THEY made hard work of it for a spell, but Dundalk’s superb home record remains intact as a second-half revival, following a pretty poor first 45 minutes, saw Stephen O’Donnell’s side come from behind and earn what was ultimately a comfortable 3-1 win over Bohemians which moves them up to third place in the table.

undalk had high hopes this season for their young imports from cross channel but it was old warriors Pat Hoban and Robbie Benson, with a bit of help from former Bohs man Keith Ward, as well as a goal from new recruit Paul Doyle, who played the main roles in transforming a possible defeat into a morale-boosting win.

For their part Bohs, again, will mull over a night where they had been in front but ended up disappointed and pointless. A recent haul of one point from back-to-back away games, where they had led in both cases, will hurt the Bohs faithful.

Dundalk welcomed Bohs to Oriel Park with one of the best home records in the country, draws against the top two and wins over the rest, and even had the advantage of key man Benson being fit for his first start in a month.

But Dundalk looked off colour and out of sorts early on, though there was a nervous moment for Bohs on four minutes when Mark Connolly was just wide with a shot from Steven Bradley’s corner. Bohs looked more composed and comfortable on the ball, as a nice move involving Promise Omochere and Liam Burt forced a corner on 14 minutes. From that corner kick by Ali Coote, Conor Levingston scuffed his shot but defender Ciarán Kelly was alert while Dundalk slept and Kelly stabbed home his first goal of the season.

It took a sluggish Dundalk half an hour to rise themselves into a proper attack, James Talbot reaching out to touch a well-struck Benson shot onto the crossbar. As the break loomed, Dundalk looked for an opening but their efforts were either unconvincing or else they found Talbot too well-placed to deal with the danger.

Dundalk were a different animal after the break, though. It took them just five minutes to level the scores, a left-footed shot from Hoban with the assist from Benson. Bohs were still in the game at this stage, one dangerous effort from Kelly as he burst forward with Liam Burt also a threat.

But as morale was rising for the home side, Bohs dipped in all areas, and former Gypsy Ward carved open a tired-looking side with a defence-splitting pass on 71 minutes, Daniel Kelly then set up Benson to put Dundalk in front.

Ward had made an impact off the bench and another sub, Paul Doyle, made his mark on 78 minutes, a shot from Doyle taking a wicked deflection to beat Talbot, with no response from Bohs whose European ambitions took another hit while Dundalk look to close the gap on second-placed Derry City.

DUNDALK – Shepperd; Macari, Connolly, Bone, Leahy; Sloggett; Bradley (Ward 66), Adams (Doyle 66), Benson, Kelly (Martin 93); Hoban (McMillan 80).

BOHS – Talbot; Packham, Kelly, Doherty, Wilson; Devoy, Levingston (Flores 80); Burt (Twardek 72), Coote (Mullins 86), Omochere (Cassidy 80); Junior.

REF – S Grant

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