“OUR DAY HAS TO COME MORE OFTEN THAN IT HAS DONE”

Keith Long by Michael Ryan

​WATERFORD v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday July 6 2018, The RSC, 7.45pm

Bohemians have shown they are a match for any team on their day but manager Keith Long has challenged them for that day ‘to come more often than it has done.’

Tomorrow, they face a team flying high in third place but who can count themselves fortunate to have taken six points from their two previous meetings against the Gypsies this season.

Bohs have been on the wrong side of two 1-0 scorelines against the Blues. In the RSC in March, the Gypsies were architects of their own downfall as a mistake at the back allowed Sander Puri claim all three points.

More frustratingly, some questionable officiating decisions, a sucker-punch from Courtney Duffus and an inability to convert chances into goals combined to see Bohs lose when the sides met again in Dalymount in May in a game they dominated.

Tomorrow, Bohs will look to claim their first points against Waterford this season but they face a side who have strengthened further with the additions of Angola international Carlos Wilson as well as Ireland underage internationals Dessie Hutchinson and Noe Baba.

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Bohs on the other hand have to contend with the loss of Dylan Watts after the playmaker’s loan deal and contract with parent club Leicester City expired.

Long said: “Dylan is a big loss for us, there’s no shying away from that. He’s been an exciting player to watch and we’ll miss him. But we’ll be working hard to strengthen in areas if we can.

“Waterford have already strengthened again this month, bringing in players with a good pedigree.

“They’ve good resources behind them – resources we’d be envious of. I don’t say that begrudgingly, it’s good for the league to have a strong Waterford team but it makes the challenge for us even greater.

“They’re in a good position in the league and have proved difficult opposition for any team this season.

“But we have shown on our day that we are a match for anyone. But our day has to come more often than it has done.

“We’re going down buoyed by winning a Dublin derby though and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Bohs had goalkeeper Shane Supple and a wonder goal from Kevin Devaney to thank for their day coming last Friday.

Outplayed by St Pat’s for the opening half-hour or so, Supple was called into action more often than he would have liked to keep the score level before Devaney conjured up a bit of magic to fire home the game’s decisive goal from 35 yards out.

For a team who can feel hard-done-by with some results this season, getting the three points on board was the most important thing.

Long added: “It was an important win. We’re getting towards the business end of the season so every win is important and every point matters.

“We were fortunate to have been scoreless when we took the lead.

“We were frustrated by our performance in the first half, it was a strange half. We were very slow to start playing, the heat and fact it was first game back after a week off might have played a part there.

“But we coughed up far too many chances for St Pat’s and we had some great saves from Shane and some last-gasp clearances from Derek Pender and Co to thank for keeping us in the game.

“We rode our luck, on another day we could have been three down. But it was a beautiful goal – something out of nowhere – by Kevin Devaney and it was worthy of winning any game.

“We made a couple of tactical and positional changes at half-time that saw us improve in the second half but the important thing was we found a way to score and we found a way to win.

“If you contrast that to our previous game two weeks previously where we went down to Cork, conceded in the 89th minute and were desperately unlucky to come away with nothing, then you can you can say we deserved some good fortune last week. We were delighted with the result, if not the performance.

“As I said last week, if we produce that performance in Cork every week, we’ll be fine.”

TEAM NEWS

Loanee Dylan Watts played his last game for the club against St Pat’s after his loan deal and contract with Leicester City expired.

There were two late withdrawals ahead of last week’s game. Dinny Corcoran (groin) remains a doubt, but Keith Buckley (bug) returns.

Ryan Swan (cruciate) remains out.

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