Dundalk leave it late as Kilduff snatches spoils
Bohemians 0 Dundalk 1
Dundalk warmed up for their European return with a goal that brought the memories from last year flooding back.
Ciarán Kilduff's last-minute header in Alkmaar was one of the highlights of their remarkable European adventure and the second-half substitute repeated the dose at Dalymount by rising high in the penalty area to break down a resolute Bohs side.
It means that Stephen Kenny's side enter next Wednesday's Champions League game with Rosenborg off the back of a five-game winning run with no goals conceded.
They laboured for periods here in a match that was brought forward to aid their participation but they eventually turned the screw in the final third with late pressure paying off against Keith Long's sturdy Gypsies who have impressively moved clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks.
This result moves Dundalk within nine points of Cork City with the significant asterisk of the Leesiders having three games in hand. What really matters is that they can carry momentum into a daunting date with the Norwegian champions.
Bohs gave them a proper work-out, and home 'keeper Shane Supple was given little to do until the final quarter which resembled a training drill of attack against defence with the depleted Dubliners unable to break out of their half.
However, the chance count was low, similar to the first half.
A debut for Dundalk new boy Dylan Connolly was the main source of interest - his former boss Harry Kenny was watching from the stands - and the winger endured a frustrating time of it as he looked to adapt to the Lilywhites' way of doing things.
He was well-marshalled by Bohs' Derek Pender and unable to really showcase his pace, with some poor touches in general play not helping things. However, a sprint back to chase Pender resulted in the Bohs man sustaining a game-ending hamstring problem.
Connolly lasted just over an hour, with one run and shot in the minutes before his replacement the highlight. It will take time for him to settle in. His replacement Michael Duffy was lively.
Overall, Bohs were disciplined, content to allow the visitors enjoy large spells of possession because a well-organised defence was capable of absorbing the pressure and staying in shape.
They were combative too, with a Rob Cornwall hack on the skilful Patrick McEleney angering the away dugout, but those efforts came at a price with Fuad Sule joining Pender on the treatment table.
Kenny emptied his bench in search of a winner for Dundalk and Bohs fell back with a Dinny Corcoran header from a counter their only real window of opportunity to get ahead.
Dundalk probed again with McEleney conducting and Supple produced a brilliant stop from Vemmelund before Jamie McGrath's teasing cross was angled into the bottom corner by Kilduff.
Bohemians - Supple; Pender (Hayes 37), Cornwall, O'Hora, Morris; Kavanagh, Gannon, Sule (Akinade 65), Fitzgerald; Ward (Morgan 81); Corcoran.
Dundalk - Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Vemmelund, Massey; Shields, Benson; Mountney (McGrath 79) McEleney, Connolly (Duffy 64); McMillan (Kilduff 81).
ref - N Doyle (Dublin)