“WE WANT TO BOUNCE BACK”

Danny Mandroiu celebrates winner in previous round with Andy Lyons and Keith Buckley - Stephen Burke

EXTRA.IE FAI CUP SECOND ROUND
BOHEMIANS v LONGFORD TOWN
Friday August 23 2019, Dalymount Park, 7.45
Match sponsor: Tom Geraghty. Matchball sponsor: Trouble Brewing

A pat on the back is only six inches from a kick up the backside.

Last Friday night, Bohemians fans and players deservedly soaked up the achievement of the club’s greatest league win in 130 seasons of senior football as they beat UCD 10-1 at Dalymount Park.

On Monday night, they came crashing back down to earth as Dundalk swatted them aside with ease in the last four of the EA Sports Cup, winning 6-1, a scoreline which in truth could have been higher.

The contrast in emotions in the three-day turnaround couldn’t have been more extreme and manager Keith Long said: “It was a mixed few days to say the least.

READ MORE

“On Friday the goals came thick and fast. We started the game in fantastic fashion and played with a tempo that UCD didn’t adapt to. In the second half we opened up with good attacking play and quality finishes.

“We asked the boys to contribute in terms of goals and that was pleasing to see. It helped greatly with our goal differential also which could be very important come the end of the season.

“But Monday night was obviously a very different affair. We went to Oriel Park with more than just hope as we have played really well up there on two previous occasions in the league this year but the game was lost in the opening 15 minutes with the concession of three poor goals.

“Uncharacteristic mistakes and some poor organisation saw Dundalk run out comfortable winners. We changed the team as we have consistently done when faced with a quick turnaround from Friday-Monday games. But so did Dundalk. They brought back essentially the starting 11 which has performed in Europe this year and are operating on a different level to what we are used to domestically.

“Dundalk are a good side and took advantage of a poor performance. We are a team that needs preparation between games and are still very young in comparison.

“We all felt embarrassment regarding the result and it was a difficult night when you see the numbers that travelled. In previous Mondays in Oriel the crowd was vocal as we put it up to Dundalk but unfortunately we were unable to do the same and get to a final which the fans deserve.

“There were some positives to take away from the performance. Most notably Ross Tierney’s emergence as a player who will become very influential for the club in the coming years. He’s a young boy who has come through to us from St Kevin’s and our League of Ireland youth teams. He has a fearless attitude we believe he can have a very bright future with us.”

While on the field, it has been a topsy-turvy week, off it has been even more difficult on a personal note for Long.

Irish football lost a popular figure yesterday with the passing of Michael ‘Locker’ Davis, a kitman for several clubs and synonymous for his time working under Pat Devlin – Long’s father-in-law – with Bray Wanderers for the best part of two decades and most recently at Cabinteely.

A minute’s silence will be held at Dalymount Park tonight in his memory.

A testimonial Festival of Football in his honour was to be held this Sunday at Strabrook. That will go ahead as planned with all the proceeds going to Locker’s family.

Long hopes Bohs fans from that neck of the woods will consider attending and said: “It’s been a very sad time for anyone who knew Locker. He was a really good guy. I am devastated for his family, his children, his grandchildren.

“He has been a family friend for many years, my wife has known him her entire life. It’s tough at the moment as he was one of the game’s great characters.

“Our game in this country survive through people like him who are in it because they love the game and not self interest.

“There was a devious side to him too, he was always a messer and trying to see whose buttons he could push – and whose he couldn’t!

“I hope there is a good turnout for his game on Sunday, which would be a fitting send-off.”

On the field tonight, Bohs host a Longford Town team whose preparations have been dominated with speculation linking manager Neale Fenn to the managerial vacancy at Cork City where he was a popular figure as a player during a three-year spell in the mid-noughties before joining Bohemians.

None of that speculation will affect Bohs’ preparations. Having survived a scare against First Division Shelbourne in the previous round, Long’s team are fully aware they need to be right at it to progress through to the quarter-finals.

Long added: “Longford are an expansive side with some good technical players, who have been encouraged by manager Neale Fenn to get on the ball and express themselves.

“Longford will be well organised and difficult opponents. We will have to be at our very best to progress to the next round. We want to bounce back from Monday’s disappointment.”

TEAM NEWS 

James Talbot returns from suspension. James Finnerty (calf) is also available once more.

Danny Grant (hamstring) is Bohs’ biggest doubt, while Rob Cornwall who returned on Friday from a three-month lay-off with an Achilles injury, may not be risked tonight as he is eased back to fitness.

Darragh Leahy (glute), Luke Wade-Slater (hamstring) and Andy Lyons (hamstring) weren’t risked on Monday but should be okay to play tonight.

Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) and Dinny Corcoran (ankle) are unavailable.

Website by Simon Alcock