Kevin Devaney in control in Sligo by A Baldiemann

Friday May 11 2018, Carlisle Grounds, 7.45pm

Keith Long has challenged Bohemians to build on last week’s win away to Sligo Rovers and make it back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.

They travel to face bottom side Bray Wanderers side who have already taken scalps at the Carlisle Grounds against Derry City and Shamrock Rovers in the past month.

It took an injury-time winner from Dinny Corcoran for Bohs to claim all three points the last time the sides met, so manager Long is taking nothing for granted.

He said: “Bray’s performances have improved in recent weeks and their results are starting to pick up at home.

“Beating Derry City last week was a massive result for them. They’ve gathered momentum at the Carlisle Grounds so they are not to be underestimated.

“But we’re coming into this game positive. We kept a clean sheet for only the second time this year with the win in Sligo.”


That 2-0 victory in the Showgrounds saw Bohs take the lead somewhat against the run of play – a welcome reverse of what had become a habit of conceding first this season.

Long said: “It was a game where in the first half we didn’t hit the heights we have done in some games this season but we got the three points, which is the most important thing.

“We defended well despite being under pressure in the first half. Keeping them scoreless gave us the platform to push on and win the game in the second half and we could have scored more in the end.

“The challenge for us it to build on that. We haven’t put back-to-back league wins together and that has to change for us to climb up the table.

“We know we are capable of doing that. Our performances have been good enough for us to do so but we need everyone on top of their game tomorrow.”

Bohs crashed out of the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup away to holders Dundalk on Tuesday.

The relief is after that, save for next month’s Leinster Senior Cup tie away to the Lilywhites (Tuesday June 5), Bohs currently now have no further scheduled midweek fixtures for the remainder of the season.

Remarkably, Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat was the Gypsies’ eighth midweek game this year in all competitions.

Long had flagged beforehand that his options were limited as injuries and fatigue as a result of the heavy schedule continued to take their toll.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, Long was pleased with some of the individual performances of budding youngsters thrown in at the deep end.

He added: “The game was a bit of a headache. Our hands were tied as to what kind of team we could put out whereas we knew Dundalk would be strong no matter what team lined out.

“As well as first-team players missing or who needed to be rested, some of the U19 players we’d have liked to give a run-out to – the likes of Steven Nolan, Ryan Graydon and Cian McMullen – were also unavailable.

“But it was a good test for our young players who were available and it will stand to them.

“Paddy Kirk was excellent at left-back and with Darragh Leahy injured, his performance has given me some food for thought.

“We had Andy Lyons, who is only 17, in at right-back coming up against Dylan Connolly. He fared well and the game was a great education for him.

“Dylan Thornton when he came on did very well in midfield.

“We don’t have many defensive midfielders at the club so he’s a player again who we’ll be looking at in a different light now after how well he played against strong opposition.”


Scan results on the knee injury sustained by Darragh Leahy against Sligo Rovers last Saturday confirmed damage to his LCL, which is not as bad as first feared but will rule him out for six to eight weeks.

Dinny Corcoran (hip) and Rob Cornwall (back) return to the squad but Dan Casey (calf) is a doubt.

Derek Pender (calf) suffered a set-back when he aggravated his injury in the warm-up against Waterford 10 days ago. He is nearing a return but tomorrow’s game will come too soon for him.

Colin McCabe (shoulder), Seán Bohan (international duty with Ireland U17s), Karl Moore (ankle), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

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