Date: 7:45 p.m. Sept. 18, 2009
Venue: Dalymount Park
The score line might suggest a classic. If truth be told it was anything but as the sporadic goals interrupted a game that was on occasion rather dull if not entirely boring. The Gypsies enjoyed the vast majority of possession and thoroughly deserved the win here but Dundalk did provide a nervy few minutes for Pat Fenlons’ charges toward the end of the ninety.
The home side started quite lively and in only the second minute Joseph Ndo played in Gary Keegan who shot wide of Peter Cherrie’s post.
It took only 13 minutes for Keegan to break the deadlock after he finished from close range when Paddy Madden knocked down a header following Bohs’ first corner of the game.
Bohemians continued to dominate the early exchanges and it wasn’t until the 19th minute that Dundalk got some rhythm going. Alex Williams failed to trouble stand-in keeper Matt Gregg after the Lillywhites first foray in the opposing box.
The form of the suspended Brian Murphy has kept Gregg warming Bohemians’ bench for most of the season and the young English native looked quite nervous in front of the large gathering in Phibsboro. In the 37th he made a mess of a long ball opting to clear up field when perhaps he should have let it run wide or even kicked for a throw in.
He completely mis-kicked the ball which ultimately fell to Ger Rowe who, brilliantly it must be said, chipped the keeper from thirty yards. Bohemians, who seemed adamant to get the victory weren’t knocked back by the equalizer and four minutes later Paddy Madden, who did everything right on the night bar score, found Conor Powell on the left wing. His pinpoint cross was met with characteristic aplomb by Jason Byrne who finished first time in spectacular fashion.
Byrne was back in familiar territory now and only six minutes after the break added a third for the Gypsies with another classy finish off his left peg. Finding himself in space after a hopeful punt up-field he held calm, picked his spot and made it three, in what at this stage looked like being a cake walk for the home side.
That goal however seemed to kill off the game and events grew increasingly tiresome with Bohemians cancelling out any threat posed by Sean Connor’s men. The Lilywhites did give us an interesting finale however when in the 85th minute Michael McGowan’s powerful free kick from the left took the faintest of deflections to sail past Gregg in the Gypsie goal.
In what had been a match contested in a much more honest fashion than previous games between the sides this season there was one salutatory moment to past indiscipline when Michael Collins got his marching orders after a scuffle in the box right at the death. He, or for that matter Dundalk can have little argument at the final outcome.
Bohemians: 1 Matt Gregg; 2 Mark Rossitter (14 Owen Heary 35 mins), 5 Brian Shelley, 6 Ken Oman, 3 Conor Powell; 7 Paul Keegan, 8 Joseph Ndo, 11 Killian Brennan (12 Anto Murphy 77 mins), 4 Glenn Cronin; 10 Jason Byrne (15 Glen Crowe mins), 9 Paddy Madden.
Substitutes not used: 16 Neale Fenn, 17 Marc Hughes.
Dundalk: 20 Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, 3 Nathan Murphy (19 Simon Kelly 77 mins), 6 Thomas Heary; 15 Michael Coburn; 8 Chris Turner, 11 Michael McGowan, 18 Ger Rowe, 4 Michael Collins; 10 Alex Williams, 7 Tiernan Mulvenna. Substitutes not used: 1 Chris Bennion, 12 Michael McGinlay, Martin McGowan, 17 Mark Griffin.
Turner, Collins. Sent-off: Collins.
Referee: Declan Hanney (Dublin).