’s trio of centre-backs, but found joy through another route for the breakthrough on 28 minutes.

Left-winger Danny Grant spotted Wade-Slater haring into space and delivered a perfectly-weighted crossfield pass. With Dane Massey more advanced than usual, he was unable to track the run of the midfielder, though Gary Rogers made the job easier by racing outside of his area.

Wade-Slater then had the simple task of rolling his first-time shot along the turf into an empty net. It was the first time the Lilywhites were behind in the league since July and they should have conceded again in first-half stoppage time.

When Sean Hoare was dispossessed by Keith Ward, he had a run on goal but opted to check back onto his right foot before hoisting his shot over. By that stage, Bohs had lost defender Rob Cornwall. The giant defender had to be stretchered off with a dislocated knee but was back in Dalymount on his feet before the final whistle.

Dundalk have averaged more than two goals per game this season but struggled for potency here. They had one real chance between the two goals, but Georgie Kelly wasn’t quick enough to capitalise on Bohs keeper Talbot spilling a cross.

Apart from that, a couple of speculative shots from Hoare and Murray early in the second half that hardly tested Talbot were the best they could muster. Perth had enough, thrusting two flu victims, Michael Duffy and Sean Gannon, into the fray on the hour mark.

The expected onslaught for an equaliser didn’t come. Instead, a second from Bohs came just four minutes later. Rather than Dundalk snuffing out a Bohs move, Hoare allowed the ball stray from his control and Wright took full advantage.

Though the striker was still 25 yards from goal, he rifled the loose ball low and hard under the grasp of Rogers. Bohs teen Ross Tierney, producing another exceptional display in midfield, nearly grabbed a third, but sliced wide. Dundalk finally got one back at the death with Duffy’s close-range finish.

BOHEMIANS:

J Talbot; D Pender R Cornwall (A Barry 44), J Finnerty, P Kirk; R Tierney, S Allardice; L Wade-Slater, K Ward (D Devoy 82), D Grant; A Wright (R Swan 90).

DUNDALK:

G Rogers; D Cleary, S Hoare (L Lotefa 72), A Boyle; C Dummigan, R Benson, S Murray, J McGrath (M Duffy 60), D Massey; D Kelly (S Gannon 60), G Kelly.

Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).

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