“It’s a disappointing result but it’s been a positive experience for them all”

Uefa YOUTH LEAGUE
Champions Path 1st Rd 2nd Leg
PAOK 1 BOHEMIANS U19s 0
(PAOK win 2-1 on aggregate)

Bohemians U19s manager Craig Sexton says his players can hold theirs heads high despite their cruel exit from the Uefa Youth League tonight.

With PAOK leading on an away goals from a 1-1 draw in Dalymount three weeks ago, Sexton’s men knew they had to score to have any chance of progressing.

They had their chances in the first half – Ross Tierney and Dawson Devoy with the pick of them – but PAOK grew in confidence as the half grew on with Sean Bohan in the Bohemian goal kept busy, while Andy Lyons had to be quick to clear a goalbound effort.

Bohs came unstuck five minutes into the second half, however, when Dimitrios Panidis fired past Bohan having been set up by Dimitrios Tsopouroglou.

That unsettled Bohs and PAOK had the better of the next 20 minutes or so as they pushed for a second, with Bohan being called into action to keep the tie alive on more than one occasion.

But the Gypsies had their chances too and pushed hard in the final 15 minutes, with an Evan Ferguson effort that went agonisingly over the bar on 90 minutes the best of them as PAOK held out for victory.

Under the cosh, PAOK were noticeably relieved to hear the full-time whistle sound – they progress to play Dynamo Kyiv in the next round.

Disappointed but proud of his men, Sexton admits a failure to take their chances in the first leg came back to haunt his side tonight.

He said: “We’re disappointed we didn’t do enough to win it over the two legs, more disappointed from the first leg as obviously looking back on that performance, the way we played and the chances that we created, we could have come over here with a 2-1 or 3-1 lead.

“But I am extremely proud of the boys. They played extremely well over the two legs, we just needed to be that little bit more clinical.

“It’s a learning curve for them that when chances come around, they don’t come around that often and you need to be clinical when they do.

“The first 15 to 20 minutes tonight we were excellent, Ross Tierney was unlucky not to score after three or four minutes.

“PAOK were the better side after that but we gave it a right go in the last 20. We didn’t go down with a whimper, the players showed great courage and desire.

“They’re all disappointed but they’re not down on the floor. It’s a disappointing result but it’s been a positive experience for them all. Myself and all the backroom staff take great pride in their performances over the two legs.

“They’ve shown again they can put it up to the best young players in Europe. We should have won the first leg but perhaps PAOK underestimated us.

“We could see from how much PAOK celebrated after the game that they knew they’d been in a battle. On another day, had we taken some of those chances in the first leg, we might have gone through. But they will learn from this and it will stand to them.”

The season isn’t over for Sexton’s men just yet. They have the small matter of hosting Shamrock Rovers in the final of the Enda McGuill Cup. That game was originally scheduled for Friday November 1 but is now set to rescheduled. We hope to be in a position to confirm a new date in the coming days.

BOHEMIANS: Sean Bohan, Denis Smith (Gavin Liam O’Brien 67), Micthell Byrne, Alex Kelly (capt), Gavin Molloy (Robbie Mahon 82), Ross Tierney, Brandon Bermingham, Dawson Devoy, Jack Moylan (Evan Ferguson 55), Thomas Considine (Katlego Mashigo 55), Andy Lyons. Subs not used: Jamie Cleary, Jack Casey, Jack Funge.

BOHEMIANS 3 SHELBOURNE 2

BOHS LEAVE IT late to come from 2-0 down in a hotly contested Dublin Derby with Danny Mandroiu the hero striking twice at the death.

The pre match atmosphere was electric as fans flooded into the “Home of Irish Football” with both sets of raucous fans giving as good as they were getting!

It was just a shame that the first half didn’t live up to the off-field anticipation. The hosts dominated possession early on, but found it hard to break down a stubborn Shels rearguard who looked well drilled.

Keith Long opted for a near full strength outfit with Keith Buckley returning to skipper the side, along with Irish under-19’s hero Andy Lyons coming in at right back. And it was Lyons who looked the most threatening for the home side getting in behind Lorcan Fitzgerald or cutting inside.

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Meanwhile, Ian Morris’ Reds – just four games away from securing a return to the top flight – made 5 changes to the side who suffered a surpising 1-0 defeat away at Cobh Ramblers last weekend and grew into the game as the half wore on. Jaze Kabia looked a threat on the break with his pace, while Conan Byrne put in a dangerous free kick that Derek Prendergast was inches away from getting a toe on.

The best chance of the game came just after the re-start, when Darragh Leahy picked out front man Andre Wright, who was unlucky to see his powerful header come off the outside of the post.

Dayle Rooney and Danny Mandroiu exchanged strikes as the game began to come to life. The visitors missed a guilt edged chance just before the hour mark and really should have taken the lead. Jaze Kabia won the ball back briliantly in the Bohs box, before teeing up Conan Byrne who somehow missed from 10 yards out.

That was Byrne’s last action of the night, who was then replaced by Ciran Kilduff who made an instant impact putting his side ahead. Shane Farrell showed great pace on the break before slipping in his front man. Kilduff seemed to take an eternity before striking home with his left.

Bohs finally exploded into life and missed chance after chance to equalise, none better than Wade-Slater who was put clean through on goal following a neat passing move on the edge of the area. But the wideman could only shoot tamely at the onrushing Delaney.

Bohs, chasing the equaliser, were caught on the break as Kilduff had the freedom of the half to play in Shane Farrell to smash home to the far post. Incredibly, Jaze Kabia was shown a second yellow for time wasting getting back into his own half.

Just as it looked beyond The Gypsies, Keith Buckley smashed home from the edge of the area and with two minutes remaining of normal time, up stepped Danny Mandroiu who hammered a deflected effort past the helpless Delaney.

And the tie wasn’t done just yet, there was still time for Mandroiu to show his class. Picking the ball up on the edge of the area and striking a sweet effort into the top corner to win it as the home fans erupted.

A breathtaking end to an epitome of a game of two halves.

Bohemian FC: James Talbot, Darragh Leahy, Aaron Barry, Danny Mandroiu, Danny Grant (Ross Tierney 85’ ), Conor Levingston (Keith Ward 65’ ), Andre Wright, Keith Buckley, James Finnerty, Andy Lyons, Luke Wade-Slater

Subs: Michael Kelly, Scott Allardice, Robbie McCourt, Keith Ward, Ryan Graydon, Michael Barker, Ross Tierney

Shelbourne FC: Dean Delaney, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Oscar Brennan, Conan Byrne (Ciaran Kilduff 61’ ), Daniel McKenna, Shane Farrell, Dayle Rooney (Darragh Noone 79’ ), Sean Quinn (James English 89’ ), Derek Prendergast, Luke Byrne, Jaze Kabia

Subs: Colin McCabe, Alex O’Hanlon, Ciaran Kilduff, James English, Aidan Friel, Greg Moorehouse, Darragh Noone

Referee: Rob Harvey

BOHEMIANS 3 ST PAT’S 0

DALYMOUNT DELIGHT AS The Gypsies seal all three points at a rain soaked Dalymount Park.

Both sides came into this hugely important Dublin Derby on the back of a disappointing week, with Bohs going down unexpectedly 1-0 away at “The Battle at the Bowl”as some have dubbed it. Meanwhile, The Saints saw their European dream ended at the hands of Norrkoping on Thursday night.

Both teams started the fiery affair with a look of neither wanting to loose. Ryan Swan looked dangerous over the top for the home side, whilst Simon Madden and Paddy Kirk looked a great clash in the offing.

The visitors were well on top as the half progressed, as the Bohs side looked devoid of intensity or creativity. Keith Buckley, skipper for the day, was the one stand out in a poor opening period, as he was first to every second ball and trying to rally the troops.

Mikey Drennan forced James Talbot into a couple of smart saves, but just before the break it was The Gypsies who snatched the lead through Ryan Swan. Luke Wade-Slater caused all sorts of trouble running at the Pat’s rearguard, but just as he looked to go down a blind alley, Kevin Devaney appeared out of nowhere to help out. Devaney, then dug out a wonderful cross with his left, and Swan reacted sharply to nip in front of Brendan Clarke to nod home.

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The second half followed much the same pattern of the first, The home side sitting in happy to hit the Saints on the break. But Harry Kennys men just couldn’t find the breakthrough. Set piece after set piece bombarded the Bohs box, but Talbot remained relatively untroubled.

Ans just like the first half Bohs ended the period with a flurry. Conor Levingston kept his composure to slot home from the penalty spot after referee Rob Rogers spotted handball from a Bohs corner that caused all sorts of confusion.

Ryan Swan put the icing on the cake with his second of the day, after substitute Danny Grants brilliant run and shot was deflected into his path for a simple finish.

A huge three points for Keith Long’s men who end the week on a high, keeping themselves in pole position for a third place finish and will be boosted by the return of pacey wideman Danny Grant who came on with a couple of minutes remaining.

Bohemian FC: James Talbot, Michael Barker, James Finnerty, Darragh Leahy, Paddy Kirk, Keith Buckley (Dawson Devoy, 90’), Conor Levingston, Luke Wade-Slater, Keith Ward (Scott Allardice 79’), Kevin Devaney (Danny Grant 89’), Ryan Swan

Subs: Paul Cleary, Aaron Barry, Scott Allardice, Robbie McCourt, Dawson Devoy, Ryan Graydon, Danny Grant

St. Pats: Brendan Clarke, Kevin Toner, Ciaran Kelly, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (James Doona 71’), Simon Madden, Cian Coleman (Jake Walker 79’), Jamie Lennon, Darragh Markey (Chris Forrester 87’), Mikey Drenna, Dean Clarke

Subs: Barry Murphy, David Webster, James Doona, Chris Forrester, Rhys McCabe, Paul Cleary, Jake Walker

Referee: Rob Rogers

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