BOHEMIANS 2 – 1 DERRY CITY
Departing Bohemians manager Owen Heary signed off with another impressive home win as the Gypsies leapfrogged visitors Derry City into 7th place as the dust settled on the 2014 SSE Airtricity League season. Goals from the prolific strike partnership of Dinny Corcoran and Jason Byrne clawed back a lead against a Derry side with one eye on next week’s FAI Cup final.
It was a strange atmosphere in Dalymount, with many fans unsure if this was the last time they’d see some of these players in red and black. Heary’s departure was all-but confirmed, but there were still 3 vital points to play for. A 7th place finish with respectable cup runs would be undoubtedly a season of exceeded expectations, and that’s exactly how it played out, writes KEVIN FAGAN.
Heary’s final selection was a familiar 4-4-2, with Jason Byrne captaining the side. Kevin Devaney returned to the right wing, and resumed his terrorising of defences with incisive runs. He was backed up on the right flank by Steven Beattie – how Bohs fans would dearly love to see those two don the famous jersey in 2015.
However, it was a depleted Derry who took the lead. The Candystripes named only 5 substitutes and were without key men Rory Patterson, and Patrick McEleney, but that didn’t stop an impressive opener. Youngster Josh Treacy was offered too much space in front of the back four, and he picked out Mark Timlin on the right edge of the box. Timlin jinked inside Jack Memery, and fired a low drive into Dean Delany’s bottom corner.
Before Friday, Bohs had not come from behind to win a game this season, but that was all to change once the strike partnership of Jason Byrne and Dinny Corcoran clicked into action. Corcoran’s equaliser was his 20th of the season in all competitions, a fantastic return for the Donabate man. Eoin Wearen collected a clearance, and floated the ball back into the box. Derry seemed to stop, thinking Corcoran was offside – but he had time to control on the chest and side-foot Bohs back into it.
On what was likely his last appearance in a Bohs shirt, Steven Beattie was excellent in the right back role. Bombing forward with Devaney on the right, he earned Bohs a penalty on the stroke of half time. Played through by Devaney, he got to the ball a split-second before Ger Doherty in the Derry goal. Referee Andrew Mullaly first indicated a free kick, but after consultation with his assistant, pointed to the spot. Jason Byrne stepped up and did what he does best – scoring yet another league of Ireland winner.
Byrne left the field to a standing ovation late in the second half. With Derry having made their three substitutes, a serious head injury to Ryan McBride meant that Bohs played against 10-men in the last 10 minutes. Dinny had the chance to get a 21st goal in injury time, but his penalty was skewed wide.
The next league game in Dalymount in March will see a new manager, and almost certainly a much-changed squad. A stablised Bohs can now look up the table, and forward to the future.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Steven Beattie, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery, Kevin Devaney (Jake Hyland, 80), Keith Buckley (Paddy Kavanagh, 80), Eoin Wearen, Karl Moore, Dinny Corcoran, Jason Byrne (Craig Walsh, 80). Subs not used: Ryan McEvoy, Adam Evans, Paddy Collins, Gavin Moore.
Derry City: Ger Doherty, Barry Molloy, Shane McEleney, Aaron Barry (Ryan McBride, 46), Dean Jarvis, Mark Timlin, Danny Ventre, Sean Houston (Philip Lowry, 15), Joshua Tracey, Ryan Curran, Nathan Boyle (Stephen Dooley, 68). Subs not used: Michael Duffy, Ciaran Gallagher.
Mr. Green Bohemian Man of the Match: Keith Buckley