LILYWHITES GET THE JOB DUN

BOHEMIANS 0 DUNDALK 2

A subdued Bohemians fell to their third consecutive Airtricity League defeat after being put to the sword by Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk at Dalymount Park. Two sloppy, scrappy, stingy goals either side of half time condemned the Gypsies to their fourth defeat in 5 games, and their fourth home game on the spin without scoring, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Following Tuesday’s disastrous injury time defeat to 10-man Limerick, Aaron Callaghan made two changes to his starting line-up, with Stephen Paisley and Karl Moore replacing Dave Mulcahy and Keith Buckley respectively. Happily for Bohs, striker Chris Lyons took up a spot on the bench to bolster the home side’s attacking options.

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Indeed, attacking options are in desperate need for Bohs. Unfortunately for the home fans, they were treated to another 90 minutes of frustrating action, with the team in red and black struggling to create any clear cut chances. The Lilywhites featured former Bohs men Stephen O’Donnell and Keith Ward in central midfield, and that duo were the dominant force in a classy performance from the visitors, who continued their 100% away record.

After a relatively promising start, Dundalk began to take control after 15 minutes, and took the lead in the 20th. Dean Delany has had what can only be described as a nightmare week. After arguably being at fault for both Limerick goals on Tuesday, he made another error here. Richie Towell’s 30 yard free kick was struck well enough, but the former Shelbourne keeper only parried the shot in front of him. The ball dropped kindly for Tiernan Mulvenna, who had an easy 4 yard finish.

Credit to Delany, he picked himself up, shrugged off the ire from large sections of the Jodi Stand, and made a string of impressive saves. Mulvenna struck a low shot that Delany tipped around the post, and saved well again from John Dillon after the resulting corner. Mulvenna probably should have doubled the visitor’s lead after 35 minutes, but couldn’t connect with Ward’s devilishly whipped free kick.

Half time brought changes for Bohs as Dave Scully and Chris Lyons entered the fray. The isolated Kevin Devaney was hooked along with Shane Murray, and the subs formed a two-man strike force in the second 45. For the first 15 minutes, things looked up, with the lively Lyons latching onto some of Scully’s bustling knock-ons. Still, no real chances fell for Bohs, and you felt the second goal was always going to come.

When it did, it was yet another sloppy goal for Bohs to concede. A Roberto Lopes header was cleared out to Richie Towell, who let fly with a speculative 25 yard effort. The shot would almost certainly have gone wide, but took a wicked deflection off the charging Lopes, and wrong-footed Delany to seal the deal for Dundalk.

The last ten minutes were as frustrating as the first 80. Set-piece delivery was simply awful all night, with long range free kicks being floated out of play or failing to beat the first man on more than one occasion. When chances are few and far between, set pieces need to yield better results. Bohs have a full week to prepare for what becomes a crunch clash with Bray Wanderers in a week’s time.

Worryingly for Bohs, they now have an identical record to last season – 7 points from the opening 8 games. Given this season’s squad have had a much more settled pre-season, the home fans will be hoping for a repeat of the last term’s mid-season kick-on in the coming weeks.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle, Shane Murray (Dave Scully ’46), Michael Barker, Ryan McEvoy (Conor O’Brien ’75), Karl Moore; Kevin Devaney (Chris Lyons ’46). Subs not used: Keith Buckley, Michael Scott, Greg Murray, Shane Fitzgerald. 

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan, Andy Boyle, Mark Rossiter, Dane Massey; John Dillon, Richard Towell, Stephen O’Donnell, Keith Ward (John Mountney ’64); Tiarnan Mulvenna (Darren Meenan ’70), Vinny Faherty (Pat Hoban ’80). Subs not used: Kurtis Byrne, Stephen McDonnell, Sami Osobi,  Aaron Shanahan.

ALL TWO EASY FOR 10-MAN LIMERICK

LIMERICK 2 BOHEMIANS 1

A last-gasp header from David O’Leary gave 10-man Limerick a 2-1 win over Bohemians in Thomond park last night, writes ROBERT O’REARDON.

Ryan McEvoy had given the Gypsies the lead from the penalty spot on 56 minutes after Keith Buckley was fouled by Patrick Nzuzi, which also resulted in a red card for the left-back.

But it all turned sour five minutes later as Shane Treacy caught out Dean Delany at his near post with a free-kick before O’Leary pounced on another goalkeeping error to hand all three points to his side in stoppage time.

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Aaron Callaghan’s side should have taken the lead right the beginning when Kevin Devaney was presented with a great opportunity after a mix-up in the Limerick defence between Aaron Brown and goalkeeper Barry Ryan. But the 22-year-old, who usually keeps his composure in front of goal, couldn’t do so this time.

Despite that setback, Bohs began to dominate the game and it was Shane Murray who was looking the most impressive in the centre of the park. A darting run and a superb ball to the back post from the Arklow man should have found Devaney but once again the former Finn Harps and Sligo player failed to convert as the ball just evaded him.

After a pretty uneventful first half, the game sprung into life in the second. Limerick began to get on the front foot and a powerful shot from Daniel Galbraith tested Dean Delany but the Bohs No 1 held on.

Then, Bohemians struck the first blow. A diagonal ball found its way to Buckley. The No 7 was getting ready to shoot when he was tumbled over from behind. Alan Kelly was left with no option to point to the spot and show Nzuzi a red card. McEvoy stepped up and side-footed the ball past Ryan in the Limerick goal.

Bohs seemed to be in the ascendancy but five minutes after taking the lead, Shane Treacy stepped up and fired a free-kick past Delany. It beat him at his near post; the ex-Shelbourne stopper really should have done better. After this, the home side began to take control, despite Callaghan introducing Dave Scully and Kevin O’Leary into the fold.

Limerick had numerous chances to win it before they finally sealed the deal as Bohs seemed to run out of ideas playing against 10 ten men. Brown wasted a golden opportunity after he fired wide from a Treacy cross but, against the run of play,  Scully should have been the Bohs supersub when he found himself in on goal, but he blasted over the bar.

That was the last chance for the Gypsies as Treacy delivered a ball into the six-yard box. Delany opted to stay on his line and for the second time of the match, his poor positioning proved costly as David O’Leary was left with the easiest of headers to nod to back of the net as the home crowd erupted.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan; Shaun Kelly, Aaron Brown, Stephen Folan, Patrick Nzuzi; Shane Tracy, Stephen Bradley, David O’Leary; Axel Bossekota (Rory Gaffney 66), Craig Curran, Danny Galbraith. Subs not used: Shane Cusack, Shane Costelloe, Val Feeney, Pat Purcell, Steven McGann, Darragh Rainsford.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Michael Barker, Roberto Lopes, Derek Pender, Luke Byrne; Keith Buckley (Karl Moore 86), Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy, Shane Murray (Dave Scully 69) Ciaran Nangle; Kevin Devaney (Kevin O’Leary 78). Subs not used: Greg Murray, Conor O’Brien, Stephen Paisley, Dwayne Wilson.

Referee: Alan Kelly.

CANDYSWIPES

BOHEMIANS 0 DERRY CITY 4

Bohemians suffered their second heavy home defeat on the bounce as high-flying Derry City won by four goals to nil at Dalymount Park. In a match that was eerily similar to last Friday’s defeat to Sligo, the Gypsies played some good football in patches, but were ultimately undone by a mix of poor defending and clinical finishing, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Aaron Callaghan might just be hoping that the RTÉ cameras stay away from Phibsborough for a few weeks, with the second televised game in a row ending in a very unfavourable scoreline for Bohs. Despite a confidence-boosting win over Shelbourne on Monday, the unchanged side were well beaten by Declan Devine’s efficient counter-attacking outfit.

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Just like the game at Tolka, Bohs started well. Superb close control from Ryan McEvoy gave him some space to feed Luke Byrne, who slid a lovely pass through to Ciaran Nangle. Nangle’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal, agonizingly close to both Dave Scully and Kevin Devaney.

Unfortunately for Bohs, they were hit with a sucker punch just as the team were starting to dominate. Derry’s Patrick McEleney had been anonymous for the opening 13 minutes, but he definitely caught the attention in the 14th. He picked the ball up on the left side about 30 yards out, skipped inside Derek Pender, and unleashed what is often referred to as a “worldie”. His curling 30-yard strike hit the underside of Dean Delany’s crossbar, bounced down and back up into the top corner. It was a strike to light up any game.

As good as Derry’s opening goal was, their second was the kind of goal that would give a manager sleepless nights. An aimless ball down the line from Paddy Kavanagh was totally misjudged by Ciaran Nangle, who let the ball slip under his boot. Simon Madden suddenly had acres of room to deliver a cross, which found Michael Rafter on the penalty spot. Rafter had far too much time to take a touch, set himself, and shoot through Roberto Lopes’ legs to double Derry’s lead.

As the game wore on, it was difficult not to cast minds back to the first half of the game against Shamrock Rovers, and Chris Lyons’ injury. Bohs just haven’t looked particularly dangerous since the former UCD man was chopped down by Derek Foran, and Aaron Callaghan will be hoping his ankle injury heals as quick as possible.

Bohs’ best spell came after the break, when a string of corners and free kicks heaped pressure on the Derry defence. Again, no clear cut chances materialized, despite a clear penalty appeal being turned down for a blatant handball by Shane McEleny. The out-of-retirement Anthony Buttimer may well have been unsighted, but his assistant in front of the Derry fans should have put his flag across his chest.

With Bohs close-but-not-quite getting back into the game, a third Derry goal was always going to be the killer. Again, it was sloppy. Dean Delany flapped at a Derry corner, and the looping ball returned to the back post was miraculously cleared off the line by Ryan McEvoy. However, no one in red and black reacted, and Shane McEleney rose to nod the ball into the empty net.

Just three minutes later, a forgettable night for the Gypsies was complete. Michael Rafter found himself in a lot of space between the midfield and defence. He had time to slip a ball around the side of a wrong-footed Roberto Lopes, and Barry McNamee applied the finish. Bohs now have 11 days to lick their wounds before an intruiging trip to Limerick and the grandeur of Thomond Park on Tuesday the 16th of April.

Bohemians:  Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle (Karl Moore 77), Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Keith Buckley 45), Dave Mulcahy; Dave Scully, Kevin Devaney. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Dwyane Wilson, Conor O’Brien , Andy Mulligan.

Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Simon Madden, Shane McEleney, Ryan McBride, Thomas Crawley (Dermot McCaffrey 83); Patrick Kavanagh (Michael Duffy 79), Barry Molloy, Ruaidhri Higgins, Patrick McEleney; Barry McNamee, Michael Rafter (Mark Griffin 80). Subs not used: James Gallagher, Ryan Curran, Tony McNamee, Conall Kelly.

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