Bohemians suffered their second heavy home defeat on the bounce as high-flying Derry City won by four goals to nil at Dalymount Park. In a match that was eerily similar to last Friday’s defeat to Sligo, the Gypsies played some good football in patches, but were ultimately undone by a mix of poor defending and clinical finishing, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Aaron Callaghan might just be hoping that the RTÉ cameras stay away from Phibsborough for a few weeks, with the second televised game in a row ending in a very unfavourable scoreline for Bohs. Despite a confidence-boosting win over Shelbourne on Monday, the unchanged side were well beaten by Declan Devine’s efficient counter-attacking outfit.


Just like the game at Tolka, Bohs started well. Superb close control from Ryan McEvoy gave him some space to feed Luke Byrne, who slid a lovely pass through to Ciaran Nangle. Nangle’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal, agonizingly close to both Dave Scully and Kevin Devaney.

Unfortunately for Bohs, they were hit with a sucker punch just as the team were starting to dominate. Derry’s Patrick McEleney had been anonymous for the opening 13 minutes, but he definitely caught the attention in the 14th. He picked the ball up on the left side about 30 yards out, skipped inside Derek Pender, and unleashed what is often referred to as a “worldie”. His curling 30-yard strike hit the underside of Dean Delany’s crossbar, bounced down and back up into the top corner. It was a strike to light up any game.

As good as Derry’s opening goal was, their second was the kind of goal that would give a manager sleepless nights. An aimless ball down the line from Paddy Kavanagh was totally misjudged by Ciaran Nangle, who let the ball slip under his boot. Simon Madden suddenly had acres of room to deliver a cross, which found Michael Rafter on the penalty spot. Rafter had far too much time to take a touch, set himself, and shoot through Roberto Lopes’ legs to double Derry’s lead.

As the game wore on, it was difficult not to cast minds back to the first half of the game against Shamrock Rovers, and Chris Lyons’ injury. Bohs just haven’t looked particularly dangerous since the former UCD man was chopped down by Derek Foran, and Aaron Callaghan will be hoping his ankle injury heals as quick as possible.

Bohs’ best spell came after the break, when a string of corners and free kicks heaped pressure on the Derry defence. Again, no clear cut chances materialized, despite a clear penalty appeal being turned down for a blatant handball by Shane McEleny. The out-of-retirement Anthony Buttimer may well have been unsighted, but his assistant in front of the Derry fans should have put his flag across his chest.

With Bohs close-but-not-quite getting back into the game, a third Derry goal was always going to be the killer. Again, it was sloppy. Dean Delany flapped at a Derry corner, and the looping ball returned to the back post was miraculously cleared off the line by Ryan McEvoy. However, no one in red and black reacted, and Shane McEleney rose to nod the ball into the empty net.

Just three minutes later, a forgettable night for the Gypsies was complete. Michael Rafter found himself in a lot of space between the midfield and defence. He had time to slip a ball around the side of a wrong-footed Roberto Lopes, and Barry McNamee applied the finish. Bohs now have 11 days to lick their wounds before an intruiging trip to Limerick and the grandeur of Thomond Park on Tuesday the 16th of April.

Bohemians:  Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle (Karl Moore 77), Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Keith Buckley 45), Dave Mulcahy; Dave Scully, Kevin Devaney. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Dwyane Wilson, Conor O’Brien , Andy Mulligan.

Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Simon Madden, Shane McEleney, Ryan McBride, Thomas Crawley (Dermot McCaffrey 83); Patrick Kavanagh (Michael Duffy 79), Barry Molloy, Ruaidhri Higgins, Patrick McEleney; Barry McNamee, Michael Rafter (Mark Griffin 80). Subs not used: James Gallagher, Ryan Curran, Tony McNamee, Conall Kelly.

Website by Simon Alcock