BOHEMIANS 5 LONGFORD TOWN 1
In a confident pre-season performance on Saturday morning, which saw Stephen Paisley make his Bohemians debut as a second-half substitute against the club where he won the FAI Cup twice, the Gypsies swept aside First Division outfit Longford Town 5-1 at IT Blanchardstown.
Goals from Chris Lyons, Luke Byrne, Darragh Hanaphy, Keith Buckley and Ryan McEvoy saw the Gypsies run out emphatic winners, writes ROBERT O’REARDON.
Although this contest was closer than the final scoreline suggested, it was Aaron Callaghan’s side who set the tone from the off.
Early shots from Andy Mulligan and McEvoy saw the Gypsies come close before Lyons won a penalty having been fouled by Town keeper Paul Hunt. The referee had consulted with his linesman and looked set to reverse his decision before eventually awarding the spot-kick, which was duly converted by Lyons, a striker signed from UCD over the closed season.
Going behind sparked Tony Cousins’ Longford into life. The Town started to create chances and would have been level had it not been for some last-ditch tackles from Bohs centre-backs Heary and Roberto Lopes. Evergreen Heary, 36, in particular kept the Midlanders at bay.
But soon afterwards, Bohs doubled their advantage as Ireland Under-19 international Byrne cut in from the left on to his less-favoured right foot before firing a rasping drive into the corner. With a 2-0 lead, the Gypsies were cruising at the break.
The second half started off as lively as the first. But this time it was Longford beginning to press and they got their reward on 55 minutes as Gavin Doyle found the net to pull it back to 2-1.
Managing against his former club, Callaghan began to ring the changes. On came Hanaphy, Michael Barker, Paisley and Conor O’Brien as Bohs began to take control again.
Less than five minutes after his introduction, Hanaphy found himself one-on-one with Hunt and the former Newry City striker’s lob made it 3-1.
But the Gypsies weren’t finished yet. Two minutes later, Buckley’s superb chip from 25 yards flew past the keeper much to the delight of his team-mates and manager before McEvoy wrapped up the scoring with a placed finish from 12 yards in the dying embers of the game.
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Owen Heary, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne; Keith Buckley, Stephen Traynor, Ryan McEvoy, Andy Mulligan, Shane Murray, Chris Lyons.
Subs used: Dwayne Wilson, Darragh Hanaphy, Michael Barker, Stephen Paisley.