NORTHERN RAIDERS SPOIL OPENING NIGHT

BOHEMIANS  1 – 4  DERRY CITY

Bohemians’ 2017 season got off to a rocky start as Derry City capitalized on a string of defensive errors in front of a packed Jodi Stand at Dalymount Park. The old ground has seen a few opening day defeats over the decades, but the wind was still knocked out of the boisterous home crowd as Kenny Shiels’ side punished Bohs at every possible opportunity. A brace from Nathan Boyle was sandwiched in between an opening penalty from Aaron McEneff and a rebounded effort from Lukas Schubert. Dinny Corcoran had briefly given the home support some hope by bringing the score back to 1-3 early in the second half, but Derry ran out comfortable winners in the end.

Bohs boss Keith Long handed first team debuts to Oscar Brennan, Georgie Poynton, and Jamie Doyle, while Corcoran and Keith Ward were making their ‘second debuts’ for the club. As had been the hope of many Gypsies fans in pre-season, Bohs went with a 4-4-2 formation with Doyle and Corcoran up front. Ward and Paddy Kavanagh provided width with Poynton and Ian Morris in central midfield. For the promise in the front six, it was the back four of Derek Pender, Dan Byrne, Oscar Brennan and Lorcan Fitzgerald who definitely had a night to forget, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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The night started with some fitting pomp and ceremony as the players were introduced to Bohs’ Honorary Life President Tony O’Connell, and the Finglas Brass Band provided music. With the confusion of Brexit perhaps still swirling, the playing of Amhrann na Bfhiann caused some puzzled faces in the Derry lineup. However, the men in green turned to face the flag eventually. The game itself began with a familiar home-away pattern. Bohs looked to get the ball forward to Corcoran and Doyle as often as possible, while Derry looked to hit on the counter attack.

It was from one of these counter attacks that the opening goal came on 14 minutes. Barry McNamee clipped the ball through to Rory Patterson on the right side of the box, and Bohs keeper Shane Supple raced out to meet him. Patterson touched the ball past Supple – on the way out of play, and the former Dublin keeper somewhat rashly took the striker out. The lack of real protestation from the Bohs players told the story as Paul McLaughlin pointed to the spot. Aaron McEneff dispatched the penalty into the bottom corner, despite Supple diving the right way.

Bohs came into the game in the middle period of the first half. The first real chance fell to the wrong man – Dan Byrne went on a rampaging run and played a one-two with Corcoran. However, he scuffed his shot when bearing down on Ger Doherty’s goal. Jamie Doyle was lively for the home side, stinging the palms of Doherty with a couple of low shots from outside the area. Doyle never stopped running and displayed the kind of attitude that goes down well in Dublin 7.

It looked like half-time would come with a relatively workable 0-1 scoreline, but an injury time moment of calamity gave Derry a huge cushion. Derek Pender had a routine backpass to Supple, but the ball was struck way too hard – and towards the open goal. Supple scrambled to hook the ball off the line, although it looked to many in the Jodi that it had already crossed. However, he could only direct it straight to Nathan Boyle who had the simple task of finishing it off.

The second half was only four minutes old when Derry got the killer goal. After a Bohs corner had been scrambled wide, Doherty launched a quick kick to Boyle on the right wing. Boyle, who had only replaced Paterson early in the first half, out-muscled Oscar Brennan, and after running almost 40 yards with the ball, smashed it through Supple’s legs. With the mood in the Jodi low, Bohs got a lifeline on 55 minutes. Georgie Poynton scooped a ball through towards Corcoran, and a deflection off a Derry midfielder meant the ball bounced kindly for Dinny, who finished clinically past Doherty.

A goal to make it 3-2 would have set the cat amongst the pigeons, and Bohs thought they had it on the hour mark. Pender’s cross was spilled by Doherty under pressure from Doyle, and Keith Ward tapped in – but referee McLaughlin (harshly) adjudged that Doyle had fouled Doherty while jumping. However, the burgeoning Bohs comeback was snuffed out on 65 minutes. Jamie Doyle’s square ball across the pitch was cut out by McNamee who played Boyle through. The Derry man was denied a hat-trick by a smart save from Supple, but another Derry sub – Lukas Schubert – was on hand to tap the ball into the empty net.

The last 20 minutes or so were played out at a slower pace – both teams knew the game was over. Long took the opportunity to give debuts to Kaleem Simon and Philly Gannon from the bench, but neither had the chance to make an impact. Minds turn to next week’s meeting with Shamrock Rovers. If there’s ever a game to erase the memory of a defeat, it’s a trip to that particular part of the world.

Bohemian FC: Shane Supple, Derek Pender, Dan Byrne, Oscar Brennan, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Paddy Kavanagh, Ian Morris, Georgie Poynton, Keith Ward (Kaleem Simon, 61), Jamie Doyle (Philly Gannon, 78), Dinny Corcoran. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Stephen Best, Rob Cornwall, Eoghan Morgan, Dean Casey.

Derry City: Ger Doherty, Conor McDermott, Ben Doherty (Scott Whiteside, 68), Ryan McBride, Dean Jarvis, Nicky Low, Joshua Daniels (Lucas Schubert, 63), Aaron McEniff, Barry McNamee, Ronan Curtis, Rory Patterson (Nathan Boyle, 28). Subs not used: Eric Grimes, Rory Holden, Mark Timlin, Alon Netzer.

BohemianFC.com Man of the Match: Jamie Doyle

KURTIS SEALS VICTORY AGAIN

BOHEMIANS 1 LONGFORD TOWN 0

Bohemians hosted relegation threatened Longford town at a chilly Dalymount Park this evening with top scorer Kurtis Byrne, proving the match winner again just like he did on Monday night.

Fresh from having recently defeated Longford’s relegation rivals, Wexford Youths, the Gypsies were looking to go 5th in the league in front of the expectant home fans, but Longford weren’t here just to make up the numbers putting on a spirited display.

The game started in typically frenetic fashion with both teams desperately looking to get the upper hand. All the action was down the Bohs left hand side with Jake Kelly seeing a lot of the ball and, as for the visitor’s, right winger Don Cowan looked like the main attacking threat.
The first chance of the game finally came in the 20th minute and fell to Kelly, who was unlucky to see his looping header just go over Ryan Coulters cross bar from a floated Kurtis Byrne cross.

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There weren’t many clear-cut chances of note in the opening half hour but the hosts began getting on top with some nice sustained bouts of pressure albeit not looking threatening. But the home fans frustration didn’t last too long though when the deadlock was finally broken on the 33rd minute.

Man of the moment, Jake Kelly delivered a dangerously whipped in-swinging free kick from the right side and looked to have gone straight in without a touch but Kurtis Byrne, like all good forwards, claimed he got the faintest of touches to grab his ninth league goal of the season.

The second half started much the same as the first, Bohs looked neat and tidy in possession while the visitors, despite their hard work and endeavor, lacked a bit of quality in possession to sustain any pressure.

The game fell into a lull with neither team creating openings so both managers decided to utilize their benches to inject a bit of life into the game but it failed to materialize. A scuffed effort from Kurtis Byrne followed a David O’Sullivan header just over as the game threatened to come to life.

Just as the game was drifting to a close, Longford decided to go route one and push man mountain Yann Mvita up front as an emergency forward. The big man made his presence felt winning some flick ons, but the Bohs defence managed to deal with the threat and hold on for the win.

Longford will be glad to see the back of Bohs this season as the Gypsies maintained their good run of form against them, with Bohs having not conceded in either game this season, a 2-0 win at home and a 1-0 victory away.

Up next for the Gypsies is a tough away trip to the Carlisle Grounds were they face a spirited Bray Wanders. Meanwhile Longford host high flying Derry City at home, and with time running out to pick up valuable points in order to pull Wexford youths closer, its not looking good for Alan Mathews troops.

Bohemian FC: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Derek Prendergast, Keith Buckley, Kurtis Byrne, Jake Kelly (Marco Chindea 90+1’), Paddy Kavanagh (Eoin Wearen 75’), Dean O’Halloran (Mark Quigley 70’), Ian Morris

Subs: Dean Mahon, Dan Byrne, Stephen Best, Dylan Hayes

Longford Town: Ryan Coulter, Jamie Mulhall (Noel Haverty 45’), Conor Powell, Kealan Dillon (David O’Sullivan 66’), Peter McGlynn, Don Cowan (Kaleem Simon 72’) Kevin O’Connor, Yann Mvita, Pat Flynn, Philip Gannon, Eddie Dsane

Subs: Paul Skinner, Mark Hughes, Gaius Makouta, Rhys Gorman

Booked: Noel Haverty, Eddie Dsane, Roberto Lopes

Referee: Graham Kelly

Attendance: 1158

Bohs edge the battle at Dalymount

BOHEMIANS 1 WEXFORD YOUTHS

Kurtis Byrne was the hero for the Gypsies as they edged a hard fought battle with strugglers Wexford Youths 1-0 at Dalymount this evening, forcing home the winner on the stroke of half time.

Youths, currently second from bottom with just 12 points and looking to exact some revenge for the defeat in the Leinster Senior Cup, started much the brighter and more determined side with the right hand side pairing of Aidan Friel and Eric Molloy causing Bohs problems from the off. The visitors good start was almost in vein when Molloy could or maybe should have seen red for a dangerous high footed challenge that caught Bohs winger Dean O’Halloran on the side of the head. Referee David McKeon produced a yellow card much to his sides relief and the home fans dismay.

Bohemians, bolstered by the return of Derek Prendergast and Lorcan Fitzgerald from suspension, struggled to get a foothold in the game and dominate possession as they had done in the cup. As the half hour approached there were no real chances of note. Shane Supple was forced into a save from a long distance Friel effort, while at the other end a glancing Roberto Lopes header was well held by Graham Doyle.

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Eric Molloy then had the home fans worried on the 38th minute when he hit a brilliant first time volley that rifled past Supple and just beyond the far post after Bohs failed to deal with a free kick just inside their half.

As much as Wexford were showing a physical approach, their aggression again spilled over into dangerous territory when just before half time Peter Higgins could have easily received his marching orders for a late lunge at Bohs skipper Derek Pender. The referee again decided it was just worthy of a caution.

Bohs then snatched the lead right on half time after some nice work down the right hand side by Paddy Kavanagh. The right winger delivered a dangerous cross right in the channel between defence and keeper, and Kurtis Byrne did well to get ahead of his marker and, on the stretch, his close range effort was parried in the air by Doyle, but the Bohs front man was quickest to react to poke the ball home.

Bohs started the second half with a slight change of formation, Keith Buckley moved out to the left side with O’Halloran partnering Byrne up top in a 4-4-2 formation as they began to gain more possession.

The tactical switch seemed to suit the home side with O’Hallorans pace causing all sorts of problems for the Wexford defence and could have doubled their lead on the hour mark. A neat passing move in the midfield resulted in Buckley slipping Byrne down the left hand side of the box but he was dragged his left footed shot just wide.
The physical encounter did not relent as Bohs centre half Ian Morris found himself in the book when he mistimed a last ditch tackle on Danny Furlong. This followed a good chance for the home side when Lorcan Fitzgerald delivered an in-swinging cross that Derek Prendergast was unable to guide goalwards.

The Gypsies should have killed the game off on the 77th minute from another excellently delivered Fitzgerald corner. The ball dropped just inside the far post and just as it seemed easier to score, Ian Morris somehow got his bearings all wrong and couldn’t force it over the line.

There was another moment of controversy to come right before the final whistle, Graham Doyle was adjudged to have come outside his box with the ball in his hands and didn’t release it in time. Paddy Kavanaghs resulting free kick floated over the bar, but it was certainly something you don’t see given every day.

Bohs will look to kick on from tonight’s battling performance and continue for a top half finish when they host bottom of the table Longford Town this Friday.
And with games running out quickly, Shane Keegan’s side face a must win game against Bray Wanderers at Ferrycarrig Park but if they show the same passion and determination as they did tonight points wont be that far off.

Bohemian FC: Shane Supple, Derek Pender, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Derek Prendergast, Eoin Wearen, Keith Buckley, Kurtis Byrne (Dan Byrne), Paddy Kavanagh (Jake Kelly), Dean O’ Halloran (Mark Quigley), Ian Morris

Subs: Dean Delany, Marco Chindea, Warren O’Hora, Dylan Hayes

Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Lee Grace, Peter Higgins, Danny Furlong, Eric Molloy, Chris Kenny, Aiden Friel (Paul Murphy), Shane Dunne (Andy Mulligan), Stephen Last, Andrew O’Connor, Eoin Porter (Aiden Keenan)

Subs: Corey Chambers, Craig McCabe, John Bonner, Shane Dempsey

Referee: David McKeon

Attendance: 895

Website by Simon Alcock