Drogheda United took the points but Bohemians' Liam Burt earned the plaudits at the end of a thriller at Head In The Game Park which was lit up by his 50-yard stunner early in the second half.
Mark Doyle, Joe Redmond and Jordan Adeyemo scored United's goals but David Odumosu was the star man for Drogheda in their 3-2 win, making a string of fine saves in the second half including one in injury time from Georgie Kelly who had scored a penalty moments earlier.
United were still without nine-goal Chris Lyons. The one-time Bohs striker is close to a return after eight weeks on the sidelines following knee surgery. Gary Deegan did return after suspension.
Rob Cornwall was serving a one-match ban, so Rory Feely came into the visitors’ line-up. Dawson Devoy, who started Ireland’s Under-21 game in Luxembourg on Tuesday, was on the bench.
Much of the focus of those at Head In The Game Park was centred on the refereeing performance of Graham Kelly and fourth official Oliver Moran – or more accurately how they interacted with those in the opposing dugouts, namely Drogheda boss Tim Clancy.
He had received his second card and ban of the season a week earlier in the draw to Sligo Rovers and blasted the officials in the immediate aftermath of the match, prompting discussion over the high numbers of touchline bans meted out to coaches in the League of Ireland.
Both men in black had a relatively serene start to the evening on Boyneside with Clancy in much more serene a mood than seven days earlier. It was obvious why as his team raced into a two-goal lead within 23 minutes.
The first arrived when Darragh Markey’s through ball set Adeyemo into a foot race with Bohs’ James Talbot.
The 21-year-old beat the Ireland goalkeeper to the ball and was clattered into just inside the area. Graham Kelly pointed to the spot and after discussion with assistant referee Eoin Harte, the decision stood.
Mark Doyle dispatched the penalty for his 11th goal of an eye-catching season. Despite Bohs’ comfort on the ball Drogheda looked more dangerous going forward.
Ronan Murray’s corner was met by Joe Redmond. In his fourth start for the club, the Dubliner side-footed in at the near post after escaping the attentions of Feely.
Despite the best efforts of Talbot, Drogheda would hit a third before half time. The visitors failed to properly clear a corner and the Bohs’ keeper first repelled Adeyemo and the Markey before Deegan played in the former and he placed a shot low into the far corner.
Bohs were back in the game just seconds after the restart. Burt’s goal-of-the-season contender – a 50 yard volley that arrowed past Odumosu – stunned Head In The Game Park.
If that couldn’t inspire a comeback, nothing could. The Scot had already scored in both league games against Drogheda this season too.
Bohs did get another goal back despite the best efforts of Odumosu. He saved brilliantly from subs Devoy and Keith Ward before Kelly’s late penalty beat him.
James Brown felled Burt and Graham Kelly rightly pointed to the spot. Odumosu was called upon again, in injury time, to preserve the three points.
He denied Kelly when a goal seemed certain prompting a number of the Drogheda subs to rush to congratulate him when the final whistle was eventually blown.
Drogheda United: David Odumosu; James Brown, Joe Remond, Daniel O’Reilly, Conor Kane; Killian Phillips, Gary Deegan; Darragh Markey (Luke Heeney, 58), Ronan Murray (Dane Massey, 65); Mark Doyle; Jordan Adeyemo (Dinny Corcoran, 89).
Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, Rory Feely, Ciaran Kelly, Tyreke Wilson; Keith Buckley (Keith Ward, 63), Conor Levingston, Ross Tierney (Dawson Devoy, 46); Ali Coote (Promise Omochere, 75), Liam Burt; Georgie Kelly.
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork)