CLINICAL ROVERS MAKE A MIELE OF DERBY

 BOHEMIANS  0 – 4  SHAMROCK ROVERS

Bohemians fell to a crushing home derby defeat – their worst in almost 50 years – as Shamrock Rovers inflicted a dreadful 4-0 loss in front of a huge crowd at Dalymount Park.

A brace from Brandon Miele was sandwiched between goals from Gary McCabe and Gavin Brennan as the visitors displayed clinical finishing throughout the high-intensity encounter. Bohs had the better of the first 30 minutes, but were undone by two sloppy goals right on either side of half time, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

READ MORE

Bohs boss Long kept faith with the same team that dispatched Bray last week, while old friends Pat Fenlon and Killian Brennan plotted the downfall of their former employers.

Typical of every single encounter between the two (in the last 20 years anyway), the game started at a feverish pace, with little or no constructive play due to the heady mixture of fouls, nerves, testing the referee, and settling in.

When the dust did settle, it was the home side who started to produce. Ayman Ben Mohamed, ever the bright spark, skinned Simon Madden on the left flank and pulled the ball back to Keith Buckley, who could only direct his 15-yard effort straight at Barry Murphy in the Rovers goal.

Then came the big chance for the Gypsies. This time the cross came from the left, and was whipped in be captain Derek Pender. Rovers centre back Maxime Blanchard fluffed his clearance, and the ball squirmed into the path of Izzy Akinade. However, the big striker’s shot wasn’t the most powerful, and was blocked brilliantly by Madden.

The old saying goes that you must score when you’re on top, and that is definitely the case in Derby matches. Rovers started to come into the game, shooting toward their horde of fans in the Des Kelly Stand. Gary Shaw stung the palms of Dean Delany – but as the fourth official held up the board, it looked like there’d be a half time stalemate.

Simon Madden had other ideas. He skipped past Lorcan Fitzgerald on the byline just outside the box, and the defender chopped him down clumsily. Rovers worked the resulting free kick well – pulled back short to the edge of the box. Brandon Miele’s shot was well blocked by Roberto Lopes, but the rebound fell to Gary McCabe who unleashed a powerful drive that took a deflection and flashed past Dean Delany.

Disappointment quickly turned into disaster for Bohs almost straight after the re-start. Paddy Kavanagh had a looped shot that came off the top of the crossbar, and from the resulting attack, Rovers struck again. This time, Brandon Miele was sent through down the right by McCabe, and directed a pinpoint shot into the far corner.

If the Bohs fans were hoping for a response from their team, they were left bitterly disappointed. Kurtis Byrne came on for Keith Buckley, but the change didn’t work out. Rovers began to dominate possession, and clinched the victory on 73 minutes. Again it was Miele, by far the best player on the pitch and maybe in the country, who struck. After skipping past two Bohs defenders and playing a one-two with Shaw, he curled a beautiful shot that clipped in off the inside of Delany’s post.

To add insult to injury, and really compound a night of pure misery for the Gypsies, Ryan Brennan curled a 25 yard peach into the top corner with 10 minutes to go to make it 4-0.

Bohs now face a crucial period in their season. A League Cup last 16 tie at Shelbourne is followed by a trip to Derry and a home date with the Champions, Dundalk. An instant response is required from the men in red and black.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Dan Byrne, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen, Keith Buckley (Kurtis Byrne, 56), Paddy Kavanagh, Ayman Ben Mohamed, Ismahil Akinade. Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Dave Mulcahy, Anto Murphy, James Kavanagh, Dylan Hayes, Adam Evans.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, David Webster, Gavin Brennan, Killian Brennan, Pat Cregg, Mikey Drennan, Gary McCabe, Brandon Miele (Trevor Clarke, 90), Gary Shaw (Gareth McCaffrey, 72). Subs not used: Craig Hyland, Rob Cornwall, Richard Purdy, Stephen McPhail, Danny North.

BYRNE BABY BYRNE

BOHEMIANS 4 DUNDALK 3

An action-packed night that’ll be remembered for both shambolic Dundalk defending and a Kurtis Byrne hat-trick master class, as Bohemians overcame a weakened but resilient Dundalk side in a thrilling encounter. The Dalymount faithful were treated to what was possibly one of the most memorable nights in the Leinster Senior Cup’s recent history.

Bohemians started the brighter team, and almost opened the scoring when a Jake Kelly free-kick found Kurtis Byrne unmarked at the back post, but the former Lilywhites frontman mistimed his kick completely as the goal lay at his mercy. Bohemians didn’t have to wait long for their next chance, as Evans skilfully caught Paddy Barrett flat-footed to pull back for Kelly, who could only find the comfortable hands of the Dundalk Keeper.

READ MORE

It was Stephen Kenny’s side, however, who took the lead after thirteen minutes as Bohs were left to rue their missed chances. An accurate through ball found the feet of Michael O’Connor who struck a well-placed shot past the on-rushing Lee Steacy.

Bohemians didn’t take it lying down, and almost drew level when Evans intercepted a sloppy Dundalk pass to find Keith Buckley on the edge of the area. Unfortunately for the tireless midfielder, his effort was blazed high and over. Keith Long’s men didn’t have to wait to ling for their next chance, as a stray Kelly shot found Kurtis Byrne on the 18-yard line; however his effort was well high of the target.

Bohemians continued to employ a high-pressing tactic which the Dalymount faithful have become so accustomed to since Long’s inception. After a string of wasted chances, the Gypsies’ finally drew level. Dundalk defender Anton Reilly shot himself in the foot as he hesitated on the ball inside hos 18 yard line, eventually losing out to Anto Murphy who fired home a ferocious strike past Gabriel Sava to draw the home side level before half-time.

The second half saw the game become a more open affair as Dundalk began to push on into the final third. However it was Bohemians who took the lead with another Kurtis Byrne wonder strike. The Bohs’ frontman found space 35 yards out and let fly with a perfectly weighted volley over the head of the unsuspecting Sava.

The lead didn’t last long though, as hesitant Bohemians defending allowed Michael O’Connor to gran his and Dundalk’s’ second with a delightful shot past an unmoved Steacy.

It was the last ten minutes though, that the game really caught fire. Kurtis Bryne again, showing the 300 in attendance that he’s not one to score ordinary goals. An 81st minute carbon copy of his previous goal, struck a sublime volley from 35 yards out to catch Sava off his line.

The Dundalk keeper will likely be having nightmares tonight, as his tormentor Byrne struck yet again with devastating free kick into the top-left corner of the goal to complete is hat-trick and surely kill off the game for Bohemians.

There was time, however, for a late Dundalk rally. A whizzing cross not dealt with by captain Dave Mulcahy allowed for substitute Jordan Kelly to fire home a late consolation for the away side.

A.B.M. SEALS VICTORY AFTER LONG WAIT

BOHEMIANS  2 – 0 LONGFORD TOWN

Ayman Ben Mohamed came back to haunt his old club with a goal that secured a 2 goal lead which would prove enough for Bohemians in a tricky game against Longford Town on Friday night. After 3 losses from 3 away games, Dalymount Park is fast becoming a home comfort for Keith Long’s Gypsies who have now earned 7 points from three home games.

The Bohs boss made 4 changes to the team that lost disappointingly to Galway United last week. Derek Prendergast returned to the back line, Keith Buckley and Eoin Wearen returned to the midfield, while Izzy Akinade led the line. Anto Murphy, Dave Mulcahy, Mark Quigley and Kurtis Byrne were left out, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

READ MORE

Akinade started brightly, linking up well with Buckley and Paddy Kavanagh – who looked in particularly good form. However, despite a lot of early possession, Bohs struggled to create many clear-cut chances. Lorcan Fitzgerald came closest with a shot that flashed over following a short corner. It was Longford who should really have taken the lead midway through the first half – but they failed to capitalise on Bohs mistakes. First, Lorcan Fitzgerald gave the ball away on the edge of the box, and Paddy Kavanagh had to make a terrific last-ditch tackle to stop David O’Sullivan. Next, O’Sullivan and Alex O’Hanlon tripped over each other when at least one of them should have scored.

Bohs first real chance fell to Kavanagh, who was popping up all over the field. Akinade broke down the left and his cross found Kavanagh who struck the outside of the post. The Gypsies did take the lead on 42 minutes from an unlikely source. The lively Ayman Ben Mohamed checked back on the edge of the box, and slipped the ball through to Keith Buckley. Never a prolific goalscorer, Bucko showed great composure to chip the ball delightfully over Paul Skinner into the net.

Then, on the stroke of half time, Bohs made Longford’s task even harder with a sucker-punch second. Captain Derek Pender flashed a brilliant cross to the far post where Ben Mohamed was waiting to slide the ball home. The former Longford man is fast becoming a cult hero with the Dalymount faithful, who have repaid his quality play with an excellent song in his honour. Listen out for it.

The two goal cushion seemed to loosen Bohs up, and the home team played with a lot of confidence in the second half. Paddy Kavanagh was at the heart of this. The type of player who always tries something different – and tonight it all came off for him. He was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet when he hit the post for a second time with a deflected shot. The woodwork took a hammering all night – Longford’s Peter McGlynn struck Dean Delany’s post with a shot that could’ve re-opened the game as a contest.

Derek Pender and Kavanagh linked very well on the right hand side, but the Bohs skipper’s night was ended by a dangerous challenge by Noel Haverty. The former St. Pats youngster seems to have a serious problem with Bohs, having been sent off in the League Cup meeting between the teams just last week. Haverty could easily have seen red again for pole-axing Pender. Keith Long will be sweating on the fitness of his captain, having lost him for much of the 2015 season with an Achilles injury. Next week, Bohs travel to the seaside to face Bray Wanderers – before the showdown with Shamrock Rovers on April 15th.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender (Dylan Hayes, 78), Derek Prendergast, Dano Byrne, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Keith Buckley, Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen (Dave Mulcahy, 84), Paddy Kavanagh, Ayman Ben Mohamed, Ismahil Akinade (Kurtis Byrne, 64). Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Anto Murphy, Jake Kelly.

Longford Town: Paul Skinner, Mark Hughes, James Mulhall, Pat Flynn, Noel Haverty, Kealon Dillon (Kaleem Simon, 14), Kevin O’Connor, Philip Gannon, Peter McGlynn (Don Cowan, 74), David O’Sullivan, Josh O’Hanlon. Subs not used: Ian Molloy, Daniel O’Reilly, Josh McKeown, Keith Beirne, Karl Chambers.

BohemianFC.com Man of the Match: Paddy Kavanagh

Website by Simon Alcock