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.

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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

COMFORTABLE WIN FOR BOHS

BOHEMIANS 3 LONGFORD TOWN 1

For the third straight year, Bohs dumped Longford out of the EA Sports Cup and booked their place in the second round. In a repeat of last season’s scoreline, tonight’s encounter ended with a 3–1 victory for the Gypsies, with goals coming from a Peter McGlynn own goal, Derek Prendergast and Jake Kelly for the hosts, and David O’Sullivan netting for the travelling side.

The home side picked a relatively strong starting line-up despite having played 4 games in 14 days, but Keith Long saw tonight’s game as an ideal rest a couple of players including the front two of Mark Quigley and Kurtis Byrne, who impressed last time out against Wexford Youths.

Bohs stormed into a 1-0 lead after just three minutes in yet another frantic start at Dalymount Park. A beautiful, in-swinging free kick from left back Lorcan Fitzgerald was diverted into his own goal by the helpless Peter McGlynn. Almost instantly the visitors found themselves back on level terms straight from the resulting kick off.

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A long hopeful ball straight through the heart of the Gypsies backline ran through for David O’Sullivan who drilled the ball low under Dean Delaney to level things up.

Another blow was to come for the home side when Ismahil Akinade, who seemed to have the beating of the Longford defence, was forced off injured after just 16 minutes on his return from suspension.

Longford then had a glorious chance to go 2-1 up after some great work down the right wing, ever threatening Peter McGlynn, cut back to skipper Kevin O’Connor and his right footed shot rifled off Delaney’s bar, bouncing down but somehow not crossing the line.

With both teams conceding possession a bit too easy for their liking, the game became scrappy and also a little feisty. Adam Evans and Pat Flynn had an off the ball tussle resulting in both going into the book.

Right on the stroke of half time Bohs then had their chance to take the lead. A cut back from the end line fell to Adam Evan who fluffed his lines with the goal at his mercy after the ball took a nasty bobble on its way across.

Bohs started the second half the better side, grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck with two quick-fire goals. Another excellent dribble from Ben Mohammed drew a nasty foul from John McKeown, who received a yellow for his efforts. Up stepped left back Fitzgerald, and with his wand of a left foot, crossed from the left wing. The top class delivery was delicately glanced in by Derek Prendergast to make it 2-1 in the 48th minute. Just five minutes later, the home fans were celebrating wildly once again when, that man again, Fitzgerald, whipped in an out swinging corner that caused all sorts of havoc in the visitors defence and the ball was eventually scrambled over the line by Jake Kelly.

From then on the hosts looked in control, keeping the ball much better than in the first half. Gypsies boss, Long, deserves a lot of credit for pushing Ben Mohamed into the number 10 position where he was able to see more of the ball and become a constant thorn in the side of Tony Cousins’ men. Langford’s frustration got the better of them when with just 10 minutes left to play, Pat Flynn hacked down Bohs substitute Patrick Kavanagh after his cross field dribble came to an abrupt end, resulting in the defender receiving his second yellow and marching orders.

The home side saw out the game comfortably enough and will be more than delighted that the defensive errors that plagued them in recent games seem to be coming to an end which will delight boss Keith Long. Next up is a tricky away tie to Galway on Saturday but the Gypsies will go into the game full of confidence now they are back to winning ways.

Bohemian FC: Dean Delany; Lorcan Fitzgerald, Daniel Byrne, Derek Prendergast, Dylan Hayes; Adam Evans, Keith Buckley (James Kavanagh 78), Roberto Lopes, Aymen Ben Mohamed (Jason Caffrey 84); Ismahil Akinade (Patrick Kavanagh 16), Jake Kelly.

Booked: Adam Evans (38).

Longford Town: Ian Molloy; Jamie Mulhall, Daniel O’Reilly, Pat Flynn, Mark Hughes; Kealon Dillon, Peter McGlynn (Kaleem Simon 58), Kevin O’Connor (Philip Gannon 84), John McKeown; David O’Sullivan, Karl Chambers (Josh O’Hanlon 63).

Booked: Pat Flynn (38 & 81), John McKeown (48), Daniel O’Reilly (82).

Referee: Paul Tuite.

 

LAST-GASP PENALTY SALVAGES POINT

An 88th-minute Mark Quigley penalty broke the hearts of the travelling Wexford Youths fans in an enthralling, action-packed game at Dalymount Park.

Both sides were going into tonight’s SSE Airtricity league clash with just three points from their opening three league games between them. Keith Long’s troops were looking to bounce back from their disappointing 3-0 derby defeat on Monday night to St. Pat’s, whereas the visitors were desperate to get their first points on the board having lost all three league games so far this campaign, including tough games against Shamrock Rovers and reigning champions Dundalk.

After a frantic start to the game, the visitors found themselves in dream land with just nine minutes on the clock after Anto Murphy miscontrolled a pass from left-back Lorcan Fitzgerald, allowing Wexford Youths front man Paul Murphy to steal possession. He found himself one on one with the onrushing Dean Delaney, who hauled him down. The penalty was confidently dispatched by Daniel Furlong, who sent the keeper the wrong way.

But Bohs responded almost immediately when a delightful cross from the left wing found Mark Quigley in the box. He made no mistake brilliantly placing the header in the bottom corner.

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Some more slack defending led to the Wexford Youths taking the lead again on 20 minutes. A long throw from Craig McCabe was hurled into the box. It looked like it got a nick of a defender’s head and the unmarked Chris Kenny nodded home. The Bohs fans and players screamed angrily for an offside call but the linesman kept the flag down.

With some a very nervy defending from the Bohs backline, including a number of unforced errors, unhappy home boss Keith Long wasted no time in changing things. He replaced Derek Prendergast with Dan Byrne at the heart of the defence with just 34 minutes on the clock. The change brought about a bit more stability at the back as Bohs began chasing the equaliser.

Both sides then missed glorious chances to add to their tallies. First, Bohs hitman Quigley slipped a lovely through ball to strike partner Kurtis Byrne who managed to drag his shot just wide. This was followed a few minutes later by Youths frontman Furlong volleying just wide with only Delany to beat.

As half-time approached, the home fans were treated to a wonder strike from right winger Paddy Kavanagh, which evened things up. The Bohs wide man whipped a fierce shot from 25 yards out from the right wing into the far corner, leaving Graham Doyle with no chance. 2–2 at half time. A pretty impressive and hectic first half from both teams who, prior to tonight, had only managed one goal each in their previous three games.

The Gypsies started the second half much the better side with the tricky Aymen Ben Mohammed taking on all comers with a couple of exceptional runs that struck fear into the opposition defence. The talented winger drew a crunching tackle from Craig McCabe who caught him high around the midriff. He was shown a yellow but on another day he could have seen red. It was soon becoming “The Ben” show as the wide man was at the centre of everything good for the home side and looking the most likely to create something.

Bohs were really turning the screw now, desperately seeking the goal their second half play deserved but the away side continued to work impressively hard to keep Bohs at bay, while also looking dangerous on the counter. Furlong was a constant threat over the top all night.

Disaster struck for Bohs with just 10 minutes remaining, when another long ball into the box resulted in an almighty scramble. Chaos ensued and keeper Delaney looked to have been fouled from an attempted overhead kick of Chris Kenny but referee James McKell kept the whistle from his mouth and giant defender Gary Delaney rose highest to head into the empty net.

Facing the prospect of losing their second game in five days, the home fans despair turned to joy when in the 88th minute, midfielder Roberto Lopes was clipped in the box by Danny Ledwith after nipping just in front of him to collect a low cross. Quigley confidently stepped up, kept his cool and put the penalty high to the keepers right hand side.Youths keeper Graham Doyle will feel a bit unlucky as he got hands to it, pushing it in off the post, but the pace and accuracy was too much.

Bohs boss, Long, will be happy with how his side showed a dogged, determined and never say die attitude to rescue a point right at the death, having found themselves behind on three separate occasions. There is no doubt some work to be done on the training ground to cut out the errors at the back but if they continue to show this passion, the players, staff and fans could be in for an exciting season. The Gypsies will be hoping to get back to winning ways starting with a home tie against Longford Town in the EA Sports Cup this coming Tuesday.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Anto Murphy, Derek Prendergast (Dan Byrne 34), Lorcan Fitzgerald; Paddy Kavanagh (Jake Kelly 78), Dave Mulcahy, Roberto Lopes, Ayman Ben Mohamed (Adam Evans 90+2); Kurtis Byrne, Mark Quigley.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Lee Grace, Ryan Delaney; Aidan Friel, Jonny Bonner (Craig Wall 87), Chris Kenny (Stephen Last 90+2), Eric Molloy (Danny Ledwith 57); Danny Furlong, Paul Murphy.
Referee: James McKell (Tipperary).

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