Owen Heary’s mini relegation revival came to a shuddering halt as Bohemians were soundly beaten by league champions Sligo Rovers at a sodden and soaked Dalymount Park. Goals in either half from perennial Bohs-haunter Gavin Peers and former Gypsy Aaron Greene condemned Heary’s charges to a ninth home league defeat of the season, leaving them just two points off the bottom, having played a game more than Bray and Shelbourne.

Sligo were never excessively troubled on a frustrating night for the home side. The Bit O’Red are still chasing the league title, and this victory keeps their Championship dream alive. Their slick counter-attacking play and solid defensive unit gave the Bohs fans little to shout about, writes KEVIN FAGAN. 


Against a team that boasted Joseph Ndo, Raffaele Cretaro, and Danny North only on the bench, the home side were always going to be the underdogs – but kept the opening 15 minutes tight, with little chances to speak of at either end. A strong midfield trio of Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy, and Stephen Traynor promised much on the team sheet, but they struggled to form a cohesive passing unit. Although Sligo played with only 2 in the middle of the park, their possession was more controlled.

The opener came out of the blue on 16 minutes. Former Crystal Palace winger Kieran Djalili whipped in a dangerous near post corner that was powered in by the head of Gavin Peers. Almost an identical header to the one scored by Johan Elmander in the Aviva last night, the pace on the ball did all the work – leaving Dean Delany clawing at thin air.

Bohs started to come into the game more as the half wore on, with set pieces seemingly the key to breaking Sligo down. Luke Byrne had a half chance when a corner fell to him at the back post, but the full back could only shoot into the side netting. Bohs’ best first half chance fell to striker Conor Murphy. Following a well-worked free kick involving McEvoy and Karl Moore, Murphy could only head over the bar from point blank range. A frustrating start to his Bohs career has seen Murphy yet to get on the scoresheet since his arrival from St Pats.

The second half continued in a similar vein; Bohs struggled to create any meaningful chances, while Sligo looked menacing on the break. Anto Murphy could have equalised just after the break, but his header was brilliantly cleared off the line by the immense Peers. Conor Murphy also went close, but his curling effort went just the wrong side of the post following some neat footwork by Karl Moore.

As Bohs struggled to break down the door, Sligo grew in confidence – and a break-away second goal started to look all the more likely. Lovely interplay between Anthony Elding and David McMillan saw the former UCD man tuck a neat ball back to Aaron Greene, who finished smartly past Delany to seal the deal.

Bohs huffed and puffed for the final 20 minutes, but Gary Rogers was only troubled by a snap shot from Luke Byrne as the game fizzled out. With an FAI Cup week next up, Bohs have another 2-week break before the crucial, mouth-watering clash with Shelbourne at Tolka Park. Rivalling – if not eclipsing – the 2003 league decider in importance stakes, the North side will be rocking come September 20th.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Anto Murphy, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne; Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy (Darragh Reynor, 66), Stephen Traynor, Karl Moore, Keith Buckley, Conor Murphy (Chris Lyons, 75). Subs not used: Greg Murray, Michael Barker, Daniel Byrne, Andy Mulligan, Kevin Devaney.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Danny Ventre, Iarfhlaith Davoren (Liam Martin, 88), Seamus Conneely, David Cawley, Kieran Djilali, Aaron Greene; David McMillan (Danny North, 62), Anthony Elding (Lee Lynch, 75). Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly, Joseph Ndo, Raffaele Cretaro, Liam Martin.

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