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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

TOUGH DRAW IN MILK CUP

Bohemians have been handed a tough draw in this summer’s Northern Ireland Milk Cup.

Bohemians are competing in the Premier Section (Under-16) of the prestigious competition, which runs from July 28th to August 2nd.

The draw, conducted by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and player Raheem Sterling, saw Bohs paired with CSKA Moscow (Russia), Corinthians (Brazil) and County Londonderry (Northern Ireland).

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PREMIER SECTION: Group One - Vendee FC, Cruz Azul, Cherry Orchard, Co. Down. Group Two - Otago, Club America de Mexico, Co. Tyrone, Co. Fermanagh. Group Three - CSKA Moscow, SC Corinthians, BOHEMIANS, Co. Londonderry. Group Four - Newcastle Utd, O’Higgins FC (Chile), Liverpool, Co. Armagh. Group Five - TUS Altenberge, Strikers FC, Manchester Utd, Co. Antrim.

JUNIOR SECTION: Group One - Plymouth Argyle, Strikers FC, Japan FA, Co. Fermanagh. Group Two - Brentford FC, Barcelona Sporting de Ecuador, Co. Londonderry, Co Antrim. Group Three - Watford FC, Colina (Chile), North Dublin SL, Co. Down. Group Four - Southampton, Liverpool, Cavan & Monaghan League, Co. Tyrone. Group Five - Swindon Town, Everton, Dundalk SL, Co. Armagh.

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BOHS BUS TO DROGHEDA

The Bohs bus heads to Hunky Dorys Park this Friday (May 3rd) as the Gypsies travel take on Drogheda United in the Airtricity League.

Check-in is from 3pm. The bus will leave Dalymount Park at 5.30pm sharp and return straight after the game. The cost is €15 return.

To put your name down, mail bus@bohemians.ie.

HOME TO DROGS IN THE CUP

Bohemians have been drawn at home to Drogheda United in the second round of the FAI Ford Cup. The match is scheduled to take place on the weekend ending Sunday June 2.

FULL DRAW: Tolka Rovers v College Corinthians,  St Patrick’s Athletic v UCD,  Bray Wanderers v Mervue United, Bohemians v Drogheda United, Bluebell United v Athlone Town, Glenville v Limerick, Finn Harps v Wexford Youths, Waterford United v Sligo Rovers, Salthill Devon v Shamrock Rovers, St Patrick’s CY v Cobh Ramblers, Shelbourne v Bandon, Cork City v Kilbarrack United, Blarney United v Derry City, Longford Town v Pike Rovers, Phoenix v Dundalk, Avondale United v Sheriff YC.

MAGIC MULCAHY RESCUES GYPSIES

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 1 – 1 BOHEMIANS

At the end of this nailbiting re-scheduled clash, the chants of ‘Super Dave Mulcahy’ from the travelling fans said it all, as a wonderful individual performance earned the Gypsies a point against high-flying Pats at Richmond Park. The above scoreline could easily read St. Pats 1 – 1 Dave Mulcahy, as the Bohs number 5 put in a truly phenomenal defensive showing, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

How the Gypsies escaped from Inchicore with a point is a question that few could answer – but many will point to the contribution from the big Kilkenny man. He was everywhere – blocking shots, intercepting passes, clearing headers, and even scoring a dramatic equaliser that gave Aaron Callaghan’s men a real bonus point against one of the Airtricity League’s form teams.

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Bohs made the short trip across the city without the injured Derek Pender and Dave Scully. Conor O’Brien and Dwayne Wilson were drafted into the 3-5-2 formation that began the game against Bray Wanderers on Friday. Initial signs were good, with the visitors’ tactics seeming to catch St Pats off guard in the opening quarter. Chris Lyons was a constant menace, and he created the first chance of the game for himself after 4 minutes. He collected Andy Mulligan’s cross, swiveled on a sixpence, and fired over the bar all in one movement. How many more points would Bohs have if the former UCD striker hadn’t missed half of the 10 league games so far?

Bohs were definitely the brighter team, with Lyons again causing trouble for the Pats defence. He received the ball out on the right from Wilson, and skipped past the lunging Kenny Browne inside the box. The Bohs crowd in the Shed End begged, nay,  implored Lyons to go down, but the honest striker stayed on his feet and crossed for Wilson, whose eventual pass toward Mulligan came to nothing.

With the Gypsies bossing the opening half hour, a sucker punch was almost inevitable, and it came courtesy of ex-Bohs striker Anto Flood. Putting it kindly, Dean Delany is struggling for confidence, and he wont be happy again with his role in the opening goal here. A routine short corner wasn’t reacted to by the Bohs defence, and the cross was floated in by Ian Bermingham. Delany came, flapped, and didnt connect, leaving ‘Bisto’ Flood with the simple task of rising above Luke Byrne to head the Saints into the lead.

The home side’s confidence grew from that point, and they really took control before and after half time. Kevin Devaney came on for the struggling Conor O’Brien at the break, but Pats were well on top by that stage. Delany spilled a Bermingham shot, but recovered in time to collect in front of an on-coming Flood. The introduction of Jake Kelly for Pats added an extra dimension to their game. His slid pass found Conan Byrne who dinked it over Delany, only for Roberto Lopes to clear off the line. Just a minute later, Kelly again found Byrne with a low cross, but the ball inexplicably came back off the crossbar.

A rare glimpse of the Pats goal came for Bohs on 70 minutes when Michael Barker showed great composure to beat two players and let fly with a stinging shot that Brandan Clarke tipped over the bar. From the resulting corner, Ryan McEvoy’s whipped cross was met with blunt force by Dave Mulcahy at the near post. Two men on the line couldnt stop it, and Bohs had smash-and-grabbed an equaliser!

Almost instantly, Pats hit the woodwork again, Conor Kenna’s header was clawed onto the post by Delany, as the home side searched for a winner. Up stepped Mulcahy, who started to produce a string of amazing last-ditch blocks. At one stage, he had been laid out on the ground by a clash of heads with Christy Fagan – but even his prone, spread-eagled body managed to get in the way of a Chris Forrester shot. Jake Kelly blazed over from 8 yards after a slaloming Forrester run, and it started to look like one of those nights.

Bohs almost pulled off an amazing win when sub Shane Fitzgerald crossed for Lyons, but Conor Kenna pulled a Mulcahy-esque block out of nowhere to deny the quiffed forward a fourth league goal. Dean Delany weighed in with a couple of smart injury time saves to deny Fagan and Kelly, and a hard-fought point was amazingly secured. Next up for Bohs, they conclude the first round of league fixtures with a trip to Drogheda on Friday.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Connor Kenna, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Sean Gannon (Jake Kelly, 60), John Russell, Shane McFaul; Conan Byrne, Anthony Flood (Christy Fagan, 65), Christopher Forrester. Subs not used: Dave Ryan, Aidan Price, Jake Carroll, Stephen Maher, Conor Murphy. 

Bohemians: Dean Delaney; Roberto Lopes, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne; Michael Barker, Conor O’Brien (Kevin Devaney, 46), Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Andy Mulligan;  Dwayne Wilson (Shane Fitzgerald, 73); Chris Lyons. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Ciaran Nangle, Michael Scott, Darragh Reynor, Kevin O’Leary.

Bohs Man of the Match: Dave Mulcahy

CALLAGHAN: WE’RE GOING OVER THERE CONFIDENT

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC v BOHEMIANS (Monday April 29th, KO 7.45pm)

Bohemians play their rescheduled match against St Patrick’s Athletic boosted by a home win in difficult conditions against Bray Wanderers on Friday.

“We’re going over there more confident as result of that win,” said manager Aaron Callaghan. “But Pat’s are also in better form than when we were due to meet them last month.”

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Callaghan had wanted his players to “put in a shift” and “give the fans something to shout about” on Friday. He changed the system to put more players up front, with three at the back.

“This left us a bit vulnerable at times. We were open to counter-attack and Bray tried to take advantage of that. But the lads did well and I certainly can’t fault them for effort.”

Callaghan was pleased with the performances of Bohs debutant Shane Fitzgerald and of lively winger Andy Mulligan, who made his first league appearance after an intensive campaign of college football.

But the schedule of two games a week is taking its toll on the squad. Callaghan will not have time to prepare fully for the challenge of an away Dublin derby and his selection choices are narrowing.

Several players have picked up injuries and will face late fitness tests. Derek Pender (calf) and Dave Scully (hamstring), who were crucial to Bohs’ efforts on Friday, are among the doubtful starters.

Stephen Paisley (knee), Conor O’Brien (ankle) have joined Owen Heary (knee) on the injury list.

The Bohemian manager expects St Patrick’s Athletic to improve this season on last year’s achievements. “They have a good squad, they’re on a good run and they have shown they can contend for the title,” he said of his former club.

Ex-Pat’s man Dave Mulcahy returned to Friday’s squad after illness and showed all the value of his experience when Bohs had their backs against the wall late in Friday’s game. His strength and guile will be required again on Monday, particularly in the possible absence of Heary, Paisley and Pender.

Eight of the last nine league games between Bohemians and Pats have been drawn or decided by a single goal either way.

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VIDEO: BOHEMIANS 3 BRAY WANDERERS 2 POST-MATCH

Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan gave his post-match reaction to ROBERT O’REARDON after Bohs’ 3-2 win against Bray Wanderers on Friday night.

Filmed by Jamie O’Halleron

 

 

 

REPORT: BOHEMIANS 3 – 2 BRAY WANDERERS

Bohemians got their Airticity League campaign back on track with a thrilling 3-2 win over battling Bray Wanderers at a windswept Dalymount Park. A brace from Chris Lyons and a bullet header from Dave Mulcahy were enough to seal all three points for Aaron Callaghan’s men, who recorded their first home victory since the opening weekend, writes KEVIN FAGAN. 

The Gypsies were made to work for the victory by a determined Bray outfit who didnt look like a team that were beaten by an aggregate score of 11 goals in their last two games. Both Mulcahy and Dave Scully shrugged off illness to start the game, and both played a vital part in what could turn out to be a vital win.

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Despite a howling gale blowing towards Dean Delany at the Shopping Centre end, Bohs started brightly, with Andy Mulligan and Shane Fitzgerald making their season debuts out wide in a 3-5-2 formation at the start of the game. The opening 15 minutes belonged to Bohs, and they deservedly took the lead after 12. Lovely footwork from Ryan McEvoy split the Bray defence as they tried to get out from a cleared corner. McEvoy slipped in Andy Mulligan, and the young winger showed great composure to square the ball to Chris Lyons, who had the simple task of tapping in from 6 yards.

After that promising start, things started to go pear-shaped for the home side. Aided by the wind, Bray piled on the pressure. Ex-Bohs goal machine Jason Byrne almost scored an outrageous volley before the equaliser inevitably came. Again, it was a sloppy goal for Bohs to concede. In fact, it was somewhat of a freak goal. After Kieran “Marty” Waters was tackled by Luke Byrne on the edge of the box, the ball broke to Gary Dempsey, who let fly from 25 yards. The ball amazingly canonned off the spread-eagled Waters, looped into the air, and went in off what looked like a ricochet between the crossbar and Dean Delany’s head.

Pat Devlin’s men were unlucky not to get to half time in the lead. Delany pulled off some smart saves from Waters, Byrne, and John Mulroy as Aaron Callaghan abandoned the 3-5-2 and switched to an orthodox 4-4-2. There’s no doubt the Bohs manager would have been happy to hear the half time whistle.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were cagey, then Bohs burst into life. Dave Scully had what was surely his best performance in a Bohs shirt. He held the ball up magnificently, brought others into play, and was a general nuisance for the Bray defence all night. He was almost rewarded with a goal on the hour mark, but his toe poked effort from Mulligan’s cross was well saved by Darren Quigley.

The lead goal was coming, and it was no surprise that the ultra-sharp Lyons was again on the end of it. Keith Buckley, playing in a central midfield role, played it forward to McEvoy, who controlled brilliantly and sent Lyons through over the top. With Quigley coming to meet him, Lyons deflty lifted it over the keeper from the corner of the 18 yard box. It seemed to take an age to come down, but when it did – it nestled in the back of the net.

The home fans had hardly retaken their seats when the third goal arrived. A lovely whipped free kick from Buckley found Dave Mulcahy unmarked on the penalty spot. The big man made no mistake, rocketing his header into the top corner.

There was still 25 minutes left, and Bray came back into it in the final quarter. There was clear jitters in the air as Bohs struggled to keep the ball. Many long clearances were aimlessly directed, and the nerves were clearly on show. These nerves werent helped when Kevin Knight’s pull-back was neatly finished by John Mulroy on 75 minutes. There could have been a capitulation, but credit to the Bohs backline. Marshalled by Mulcahy, they stayed strong and restricted Bray to long range efforts. Jason Byrne dragged one wide, and Bohs held out for a priceless three points.

Next up, a crunch tie in Inchicore on Monday for the re-arranged tie with St Patrick’s Athletic.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Roberto Lopes, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne, Derek Pender (Michael Barker, 72), Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Andy Mulligan (Kevin Devaney, 83), Shane Fitzgerald (Karl Moore, 75), Dave Scully, Chris Lyons. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Michael Scott, Dwayne Wilson, Shane Murray.

Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley, Danny O’Connor, Danny Webster, Kevin Knight, Conor Earley (Ishmail Akinade, 76), Dean Zambra, Gary Dempsey (Shane O’Neill, 87), Paul Malone, Keiran ‘Marty’ Waters, Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Shane O’Connor, Stephen McGuiness, Daniel Joyce, Eoin Hyland, Daire Doyle.

Bohs Men of the Match: Dave Scully / Dave Mulcahy.

THE WEEKENDER: APRIL 26

BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR

While it’s a bit early in the season to be using the phrase “six-pointer”, there will be a faint whiff of desperation off both sides tonight as we welcome Bray Wanderers to Dalymount. Although the visitors have been all at sea in recent weeks (last 2 results 0-7 v Shamrock Rovers and 0-4 v Limerick), they travel to Phibsborough to face a Bohs side who have hardly been striking fear into opposing teams, with no goals in our last 4 home games.

It’s a very tight game to call, but Bohs look the better side and [our only two] wins against Shels and UCD earlier this season prove that we can scrape wins against the teams around us in the table. Some of our approach play has been useful enough this season, with our finishing and defending letting us down. Bray will surely give up chances tonight and we can be backed at 2.08 with Pinnacle to win our third victory of the 2013 season.

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We are coming towards the stage of the season where everyone will have played everyone else once, and the look the table takes on at that time might not be a million miles away from how it looks in November when the prizes are being handed out. Although Bohs fans will see St Pat’s for the first time on Monday next, Sligo and Derry look like they deserve to occupy the top 2 spots in the table. Shamrock Rovers can be expected to go on a run and improve on their current position, challenging Pat’s for third. They can get the bandwagon rolling again away to UCD tonight, with Shamrock fancied to win by two or more at 6/5 with Bet365.

The live action on RTE comes from the plastic pitch in Dundalk where a surely weary Cork City team arrive to take on Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk. Getting knocked out of the Setanta Cup on Monday last will have been a sucker punch to Cork and Dundalk can take advantage with a narrow win at 13/10 with Sporting Bet. Cork’s habit of letting in late goals is already problematic but tonight they are without Danny Murphy and Colin Healy.

Derry will be hoping to perform better at Richmond Park than Sligo did last weekend, and can go top of the league if they can beat St Pat’s. The home side are playing well of late, with Killian Brennan pulling the strings in the midfield. Derry will be a strong test though and it’s a game that looks extremely difficult to call. If Pat’s take the three points here they’ll have to be taken very seriously indeed.

Sligo look a very short price to beat Drogheda at the Showgrounds, even though they already did so this week. On that occasion, the narrow win wasn’t enough and Sligo went crashing out, missing out on a final against Shamrock Rovers. Quite ludicrously, the final will be held in Tallaght a year after Drogheda had to travel to the same location for the League Cup Final. While Sligo are well capable of blowing out anyone in the league, there are enough reasons to avoid backing them. This current Drogs side don’t allow many teams routine home wins against them.

Another long odds-on home team who look best avoided is Limerick. Most people will expect them to breeze past Shels but already this season Shels have taken draws against Shamrock Rovers, and last week against Cork City. It is quite simply not the case that Shels are as bad as they look on paper and frankly it would be madness to side with unproven Limerick at twos on.

Recommended:
Bohs, 1pt 2.08 (Pinnacle)
Shamrock -1.5, 1pt 2.2 (Bet365)
Dundalk, 1pt 2.3 (Sporting Bet)

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CALLAGHAN: WE HAVE TO KEEP SUPPORTING THE YOUNG LADS

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v BRAY WANDERERS (Friday April 26th, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm)

Manager Aaron Callaghan is looking for a high work-rate from his players and renewed support from the fans as Bohemians look to pick up points after four defeats in five games.

Callaghan’s squad had an intensive and “excellent” training programme this week when the players put in a “nearly full-time” effort.

But in last Friday’s “poor performance”, according to Callaghan, “Dundalk were more efficient and they worked harder – and that was particularly disappointing to me”.

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“Maybe the players were a bit affected by having that game just three days after the trip to Limerick,” added Callaghan.

“The schedule is dictated to us without consultation and now we have another three-day break before the rescheduled match against Pats.”

In training Bohs have identified areas for improvement and talked through the recurring problems with individual errors.

“But we can’t blame players,” insisted Callaghan. “With a young squad you are more likely to have these errors and we have to keep supporting the young lads.”

The manager believes that Bohs fans understand that their team is a “work in progress – and in progress over two or three years” but the players and coaches “know the reality of where we are”.

“We haven’t given the fans a lot to shout about, especially at home. If we don’t put in a shift we can’t call on the fans as a twelfth man,” said Callaghan.

“I am a realist. We have to improve the results and if the system needs tweaking, that’s my responsibility.”

Friday’s game against equally youthful Bray assumes greater importance given Bohs’ recent record “but every game is a must-win”, insisted Callaghan, “whether we’re playing Bray or UCD or Shamrock Rovers”.

In the last ten league matches between the sides Bohemians have lost just once.

Having missed Dave Mulcahy last Friday, due to late withdrawal through illness, Bohemians may have to count without the experienced midfielder again. Dave Scully and Darragh Reynor (both illness) are also unlikely to be fit for selection, while Stephen Traynor is recovering from a medical procedure.

Captain Owen Heary (ankle) also remains sidelined, as he has been for over a month.

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MATCH SPONSOR v BRAY WANDERERS

We are delighted to have 911 Security  on board as match sponsor for Friday’s Airtricity League game against Bray Wanderers (KO 7.45).

A big thank-you to Paul Keegan from 911 for his support; we hope Paul and his guests enjoy the game and the matchday hospitality.

As always, please support our sponsors – visit 911security.ie for more information.

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