Tell your friends, call your family – following Bohs around the country has become a pain-free experience! After five away games of the 2015 season, the Gypsies are yet to concede a goal on their travels. Keith Long’s side have become almost impossible to break down, with a settled back 5 that looks as strong as any in the SSE Airtricity League.

This time, it was Sligo Rovers who came up against a brick wall of dark green. The Bit O’Red may have had the inside knowledge of former Bohs hero Owen Heary in the dugout, but they couldn’t breach the Bohs rear guard in 90 minutes of football at the Showgrounds on Monday night, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


With another long trip to Derry on the way this coming Friday, Long shuffled the pack in front of the customary back of Delany, Pender, Murphy, Prendergast and Fitzgerald (Will that become the new Seaman, Dixon, Bould, Adams, and Winterburn? Maybe not). Dave Mulcahy and James O’Brien were given their first league starts of the season, while Adam Evans returned to the side in place of Karl Moore. Keith Buckley and Kealan Dillon were the others to miss out following last Friday’s loss to St. Pats. Owen Heary resisted the urge to unleash a raft of former Bohs men, with only Steven Beattie starting from last season’s cabal that moved north-west.

It was Bohs who created the first big chance of the game. The tireless Roberto Lopes forced a mistake from Sligo’s midfield, and suddenly Dean Kelly was able to slip Adam Evans through on goal. The winger had maybe too much time to think about the shot, and fired weakly at Richard Brush’s legs. At the other end, Beattie reminded the small section of travelling supporters what he was about. After buzzing in from the right wing, he struck a dipping shot that cannoned off Dean Delany’s crossbar.

It was an entertaining first 45 minutes, with both sides eager to impress. Rovers’ former Chelsea target man Morten Neilsen barged his way into the box, and forced Derek Prendergast into a terrific last-ditch block. Referee Robert Rogers managed to worry everyone of a Bohs persuasion when he booked all three central midfielders – Lopes, Mulcahy and O’Brien, in a ten minute period. Luckily, all three kept their discipline for the remaining half.

Bohs had two more flashes before the break. The first fell to Kelly, who out-muscled Alan Keane to get to a dropping ball, and unleashed a stinging volley that forced Brush to tip over the bar. Then it was Bohs turn to hit the woodwork, as a Lorcan Fitzgerald free-kick was headed onto the crossbar by Kelly again. Paddy Kavanagh’s resulting volley was straight at Brush.

Owen Heary is undoubtedly under pressure at The Showgrounds, where the grumbling home fans expected more from his team in the opening round of matches. He definitely gave them a stern word, as the Bit O’Red started the second half much brighter. Gavin Dykes crossed for Beattie on the hour mark, but his header flew over. Bohs seemed to shut up shop, but got one final chance with 20 to go. James O’Brien slipped Kelly in with a lovely reverse pass, but the striker shot straight at Brush’s legs.

Grumbled on by a sedate home support, Sligo pushed for a winner, but found Anto Murphy in especially brilliant form. The Bohs defender performed an amazing block to deny John Russell’s goalbound shot, and was generally excellent all evening. Again, the travelling fans applauded a gallant, hard-working performance and hard-earned point, but the Bohs boss might be disappointed not to be heading back down the N4 with all three.

Sligo Rovers: Richard Brush, Alan Keane, Gary Boylan, Stephen Folan, Jake Dykes, Steven Beattie, John Russell, David Cawley, Sander Puri, Keith Ward (Gary Armstrong, 79), Morten Neilsen. Subs not used: Ryan McManus, Liam Flatley, Raffaele Cretaro, Dinny Corcoran, Ryan Coulter.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Derek Prendergast, Anto Murphy, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Paddy Kavanagh, Dave Mulcahy, Roberto Lopes, James O’Brien, Adam Evans (Kealan Dillon, 90), Dean Kelly (Marc Griffin, 85). Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Jason Byrne, Keith Buckley, Karl Moore, Stephen Best. Man of the Match: Anto Murphy

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