BOHS AVOID CLOVER-SHAPED BANANA SKIN

Robbie Creevy is tackled by Luke Synnott - Eddie Lennon

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup 2nd Round

BOHEMIANS  4 – 1  FIRHOUSE CLOVER

A professional second half performance peppered with three goals from midfielders helped Bohemians into the last 16 of the FAI Cup at the expense of Leinster Senior League side Firhouse Clover in Dalymount Park on Friday. Following a disappointing first half that finished at 1-1, a brace from Robbie Creevy and a late header from Kealan Dillon meant Keith Long’s men side-stepped a potential banana skin.

Starting with a full-strength side against the team wearing green and white hoops, the Gypsies didn’t have it all their own way, with the LSL men causing a series of problems, especially in the first period. Bohs fan and Jodi Stand regular Luke Synnot grabbed a penalty that he can remember for the rest of his life, even if his side suffered disappointment by full time, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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The Gypsies looked to get down the Firhouse flanks in the early stages, with long passes out wide being a noticeable tactic in the first few minutes for Bohs. Adam Evans had plenty of joy on the left, crossing for Jason Byrne to head over the game’s first chance after just 2 minutes. Byrne should have done better again from a Lorcan Fitzgerald corner, but he headed harmlessly over in acres of space. At the other end, an intriguing battle between Clover’s Harmony Mercer and Bohs’ Roberto Lopes was a feature. The tricky winger impressed the crowd with a few nice dribbles and neat touches, but Lopes was too strong for him on more than one occasion.

Bohs were finding it difficult to get a rhythm going, with Kealan Dillon, Robbie Creevy and James O’Brien all guilty of giving the ball away cheaply. Unfortunately for Firhouse, they couldn’t quite capitalise on the loose passes.

The opening goal came just before the half hour mark. Karl Moore played a neat one-two with O’Brien on the edge of the area, and centred for Jason Byrne, who took one touch and flashed a shot against the crossbar. The ball fell fortunately back to Byrne’s feet, and he poked it home from just a couple of yards out.

Credit to Firhouse, whose heads didn’t drop at all with the concession of that goal. Indeed, they went up the other end and grabbed what could easily be considered a deserved equaliser. Carl Wynne drifted past two Bohs players inside the left hand side of the box, and got a toe to the ball just before Stephen Best’s challenge arrived. It was a simple penalty decision for Ben Connolly – Best’s tackle was wild and reckless, and cleaned Wynne out. The script was written for Luke Synnott, a regular in Blocks F and G, to step up and score the penalty, sending Dean Delany the wrong way. He’ll win a few more friends in the Jodi with his muted celebration, a nice touch.

Bohs could only improve in the second half, and duly started to control the game. Two quickfire goals from Robbie Creevy ended the tie by the hour mark. The first was very tidy, a clever solo run and one-two with James O’Brien left Creevy in front of goal at the edge of the box, and his early shot was tucked into the corner past the despairing Brian O’Reilly.

Creevy’s second was a cheeky one. Again James O’Brien was involved, setting Roberto Lopes through on the right side of the box. The Bohs captain’s shot looked to be trundling into the far corner, but Creevy slid in just to make sure. Unfortunately for Bohs, Lopes was forced off with injury just a few minutes later. It was great to see Dan Byrne back in action, but Keith Long will be worried about Lopes after Derek Pender’s achilles injury and Anto Murphy’s ankle problem.

The final goal was another scrappy affair. A deep cross by Adam Evans was headed onto the bar by Dean Kelly – O’Reilly may well have made a brilliant save. But again, the ball fell favourably for Bohs and Kealan Dillon, who forced it in with his head from close range. Bohs march into the last 16, but face a daunting trip to runaway league leaders Dundalk next weekend.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Roberto Lopes (Dan Byrne, 68), Stephen Best, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Karl Moore (Dean Kelly, 64), Robbie Creevy, Kealan Dillon, James O’Brien (Keith Buckley, 78), Adam Evans, Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Lee Steacey, Jason Caffrey, Jake Hyland, Adam Wixted.

Firhouse Clover: Brian O’Reilly, Stephen Fitzgerald, John Phillips (Darren O’Grady, 77), Brian Cullen, Glenn Walsh, David Vickery, Peter O’Donnell, Anthony O’Rourke, Harmony Mercer, Carl Wynne, Luke Synnott. Subs not used: David O’Keefe, Kevin O’Neill, Craig Rothery, Aidan Canavan, Bernard Ogene.

BohemianFC.com Man of the Match: James O’Brien

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