Dundalk enjoyed an unexpected victory at Dalymount Park on Friday night, as they managed to overcome a Bohemians team in what was a dull cup game until the second half. Their one-nil win now means Dundalk go into the draw for the FAI Cup semi finals for the first time since they won the cup in 2002.
The Gypsies started brightly; however, it took until the 14th minute for them to trouble the Dundalk defence. An excellent cross from Owen Heary was cleared away by Dundalk for a corner. The resultant corner was dealt with but it certainly looked like Heary and the right wing could be a source of danger to the Lilywhites.
Chances were at a premium as the game developed into a scrappy affair with Dundalk in particular resorting to long hopeful punts. Bohemians attempted to put some passing moves together, but far too often their passes were misplaced as they struggled to replicate their heroics from Tallaght on Monday night.
The best Dundalk could produce in the first half was three corners, none of which resulted in a chance. Although, the Bohs central defence of McMillan and Feely never looked comfortable defending any of these set-pieces.
Keith Ward and Karl Moore attempted to inject some spark into the Bohemians attack with some individual moments of skill, but the cutting edge they required still eluded them.
A lacklustre first half was brought to an end by Derek Tomney without any chance on target from either side.
Bohemians decided to change things at the start of the second half with McMillan once again converted from central defender to striker as they looked to benefit from his recent goal scoring form.
The first chance of the second half arrived after only three minutes. Nathan Murphy had a free kick in a really dangerous position for Dundalk. His shot sailed over the crossbar, giving Murray no reason to panic in the Bohemians goal.
The Louth side had another sight on goal on 52 minutes with Stephen McDonnell flashing his shot from outside the box just wide. The Lilywhites had momentum and it took them only three minutes to get another a chance. It was free which presented Chris Shields with a free header. He did not connect cleanly and it was blocked away by the Bohemians defence.
The Gypsies needed a moment of magic and Kevin Devaney almost provided it on 65 minutes. His curling shot from outside the box brought a save from Peter Cherrie and also registered the first shot on target of the game.
The game started to come to life as it began to flow from end to end and the deadlock was finally broken after 75 minutes. Dundalk again secured a free kick in a dangerous position. Murphy and Griffin stood over the ball, but it was Mark Griffin who curled his spectacular effort directly into the back of the net. Bohs tried to get straight back on level terms one minute later when substitute McEvoy blasted over.
The Gypsies were now searching frenetically for a goal and David Mulcahy crashed a powerful drive off the crossbar on 80 minutes. Four minutes later the Phibsboro side created another chance. Another second half substitute Andy Mulligan got to the by-line and put in an inviting cross, but somehow no Bohemians player managed to meet the ball.
With one minute remaining of normal time, Bohs had another chance as they desperately tried to rescue the tie. Pender’s long throw was flicked by McMillan but again there was no Bohs player to apply a finishing touch.
This was to be the last chance of the game despite four minutes of injury time being played, as Dundalk progressed to the semi-final stage of the FAI Cup for the first time in ten years.
Bohemians: Andy McNulty; Owen Heary (John O’Connor 82), Kevin Feely, Evan McMillian, Derek Pender; Keith Buckley, Keith Ward, David Mulcahy, Roberto Lopes, Karl Moore (Ryan McEvoy 69); Kenin Devaney (Andy Mulligan 82).
Subs not used: Andy McNulty (GK), Ken Carr, David Scully, Micheal Barker.
Bookings: Ward (61)
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; John Moutney, Derek Foran, Liam Burns, Nathan Murphy (Eoghan Osbourne); Michael Rafter (Paul Walsh 86), Chris Shields, Mark O’Brien, Stephen McDonnell, Gary Shanahan; Mark Griffin.
Subs not used: Lorcan Shannon, Chris Reilly, Bob McKenna, Conor McDonnell, William Woods.
Bookings: Griffin (11), Murphy (39), Foran (93).
Referee: Derek Tomney
Extratime.ie man of the match: Kevin Devaney (Bohemians).
Paul Walsh is a part-time freelance journalist based in Dublin and freelancing for a number of publications. Follow him on twitter @walshpots