DFC | Ciaran lands a Killer blow as Dundalk FC leave Dalymount with a last-gasp win

SSE Airtricity League | Bohemians 0–1 Dundalk FC

Ciaran Kilduff celebrates his 89th minute winner for Dundalk at Dalymount Park. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Ciaran Kilduff came off the bench yet again to hit a crucial goal, his 89th-minute header giving Dundalk all three points against Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

Introduced just eight minutes earlier, the big striker managed to get on the end of Jamie McGrath’s well-worked cross to guide an effort past Shane Supple and give Dundalk their fifth win on the trot.

The result, which cuts Cork City’s gap at the top of the table back to nine points, was the perfect send-off for Stephen Kenny’s side ahead of their Champions League clash with Rosenborg.

The Lilywhites have now won every game since returning from the mid-season break, scoring 16 and conceding none in the process. It’s exactly the kind of return that Kenny would have demanded following the 3–0 loss to the Leesiders on June 2nd.

The Dundalk boss handed a full debut to new signing Dylan Connolly, the explosive winger wearing the number 23 shirt.

Connolly was one of three changes to the side that beat Bray Wanderers on Friday night with Jamie McGrath and Michael Duffy dropping to the bench. Stephen O’Donnell missed out completely with the hamstring injury he picked up at The Carlisle Grounds.

For Bohs, Georgie Poynton and Ciaran O’Connor, who are both on loan at Dalymount Park, were ineligible to play against their parent club.

An evenly matched first half saw both sides struggle to make an impact in the final third. The hosts shaded it when it came to chances but they were very much of the half variety as opposed to clear-cut.

Ten minutes had been played when Keith Long’s side put together an incisive move. Keith Ward left Dane Massey for dead with a great little pass inside the full back but Paddy Kavanagh overhit his cross when he really should have done better.

The lively start continued with Ward looking the most inventive player in red and black but he picked the wrong option in the 18th minute with the Lilywhites defence backtracking towards their own penalty area.

Bohs found joy on the Dundalk left once more in the 28th minute but, with Massey all at sea again, Ward couldn’t pick out Dinny Corcoran’s run in the centre.

Connolly, who gave a fleeting glimpse of his pace in the 20th minute, was well shackled by Derek Pender and the loss of the Bohs full-back to a hamstring injury in the 38th minute was a blow to the hosts.

Dundalk finished the half on top with Patrick McEleney, Sean Gannon and John Mountney almost fashioning an opening. A bout of corners followed but with Supple looking assured with his handling, the half ended scoreless.

Connolly’s first sighting of goal for his new club arrived six minutes after the restart when he burst inside from the left but the 21-year-old dragged his effort wide of Supple’s right-hand post.

At the other end, the excellent Niclas Vemmelund did brilliantly to cut out Philip Gannon’s dangerous run just as he was heading for the Dundalk penalty area.

The best opening of the game up to that point arrived in the 64th minute. Ward, yet again, was the architect, a delicious lofted pass with the outside of his boot picking out Corcoran at the far post but the striker couldn’t keep his effort on target.

Connolly’s evening came to an end after that, the Irish U21 international replaced by Michael Duffy, and the former Derry City winger was involved shortly after, teasing a vicious ball into the Bohs penalty area that Supple did very well to gather.

Openings started to appear and Mountney shot poorly at Supple after Vemmelund brilliantly stopped Bohs substitute Izzy Akinade in his tracks at the other end.

The Bohemians goalkeeper was forced into a stunning save that looked to have secured his side a point with minutes to play.

Duffy’s corner from the right found the head of Vemmelund but the Dane could only watch on in disbelief as Supple managed to turn his powerful downward header over the crossbar.

Supple could do nothing, however, to keep Kilduff’s header out as Dundalk struck late to take a big three points.

BOHEMIANS: Shane Supple; Derek Pender (Dylan Hayes 38), Rob Cornwall, Warren O’Hora, Ian Morris; Paddy Kavanagh, Philip Gannon, Fuad Sule (Izzy Akinade 65), Lorcan Fitzgerald; Keith Ward (Eoghan Morgan 81); Danny Corcoran. Subs not used: Kian Clarke (GK), Stephen Donnelly, Kaleem Simon, Dean Casey.

DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Niclas Vemmelund, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson; John Mountney (Jamie McGrath 78), Patrick McEleney, Dylan Connolly (Michael Duffy 64); David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff 81). Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Paddy Barrett, Sean Hoare, Thomas Stewart.

REFEREE: Neil Doyle. ATTENDANCE: 2,404

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