SWORDS NO MATCH FOR STEVEN’S CUTTING EDGE

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BOHEMIANS 4 SWORDS CELTIC 0

A goal from skipper Derek Pender and a hat-trick by trialist Steven Beattie ensured that Bohemians’ first fixture of 2014 resulted in a comfortable victory over Swords Celtic at Martin Savage Park in Scribblestown, writes CONOR HAYES.

Played on a bitterly cold Sunday evening, the game was lit up by half-time substitute Beattie who provided three expert finishes, all in the second half, to turn this one into a rout.

Bohs’ six off-season signings were included in the starting XI and Owen Heary’s men began the game confidently, looking to spray the ball around the park. They had much of the possession during this opening period but failed to create a chance against the Swords Celtic back-line, who started the game defending deep.

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It was one of the new boys who had the Gypsies’ first real shot in anger on 16 minutes. A free-kick floated into the box had been half-cleared by Celtic’s defence, allowing left-back Jack Memery, signed from Shelbourne, to hit a vicious, dipping volley from outside the area which flew just wide.

Bohs grew more in confidence after this and Karl Moore began causing problems down the right-hand side for the Swords defence. It was no surprise, therefore, that he was heavily involved when Bohs broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. Good play from the former Manchester City youngster on the wing saw him pick out Craig Walsh inside the box. The ex-UCD midfielder’s blocked shot landed to the feet of Pender, who coolly finished with his left foot from just inside the area.

Swords seemed rattled by falling behind and a poor lofted backpass which goalkeeper Simon Dunne couldn’t clear fell to Patrick Kavanagh – the winger signed from Derry City should have scored with the goal at his mercy.

On 38 minutes, Dunne redeemed himself with a wonderful save from Moore,whose hooked shot from the right edge of the area seemed destined for the net before being dragged away by the net minder and out for a corner.

Bohs made seven changes at the break but this didn’t seem to disrupt their rhythm as Walsh shot just over with the second half barely a minute old. Next, Andy Mulligan found Dinny Corcoran in the box but his knock-down just failed to find Beattie. The striker, who has enjoyed spells in the US, Canada and Iceland, would soon get his name on the scoresheet, however.

On 58 minutes, the best moment of the game arrived. A disallowed goal from Celtic for a handball allowed Bohs to clear with a searching ball from defence. It eventually found its way to Beattie who, on the turn, hit a stunning scissor kick volley into the top corner of the net. A marvelous strike.

But Beattie was not done yet. Ten minutes later, a short corner found its way to sub Kevin Devaney, whose cross went through a melee of bodies untouched only to find Beattie creeping at the back post. The striker finished tidily from six yards to claim his second of the night.

Swords began to visibly tire at this point and striker Corcoran missed two glorious chances to put a real gloss on the scoreline. The first set up by Anto Murphy’s header and the second saw the former Drogheda and UCD man fluff his lines after nice interplay between Stephen Traynor and Mulligan.

Bohs would not be denied a fourth though and three minutes from time, Beattie completedhis hat-trick. The forward rounded the keeper and slotted home after a brilliant through ball by Traynor.

So, a good result and a nice run-out for boss Heary, who was able to use 21 players on the night. Bohs continue their pre-season itinerary against Waterford United on Friday evening at the R.S.C.

Bohemians: Lee Murphy (Dean Delany 45), Jack Memery (Philly McCabe 45), Aidan Price, Roberto Lopes (Lee Whelan 80), Derek Pender (Anto Murphy 69), Keith Buckley (Kevin Devaney 45), Ryan McEvoy (Stephen Traynor 45), Craig Walsh (Jake Hyland 65), Karl Moore (Andy Mulligan), Patrick Kavanagh (Steven Beattie 45), Jason Byrne (Dinny Corcoran 45).

Swords Celtic: Simon Dunne, Brian Finnigan, Mark Gibson, Keith Reilly, Niall Hudson, Adam Hanley, Paul Shields, Andrew Timmons, Gavin Whelan, Stephen O’Reilly, Daniel Smith.

Referee: Ben Connolly.

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