Bohemians v Longford Town - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

The epitome of a game of two halves was played out at a chilly Dalymount Park as Bohemians blew a two-goal lead against newly-promoted Longford Town.

The Gypsies led 2-0 at the break and looked to be cruising thanks to goals from Georgie Kelly and Ross Tierney.

But an inspired second half Longford Town substitution saw Conor Davis grab a brace, and so it was Daire Doyle and his troops leaving Phibsborough much the happier with the point.

Keith Long had opted for the one change from the opening night defeat on the road to Ollie Horgan’s now table-topping Finn Harps, with Keith Ward coming in for Ciaran Kelly and, in doing so, reverting to his more familiar 4-2-3-1.


The last competitive meeting between these sides saw Bohs edge a hugely entertaining contest in the quarter-final of the 2019 FAI Cup. James Talbot proved the hero that night, brilliantly denying opposite number Lee Steacy’s decisive penalty as the home side went through 5-4, after a 1-1 stalemate AET.

And just like that evening, there was little to choose between the sides in the opening exchanges this time around.

The hosts then just started to lift the tempo slightly, moving the ball quicker and began to pin the visitors back, resulting in the breakthrough with 20 minutes played.

Liam Burt’s low cross was almost behind front man Kelly, but the talismanic striker showed his class to turn on a six-pence, control and finish with his left foot all in the one move, under the helpless Steacy.

Just a minute later, the home side thought they had doubled their lead, only to be met with an incredible double save from the busy Steacy.

Ross Tierney burst through the Longford defensive line and smashed his shot low to the left, and just as Burt looked to follow up and tap home, he was met with the cat-like reflexes of Steacy to bravely block yet again.

The Gypsies were beginning to find their groove now, and got the second goal their pressure deserved as the diminutive Tierney, sharply turned on the edge of the area and volleyed home superbly just before the half hour mark.

Last season’s runners-up sensed blood now and missed yet another glorious double chance to extend their lead as Kelly’s side-foot strike was sharply saved, with Keith Buckley volleying over the rebound.

Doyle’s men came flying out of the traps last week with a fantastic 2-0 home win against Derry City, and showed that they carried a threat with Joe Gorman looking dangerous from set pieces and the exciting Dean Byrne causing trouble down the left wing, having a good chance well saved by Talbot just before the break.

The Town were much improved in the second half and showed again just why they won’t be any pushovers this season with a much more spirited effort, and halved the deficit with 15 minutes remaining.

Bohs, a defender temporarily down due to a James Finnerty head injury and possibly showing signs of complacency with the two-goal cushion, were punished when a too-casual Bastien Héry was dispossessed close to the edge of his own area.

The ball spilled to substitute Davis, who went on a fantastic dribble through the entire Bohs rearguard all by himself before smashing the ball low across Talbot and into the back of the net.

Longford completed an incredible comeback – that didn’t look likely based on their first half performance – when Davis snuck in at the back post to tap home to get his second.

A tantalising low cross by Callum Warfiled was left by everyone in the Bohs defence, who appeared to think it was going to trickle out for a goal-kick. But supersub Davis had another idea, gambling that it would come through and he got his rewards by tapping home.

A bitterly frustrating first home game for the Gypsies, who will have to improve on this second half showing in next week’s Dublin derby against St Patrick’s Athletic at Dalymount Park (Saturday, 6pm).

But Longford showed a spirit and resolution that will no doubt serve as a threat to the rest of the division as the season progresses.

Bohemians: James Talbot, Anto Breslin, Rory Feely, Rob Cornwall, Ali Coote (Bastien Hery 64), Keith Ward (Thomas Oluwa, 76), Liam Burt (Dawson Devoy 76’), Georgie Kelly, Keith Buckley (c), James Finnerty, Ross Tierney. Unused substitutes: Stephen McGuinness, Andy Lyons, Ciaran Kelly, Bradley Rolt, Tyreke Wilson, Jack Moylan
Longford Town: Lee Steacy, Paddy Kirk, Dean Zambra (c), Dylan Grimes, Sam Verdon (Callum Warfield, 59), Aaron O’Driscoll, Aaron Bolger (Aaron Dobbs 77), Aodh Dervin, Karl Chambers (Aaron McNally 77), Dean Byrne (Conor Davis 69), Joe Gorman. Unused substitutes: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Aaron Robinson, Aaron Dobbs, Callum Thompson, Joe Manley
Referee: Ben Connolly


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