Stephen O'Donnell said he'd always targeted making Oriel Park a fortress after Dundalk registered their fifth successive home win, dispatching Bohemians 3-1 on Friday evening.

O'Donnell's side trailed at half-time, Ciaran Kelly putting the visitors in front, but made their dominance count in the second half, rustling up three goals, the second a delightfully constructed effort passed into the net by Robbie Benson.

"I was happy with our first half performance even though we were 1-0 down, we created a lot of dangerous moments and chances. It was huge to get the goal early in the second half and we just kicked on from there," O'Donnell told RTÉ Sport after the game.

"I was really, really happy with the performance. There were loads of very good individual performances for us. It's a good win for us because Bohs are one of the best teams in the league. To go 1-0 behind and bounce back and win so convincingly was great.

"I think people can get tricked by scorelines. If we'd gone in 1-0 up at half-time, people would have said we were really good in the first half too.

"We limited them to very few chances. And we got into loads of dangerous areas. We knew we could tidy up in the final third and be more precise."

After a relatively sluggish opening to the season, Dundalk are finding their groove and have risen to third spot, trailing Derry in second by seven points with a game in hand.

Their home form, in particular, has been stellar, with five straight wins since the goalless draw with Shamrock Rovers in mid-March. The away form, by contrast, has been more patchy.

"I challenged the players in pre-season to make the home ground a fortress. I want the locals coming up buzzing to watch games and having good memories of the last home game.

Benson passing home Dundalk's second goal

"The away form is what it is. We've lost two games in six or seven away from home. So we're not getting beaten every week away from home. We just need to turn them draws into victories. And I'm sure we will. Performances like tonight will only add to the confidence of the players.

"We're very happy with where we're at. We've a good squad assembled and really talented players, brilliant players to work with who have a great attitude. They keep coming in every week and grinding and grinding and grinding."

It was a different story for Bohemians manager Keith Long, who was disappointed by the lack of energy and intensity shown by his players.

Bohs currently lie sixth and are struggling to pick up any momentum or consistency in 2022. And an impressive 1-1 draw away to title challengers Derry City last weekend was followed by another bum note on Friday night.

Keith Long

"We can have no complaints. We lacked energy. We lacked intensity. Which is disappointing because we played so well last week. Training has been good. But we fell flat tonight.

"We got ahead but I don't think we played the way we have previously or the way we did last week. Even in the first half, when we were 1-0 ahead. I thought we were wasteful in terms of turning over the ball in transition. You've got to secure the first pass to build counter-attacks. Our first pass after turnover was error-strewn.

"We didn't capitalise in those moments. And we didn't work Dundalk enough tonight. And like I said, we lacked a lot of intensity and energy. And I don't think it was just in the second half, I think it was throughout the game really, if I'm being honest."