BOHS AVOID CLOVER-SHAPED BANANA SKIN

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup 2nd Round

BOHEMIANS  4 – 1  FIRHOUSE CLOVER

A professional second half performance peppered with three goals from midfielders helped Bohemians into the last 16 of the FAI Cup at the expense of Leinster Senior League side Firhouse Clover in Dalymount Park on Friday. Following a disappointing first half that finished at 1-1, a brace from Robbie Creevy and a late header from Kealan Dillon meant Keith Long’s men side-stepped a potential banana skin.

Starting with a full-strength side against the team wearing green and white hoops, the Gypsies didn’t have it all their own way, with the LSL men causing a series of problems, especially in the first period. Bohs fan and Jodi Stand regular Luke Synnot grabbed a penalty that he can remember for the rest of his life, even if his side suffered disappointment by full time, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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The Gypsies looked to get down the Firhouse flanks in the early stages, with long passes out wide being a noticeable tactic in the first few minutes for Bohs. Adam Evans had plenty of joy on the left, crossing for Jason Byrne to head over the game’s first chance after just 2 minutes. Byrne should have done better again from a Lorcan Fitzgerald corner, but he headed harmlessly over in acres of space. At the other end, an intriguing battle between Clover’s Harmony Mercer and Bohs’ Roberto Lopes was a feature. The tricky winger impressed the crowd with a few nice dribbles and neat touches, but Lopes was too strong for him on more than one occasion.

Bohs were finding it difficult to get a rhythm going, with Kealan Dillon, Robbie Creevy and James O’Brien all guilty of giving the ball away cheaply. Unfortunately for Firhouse, they couldn’t quite capitalise on the loose passes.

The opening goal came just before the half hour mark. Karl Moore played a neat one-two with O’Brien on the edge of the area, and centred for Jason Byrne, who took one touch and flashed a shot against the crossbar. The ball fell fortunately back to Byrne’s feet, and he poked it home from just a couple of yards out.

Credit to Firhouse, whose heads didn’t drop at all with the concession of that goal. Indeed, they went up the other end and grabbed what could easily be considered a deserved equaliser. Carl Wynne drifted past two Bohs players inside the left hand side of the box, and got a toe to the ball just before Stephen Best’s challenge arrived. It was a simple penalty decision for Ben Connolly – Best’s tackle was wild and reckless, and cleaned Wynne out. The script was written for Luke Synnott, a regular in Blocks F and G, to step up and score the penalty, sending Dean Delany the wrong way. He’ll win a few more friends in the Jodi with his muted celebration, a nice touch.

Bohs could only improve in the second half, and duly started to control the game. Two quickfire goals from Robbie Creevy ended the tie by the hour mark. The first was very tidy, a clever solo run and one-two with James O’Brien left Creevy in front of goal at the edge of the box, and his early shot was tucked into the corner past the despairing Brian O’Reilly.

Creevy’s second was a cheeky one. Again James O’Brien was involved, setting Roberto Lopes through on the right side of the box. The Bohs captain’s shot looked to be trundling into the far corner, but Creevy slid in just to make sure. Unfortunately for Bohs, Lopes was forced off with injury just a few minutes later. It was great to see Dan Byrne back in action, but Keith Long will be worried about Lopes after Derek Pender’s achilles injury and Anto Murphy’s ankle problem.

The final goal was another scrappy affair. A deep cross by Adam Evans was headed onto the bar by Dean Kelly – O’Reilly may well have made a brilliant save. But again, the ball fell favourably for Bohs and Kealan Dillon, who forced it in with his head from close range. Bohs march into the last 16, but face a daunting trip to runaway league leaders Dundalk next weekend.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Roberto Lopes (Dan Byrne, 68), Stephen Best, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Karl Moore (Dean Kelly, 64), Robbie Creevy, Kealan Dillon, James O’Brien (Keith Buckley, 78), Adam Evans, Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Lee Steacey, Jason Caffrey, Jake Hyland, Adam Wixted.

Firhouse Clover: Brian O’Reilly, Stephen Fitzgerald, John Phillips (Darren O’Grady, 77), Brian Cullen, Glenn Walsh, David Vickery, Peter O’Donnell, Anthony O’Rourke, Harmony Mercer, Carl Wynne, Luke Synnott. Subs not used: David O’Keefe, Kevin O’Neill, Craig Rothery, Aidan Canavan, Bernard Ogene.

BohemianFC.com Man of the Match: James O’Brien

BOHS PROGRESS IN LEINSTER SENIOR CUP

NEWTOWN 0 BOHEMIANS 2

Bohemians booked their place in the Leinster Senior Cup semi-finals, as a second-half Keith Buckley strike combined with a Conor Murphy penalty helped the Gypsies beat Wicklow side Newtown United 2-0 at The Carlisle Grounds on Sunday afternoon, writes JOSH DOLAN OF EXTRATIME.IE.

It was a first half where Keith Long’s side had a lion share of possession and chances. The first of which fell to James O’Brien, but his effort was saved by Ciaran McGuirl in the Newtown goal after some good work by Karl Moore.

Bohs continued to dominate possession and Robert Duggan became the latest to try his luck for the Gypsies after 15 minutes, as he fired safely wide from the edge of the box after some good holdup play from ex-Bray man Conor Murphy.

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EVERGREEN JAYO SETTLES SCRAPPY CONTEST

BOHEMIANS  2 – 1 LIMERICK

Oh, Jayo Jayo… 217 not out, the veteran striker scored yet another winning goal for his collection as Keith Long’s Bohemians leapt into the top 3 in the Airtricity League Premier Division. Just like Adam Evans in the previous game, substitute Byrne scored in the 84th minute to turn a disappointing result into a positive one. In a scrappy, scruffy contest played in wind and rain, Bohs certainly didn’t put in a stellar performance, but ground out a vital three points to continue their expectation-busting start to the 2015 season.

Bottom-dwelling Limerick came to Dalymount without a win this season, but were happy in the knowledge that they had a terrific record in Dublin 7 over the past couple of years. Martin Russell’s side caused the Bohs defence a lot of problems, but it was the guile and experience of Byrne coupled with astute tactical changes by his manager that won the night, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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The home side started at a fantastic pace. Instantly from the kick off, Paddy Kavanagh’s floating cross was inviting, and Roberto Lopes got there before Limerick keeper Conor O’Donnell, but the header dropped agonizingly over the crossbar. Many Bohs fans thought the ball had dropped in, but it wasn’t to be.

Adam Evans was restored to the starting line-up after his supersub appearance against Cork, and he went on a mazy run in the 10th minute that forced a corner. Lorcan Fitzgerald’s delivery was inch-perfect, and Derek Prendergast thumped a header into the net for his first goal for the club. There was a lovely touch with his celebration, as he put the ball under his shirt to celebrate the birth of his son on Wednesday.

Unfortunately for the 1200 fans who braved the shocking May weather, that was as good as it got for Bohs for the next hour. They sat back a bit, and allowed Limerick to gain a foothold in the game. Dean Clarke was a menace to the Gypsies back four. He had the pace to beat both Dave Mulcahy and Prendergast, and used it to good effect to get Limerick pushed up the field. This didn’t translate into any clear cut chances, but gave Russell’s team confidence going into the second half.

An equalizing goal was always a possibility, and when it arrived on 52 minutes, it was as scrappy as they come. A Robbie Williams corner was flicked to the back post where Lorcan Fitzgerald was caught off guard. It bounced off the left back to the feet of a delighted Dean Clarke who turned it in from three yards.

Keith Long’s response was to introduce Marc Griffin for Kealan Dillon in the no.10 role, and but he found himself deeper than he would have liked, with Limerick still looking the more likely to get a winner. However, Long’s final double salvo was the key to the victory. Byrne replaced the tireless but ineffective Dean Kelly, who didn’t have his best night. Keith Buckley replaced Robbie Creevy, and this was combined with a positional switch between Lopes and Mulcahy. The effect was almost instantaneous. Mulcahy’s ball forward was expertly flicked on by Byrne, and Adam Evans was through on goal. His low shot was well-saved by O’Donnell.

Next, it was Griffin who had a great chance. Buckley played it forward towards Byrne, whose deft dummy left three Limerick defenders dumbfounded. It was the best piece of skill on the night, and left Griffin clean through on O’Donnell. However, the sub’s left-footed effort was struck over the crossbar. It was left to the old stager to show them how its done. Byrne collected an Adam Evans cross with his back to goal about 14 yards out. His turn and snapshot had surprising pace, and O’Donnell couldn’t get down quick enough to stop it. The celebrations in front of Block G were as delirious as we’ve seen from a Bohs team in years. Magic.

There was still time for Paddy Kavanagh to fire wide with the goal at his mercy, and even Lorcan Fitzgerald had a late chance to seal it – but O’Donnell pulled off another brilliant save. However, it was 3 points in the bag, and the Gypsies head west to Galway for a league and EA Sports Cup double header next week.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Robbie Creevy (Keith Buckley, 75), Paddy Kavanagh, Kealan Dillon (Marc Griffin, 66), Adam Evans, Dean Kelly (Jason Byrne, 77). Subs not used: Lee Steacy, James O’Brien, Stephen Best, Karl Moore.

Limerick FC: Conor O’Donnell, Sean Harding (Jason Hughes, 45), Robbie Williams, Shane Tracy, Darragh Rainsford. Paudie O’Connor, Paul O’Conor, Ian Turner, Shane Duggan,  Vinny Faherty (Kieran Hanlon, 78), Dean Clarke.  Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Aidan Price, Tony Whitehead, Val Feeney, Ross Mann.

Mr. Green Bohemian Man of the Match: Paddy Kavanagh

 

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