Report: Bohemians 0 – Dundalk 1

Kevin Fagan @ Dalymount Park – Friday, September 14th 2012

Bohemians crashed out of the FAI Cup at the quarter final stage following a disappointing defeat to the Airtricity League’s bottom side Dundalk in Dalymount Park. It was a classic case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ for Bohs, who put in a surprisingly flat display following Monday night’s heroics in Tallaght.

A spectacular Mark Griffin free kick put paid to the Gysies Aviva dreams, with his curling 25 yard screamer proving the difference between the sides. Bohs boss Aaron Callaghan made just one change from the side that humbled Shamrock Rovers, with skipper Owen Heary making a surprising return to right back…

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As FAI Cup quarter finals go, the first half of this one will not live long in the memory. There was little or no goalmouth action at all. Kevin Devaney flashed a cross along the six yard box in the opening minutes, but that was as threatening as it got for either side in the first 45 minutes. Bohs played marginally the better football, with Keith Buckley particularly impressive on the right side.

Before the game, Aaron Callaghan praised Dundalk manager Darius Kierans for making the Lilywhites a team that were ‘hard to beat’, and the away side lived up to that billing – Liam Burns and Derek Foran were rock solid at centre back.

Following a toothless 45 minutes for Bohs, Evan McMillan was shifted up front for the second period. He offered a better outlet for the home side, but the spark just wasnt there for Bohs. Dundalk slowly started to come into the game, taking control around the hour mark. Mark Griffin looked particularly skillful and dangerous – his goal against Drogheda last month is widely regarded as the leading contender for Goal of the Season.

Griffin’s delivery from a left-sided free kick should have yielded the opener for Chris Shields, but the Dundalk captain completely missed his header. With 15 minutes to go, it was looking like a replay – unless a moment of magic was to settle matters. That moment arrived when Dave Mulcahy’s clumsy challenge felled Michael Rafter 25 yards out from Greg Murray’s goal.

Griffin stepped up, and let fly with an unstoppable right-footed effort that soared into the top corner. The travelling fans in the Des Kelly Stand went ballistic, and Bohs found themselves backed into a corner.

Callaghan threw on Andy Mulligan and John O’Connor for a hectic last ten minutes. Mulligan provided some much-needed penetration down the left flank. and with 5 minutes to go, his pullback agonizingly avoided everyone in the box as Bohs grew more and more desperate. A Keith Ward cross was headed down to Dave Mulcahy as the game entered injury time – but Mulcahy’s twisting volley clipped the top of the bar and went over. The last throw of the dice was a Ryan McEvoy corner which goalkeeper Murray went up for. Fittingly, Liam Burns headed away – and Bohs FAI Cup dreams were left in tatters.

Five league games remain for Callaghan’s young side. With a top-half finish absolutely within reach, that would be a truly admirable achievement considering the position the club were in when he took over. As for trophys, they’ll have to wait for another year to come back to the home of Irish football.  

Bohemians: Greg Murray, Dave Mulcahy, Owen Heary (John O’Connor, 82), Kevin Feely, Roberto Lopes, Karl Moore (Ryan McEvoy, 69), Keith Buckley, Keith Ward, Derek Pender, Evan McMillan, Kevin Devaney (Andy Mulligan 82). Subs not used: Andy McNulty, Michael Barker, Dave Scully, Ken Carr.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie, Derek Foran, Liam Burns, Chris Shields, Nathan Murphy (Eoghan Osbourne, 90), Mark O’Brien, John Mountney, Stephen McDonnell, Mark Griffin, Gary Shanahan, Michael Rafter (Paul Walsh, 86).Subs not used: Chris Reilly, Lorcan Shannon, Bob McKenna, Conor McDonnell, William Woods.

Report: Shamrock Rovers 0 – Bohemians 1

It may have taken eight attempts but on Monday, Bohemians finally recorded their first win against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght, Robert O’Reardon reports.

On their seven previous trips to south Dublin since the Hoops moved to their new home in 2009, the best Bohs could muster up was a 1-1 draw last season.  Fans had almost  become accustomed to making the return Luas trip home cursing their luck. But it was different this time.

Kevin Devaney, in only his second start for the Gypsies, fired home from close range just before half-time to send the noisy, bouncing Bohs fans into ecstasy.

Some sturdy defending from Evan McMillan and Kevin Feely in particular ensured the Gypsies notched up their second win over the Hoops this season, having lost 2-0 in Tallaght in March and won 4-0 in Dalymount when the sides met in June.

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 It’s Bohs’ best head-to-head record with Rovers since Pat Fenlon’s double-winning team of 2008.

With Bohs without a league win in seven, Rovers without defeat at home since May and unbeaten in Tallaght against the Gypsies, all the signs looked ominous for Aaron Callaghan’s side.

But it was the visitors who created the early openings. A flurry of quickfire Bohs chances gave the hosts something to think about.

First, Keith Ward shot wide past Oscar Jansson’s post. Then new boy Devaney – formerly of Sligo Rovers and Finn Harps – came close to opening the scoring when he flashed a header wide from a tough angle.

But after that, it was Stephen Kenny’s side who were in the ascendancy for most of the opening half.

Gary Twigg, so often the thorn in Bohs’ side, was beginning to wreak havoc and he came close when he peeled away from Feely to flash a half-volley over the crossbar.

Not long afterwards, a further warning was delivered after Thomas Stewart blasted a shot against the crossbar from 18 yards out.

Bohs were having to withstand some serious pressure, but the likes of the impeccable Feely at the back and impressive 19-year-old Greg Murray in goal – in only his second game for the first team – were more than a match for everything Rovers threw at them.

And Bohs’ dogged performance received an unlikely reward just before half-time.

A Ward free-kick on 44 minutes was delivered into Rovers’ penalty area. McMillan rose for the ball but it hit the onrushing Jansson and fell into the path of  Devaney, who scored his first goal for the club at a vital time.

Bohs fans were delirious, Rovers’ were silenced.

In what proved to be a nail-biting second 45 minutes for the travelling faithful, Ward could have – and should have – made it 2-0 just after break.

Ward capitalised on a mistake from former Bohs man Ken Oman and was one-on-one with Jansson, but his poorly-hit shot flashed wide.

Having been on fire throughout the game, Ward will have been disappointed with a missed opportunity that could have proved costly.

And not long afterwards, Twigg almost made Bohs pay. The Scot latched on to the end of a Stewart cross to divert the ball towards the top corner of Murray’s net.

But Twigg – the league’s top scorer in 2009 and 2010 – saw the ball ricochet off the crossbar and once again, Feely was on hand to clear the danger.

Having come so close in the past, it was beginning to look like it could finally be Bohemians’ night in Tallaght.

Rovers continued to try and press for the equaliser but Callaghan’s instructions seemed to work as his side looked comfortable for the last half-hour or so.

Former Bohs favourite Killian Brennan came on but was unable to make any real impact.

In fact, it was a Bohs substitute – Ken Carr – who came closest to finding the net.

He raced through towards Jansson less than a minute after he was introduced in place of Devaney. But his shot was well-saved by the Swedish goalkeeper.

When McMillan slipped under a high ball in the dying moments, it looked as if Oman would spare his team’s blushes.

But he headed tamely into the ground where the unfazed Murray gathered the ball without any fuss.

Rovers knew the game was up.

We’ll never win in Tallaght, eh?

 

MAN OF THE MATCH: Kevin Feely.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Jansson; Sullivan, Oman, Hawkins, O’Connor; McCabe (Kilduff 60), Finn, Rice, Dennehy (Brennan 74); Twigg, Stewart (Greene 78).

BOHEMIANS: Murray; Barker, McMillan, Feely, Lopes; Pender, Ward, (J O’Connor 88), Mulcahy; Buckley, Devaney (Carr 80), Moore (Mulligan 68).

REFEREE: P McLaughlin.

Report: Sligo Rovers 3 – Bohemians 1

- Kevin Fagan @ The Showgrounds -

Bohemians conceded three for the first time in the league this season as they slumped to a third successive Airtricity League away defeat.

League leaders Sligo Rovers capitalised on some poor individual errors from Bohs to lead Aaron Callaghan’s men 3-0 at half-time.

A late consolation goal from Derek Pender made the scoreline respectable. But in truth, the Gypsies were lucky to avoid a more comprehensive defeat.

Former Bohs men Mark Quigley and Raffaele Cretaro came back to haunt their former employers, both getting on the scoresheet in a best-forgotten opening 45 minutes for Bohs.

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Callaghan reverted to the 3-5-2 formation that has served the Gypsies well at times this season. But the visitors in yellow were totally outclassed in the first half.

Craig Sexton replaced Andy McNulty between the sticks for Bohs, but endured a nightmare evening in the west of Ireland.

Haitian international Pascal Millien had two early strikes off target. But most of Sligo’s penetration came from their right-hand side, where Cretaro and Lee Lynch cut the Bohs backline to ribbons at times.

It was down this side that the opening goal came on 12 minutes. The excellent Lynch played an all too easy one-two with Alan Keane before delivering for Quigley to head home from eight yards.

Bohs almost got an instant reply. Dinny Corcoran’s free-kick was headed down by Evan McMillan. Dave Mulcahy did brilliantly to hook the ball over Gary Rogers, but Gavin Peers made a miraculous goal-line clearance. It was as good as it got for Bohs in the first half.

Sexton was already having a difficult evening even before the second goal arrived. The slippy conditions had caused him to lose his footing on a couple of occasions.

But when Cretaro cut inside and let a tame shot fly on 24 minutes, the keeper really should have done better. He allowed the ball to trickle through his hands into the bottom corner and the home side led 2-0.

Sligo were thoroughly in control of this game now. Joseph Ndo was wandering around the pitch at what can only be described as a walking pace – yet he still controlled the game.

He fed Lynch for Sligo’s third on 38 minutes. Lynch’s shot went through McMillan’s legs and into that same bottom corner. The half-time break couldn’t come quick enough for Callaghan.

Bohs stepped it up in the second period. Corcoran and Pender forced Rogers into a fine double save, and Bohs generally had more of the ball in the third quarter. Still, Cretaro should have given Sligo a fourth goal on the hour mark when he inexplicably headed wide from five yards out.

The Bohs fans gave it their all and created a fun atmosphere as part of the impressive 3127 crowd.

Quigley got the brunt of their banter when he was moved to the left wing. He responded to the taunts about his hairstyle with an audacious 40-yard effort that had Sexton scrambling.

Kevin Devaney came on for his Bohs debut but the game was well and truly finished by then – Sligo had noticeably taken their foot off the gas in the second period.

Bohs had the final say and capped a much better second-half performance with a late consolation from Pender.

Dave Scully should have scored at the back post, but the ball ricocheted back to Pender who buried it from eight yards.

The win sees Sligo move nine points clear at the top of the table – and surely no one at Dalymount would begrudge these Rovers the league title this season.

Bohs now face back-to-back Dublin derbies – St Pat’s at Dalymount on Friday night, followed by the big one away to Shamrock Rovers on Monday.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane (Marty Owens 85), Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Seamus Conneely; Raffaele Cretaro, Lee Lynch, Joseph Ndo (David Cawley 71), Danny Ventre, Pascal Millien (Liam Buchanan 71); Mark Quigley. Subs not used: Richard Brush, Jeff Henderson, John Dillon, Ryan Connolly.

Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Dave Mulcahy, Evan McMillan, Michael Barker, Roberto Lopes; Derek Pender, Luke Byrne (Kevin Devaney 69), Danny Joyce, Keith Buckley; Dinny Corcoran (Dave Scully 76), John O’Connor (Keith Ward 81). Subs not used: Karl Moore, Andy Mulligan, Stephen Traynor, Adam Martin.

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