Whisper it, mutter it under your breath, dare to believe it… the Bohs might just be staying up! That was the battle cry from the visiting fans as Bohs produced possibly their best performance of the season at the most crucial moment.

The stakes couldn’t have been higher for tonight’s relegation showdown in Tolka Park, and it was Phibsborough club who showed the heart, desire, and commitment to earn the three points that could prove vital come November.

Although Bobby Browne’s name was in the ‘Manager’ column on the teamsheet, this was an Owen Heary-led Bohemians team, and they displayed the kind of fearlessness that the great man showed for both of these clubs on so many occasions. Goals from Dinny Corcoran, Ryan McEvoy and Dave Mulcahy gave the huge Bohs crowd plenty to shout about on a night when they could have easily had 6 or 7, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


The opening 15 minutes of this encounter was right out of the bottom drawer. Both sides were painfully, nervously trying not to make any mistakes, and flowing football was at a premium. Long, hoofed clearances were the order of the day, but even at that stage, Bohs just about seemed to have an edge. The opening goal came out of the blue, but it was one of the best goals the Gypsies have scored all year. Anto Murphy was the catalyst, and his slaloming run down the left side carved open the Shelbourne defence. His back post cross was stood up beautifully to Karl Moore, who nodded the ball back to Corcoran, whose first time strike was perfect. A Shels defender tried in vain to clear, but could only block the ball into the roof of the net.

The Bohs fans outnumbered the home crowd by around four to one, but it sounded like double that as the decibel level rose once it became clear that this was a game Bohs were totally in control of. Corcoran could well have had at least one other soon after his goal, but his first effort flew over, and a second, easier chance was dragged wide. Dave Mulcahy should have done better from a Stephen Traynor corner, but Bohs were absolutely in the asendancy at the break.

Careful not to be made to pay for missing those chances, Bohs came out of the blocks like a train in the second half. First, Traynor had a great chance after a woeful back header from Adam O’Connor, but Lee Murphy saved well from close range. The second goal was coming, and it was fitting that a true Bohs man sealed the deal. Traynor’s deflected cross from the right fell kindly for Ryan McEvoy at the near post, and the midfielder hooked a lofted shot over Murphy into the far corner.

Traynor had possibly his best game in a Bohs shirt, and just 2 minutes after McEvoy’s goal he displayed an ice cool nerve to stop the ball in the centre of the box, and square it to Keith Buckley. Amazingly, Buckley shot straight at Murphy from 6 yards, but by that stage, Shels were beaten. Bohs have played an extra game than their close rivals, but it’s hard to see Shelbourne picking up anywhere near enough points to make up the 5-point deficit.

The icing on the red and black cake came on 83 minutes, and again it was a late-arriving midfielder who did the trick. This time, Karl Moore’s near post cross was turned home by Dave Mulcahy. Murphy could probably have done better for both second half goals, but in truth, he was one of many atrocious performers for the home side.

With UCD and Bray also losing, this could prove to be a critical night in Bohs’ search for Premier Division status in 2014. Either way, this was an unforgettable victory in front of a passionate crowd that loved every minute.

Shelbourne: Lee Murphy, Pat Flynn, Graham Gartland, Adam O’Connor, Ian Ryan (Derek Doyle, 76) Adam Hanlon, Glenn Cronin (Darren Tinnelly, 33), Stephen Hurley, Sean Brennan; Lee Murtagh, Stephen Sheerin (Jamie McGlynn, 60). Subs Not Used: Niall Burdon, Paul Andrews, Brian Gannon, Jake Donnelly.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender (Daniel Byrne 73), Roberto Lopes,  Anto Murphy, Luke Byrne, Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Dave Mulcahy, Stephen Traynor (Chris Lyons, 9o), Karl Moore (Kevin Devaney, 90),  Dinny Corcoran. Subs Not Used: Dave Scully, Darragh Reynor, Andy Mulligan, Greg Murray.

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