ROVER AND OUT

EA Sports Cup Semi Final

BOHEMIANS  0 – 2  SHAMROCK ROVERS

Bohemians’ terrific run in cup competitions was brought to a shuddering halt as old rivals Shamrock Rovers put the Gypsies to the sword in the EA Sports Cup Semi Final. The defending champions punished poor defending at the start of both halves to send Owen Heary’s men crashing out at the penultimate stage. Goals from Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters and Dean Kelly were enough to send the Hoops into their 3rd consecutive League Cup final in front of a big Bank Holiday crowd, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

READ MORE

The visitors, under the guidance of caretaker manager John Gill, started brightly, and carved out the first opportunity of the game after just two minutes. Derek Pender was beaten to the ball in the left back position by Rovers’ Sean O’Connor, who delivered a perfect cross for Ryan Brennan. Luckily for Bohs, the former Drogheda man sent his diving header high and wide into the hooped horde behind the goal.

The opening goal wasn’t long in coming however, and it was one that would keep Owen Heary awake at night. A defensive mix-up between Pender and Aidan Price allowed the ball to bounce through to the unmarked Waters, who stroked the ball underneath the onrushing Dean Delany to put the Tallaght side ahead. Cue delirium from the otherwise subdued Shamrock Rovers fans in the Des Kelly Stand.

Bohs grew into the game without creating many real clear cut opportunities. Set pieces and Anto Murphy long throws were the only bother to Rovers, with Dave Mulcahy twice coming close with close range headers. Jason Byrne perhaps had the best chance just before the break, but he snatched at a left-footed shot that went wide past Barry Murphy’s left-hand post.

Heary signalled his intent with the half-time introduction of Dinny Corcoran for Craig Walsh, but the second half was just 8 minutes old when the Hoops landed the killer blow. Derek Pender was caught out again down the right side, allowing Ryan Brennan to clip a ball toward the back post. The cross should have been intercepted by Roberto Lopes, but he slipped and fell, allowing Dean Kelly to poke home the second with some ease.

The second goal seemed to stun the Gypsies on and off the field, with the atmosphere in the Jodi Stand turning against referee Robert Rogers. While Rogers had a relatively poor game, the home side could have no real qualms with the result. They huffed and puffed in the last half an hour without really creating much in the way of clear cut chances. Again, scrambles from corners were the only scraps on offer. Owen Heary must now lift the side for a trip to UCD on Friday. The FAI Cup date with Cork City now takes on greater significance – it is Bohs’ last chance of silverware in 2014.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Anto Murphy, Aidan Price, Roberto Lopes, Derek Pender, Keith Buckley (Adam Evans, 81) Eoin Wearen, Dave Mulcahy, Karl Moore (Steven Beattie, 60) Craig Walsh (Dinny Corcoran, 46) Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Aaron Shanahan, Jack Memery, Ryan McEvoy, Jake Hyland.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, David O’Connor, Conor Kenna, Luke Byrne, Sean O’Connor (Ciaran Kilduff), Ryan Brennan, Shane Robinson, Ronan Finn, Dean Kelly, Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters (Karl Sheppard, 50). Subs not used: Craig Hyland, Jason McGuinness, Evan Osam, Stephen McPhail, Rob Cornwall.

CANDY CRUSH

DERRY CITY 4-0 BOHEMIANS Derry City 4-0 Bohemians

Bohemians fell to their first defeat in seven matches as they were completely outclassed by a slick Derry City outfit at the Brandywell on Friday night. A brace each from Michael Duffy and Rory Patterson did the damage as the Gypsies suffered their heaviest reversal of the season, writes CONOR HAYES.

Owen Heary’s side showed defensive frailties to an extent not witnessed thus far this campaign, especially away from home. After their improvement since the mid-season break, they will have to hope it was just a momentary blip with a cup semi-final to come on Monday against Shamrock Rovers.

Bohs actually started the encounter brightly, reflecting their recent good run of results. With barely five minutes gone, a header from Kevin Devaney put Steven Beattie in space, his early ball was inches from finding an unmarked Dinny Corcoran but was stabbed away just in time by Candystripes skipper Barry Molloy.

READ MORE

Again five minutes later, Beattie and Devaney were involved in good build-up for the away side. This time Beattie set up the former Sligo man with a lovely ball over the top, his low cross from the right cannoned off Molloy and into the body of Gerard Doherty who knew nothing about it. But that would be as good as it got for the visitors in the first half.

The red tide began with a chance for Stephen Dooley who latched on to Patrick McEleney’s floating ball at the back post but scuffed his shot wide. Then, with 18 minutes elapsed a hopeful punt by Doherty was nodded on by McEleney into the path Duffy, who fired past Dean Delany but not past past Aidan Price who covered well on the line.

McEleney was causing havoc in the Bohs backline and the former Sunderland trainee put through Paterson again moments later. His shot deflected off Price and behind for a corner with Delany beaten. From the resulting corner Derry got their first of the game. A high hanging ball to the back post was weakly punched away by the Gypsies’ net minder, it fell to Patterson, who ten yards from goal made no mistake.

The Candystripes would double their lead just before the half-hour mark. This time Barry McNamee ghosted past the non-existent Bohs midfield and laid the ball on beautifully for Duffy, who calmly slotted it past Delany and into the bottom right corner.

The game then entered a lull as Derry seemed satisfied with their lead with the away side unable to create an opening but just before the men playing in green could get to the sanctuary of half-time there was another red and white goal. Some nice play by Mark Timlin saw his pass nutmeg Derek Pender and find Duffy. Again the 20-year-old was calmness personified as he cut inside the box and fired it into the opposite corner to his first.

Bohemians looked more resolute defensively at the beginning of the second half but they only looked liked getting a consolation from a set-play. First Anto Murphy fired over from just inside of the box after Doherty only half cleared a Paddy Kavangh free kick. Next, the winger, playing against his old side, delivered a corner to the far post where Price could only direct his header onto the roof of the net and over. Eoin Wearen too had a chance in the air from another corner but steered it directly to Doherty.

With just over 20 minutes left in play, Derry drifting through the second half, began another onslaught. The impressive McNamme found substitute Philip Lowry on the edge of the area and  instead of shooting, he selflessly found Patterson in acres of room at the back post who finished powerfully to secure his brace.

As the game entered its final stages the chances kept coming for Derry. First Duffy stretched but was inches from his hat-trick as Dooley’s shot was almost parried into his path by Delany. Next, Barry Molloy marauding from the back failed to slip the ball past the Bohs shot stopper after bring put through by McNamee.

Despite their best efforts, Derry could not add to tally but they continue their revival under Peter Hutton with a one-sided victory. For Bohemians after a great run of recent results they fall back to earth with probably their worst performance of the season so far.

Next up is Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup semi-final on Monday at Dalymount. Only a vastly improved display will have a chance of toppling the old enemy and making the final.

Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Barry Molloy (c), Ryan McBride, Barry McNamee, Danny Ventre, Patrick McEleney (Philip Lowry 42), Rory Patterson (Ryan Curran 71), Michael Duffy, Mark Timlin, Stephen Dooley (Josh Tracey 76), Aaron Barry. Subs Not Used: Ciaran Gallacher (GK), Shane McEleney, Shaun Kelly, Cliff Byrne.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender (c), Aidan Price, Dan Bryne, Anto Murphy, Paddy Kavanagh, Eoin Wearen (Dave Mulcahy 73), Kevin Devaney, Stephen Beattie, Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne 61). Subs Not Used: Aaron Shanahan (GK), Jack Memery, Karl Moore, Ryan McEvoy, Keith Buckley.

DRAW ENSURES WEAR-EN THE TOP HALF

BOHEMIANS  1 – 1  ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

Bohemians’ winless home streak continues, but Owen Heary will be more than happy with a confident performance against the Champions which saw the home side creep into the top half of the table. The Gypsies could easily have come away with all three points, and had the better chances against Warsaw-bound St Patrick’s Athletic.

Heary made just one change from the victorious Thomond Park side with Aidan Price replacing Jack Memery. That meant Anto Murphy returned to a more comfortable right back position, with captain Derek Pender moving to left full, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

READ MORE

Any non-home-win nerves could have been settled within 4 minutes, with the first clear cut chance falling to Bohs. Lorcan Fitzgerald dithered for Pats, allowing Kevin Devaney to skip to the byline. His cutback just evaded Dinny Corcoran, but fell perfectly for Paddy Kavanagh 10 yards out. Kavanagh couldn’t control his shot however, skewing the effort badly over the bar.

Pats aren’t Champions for nothing, and duly punished the Gypsies with a fine opener in the 10th minute. Greg Bolger won the ball well before exchanging passes with Lee Lynch and then releasing Conan Byrne. Byrne’s delicious centre evaded price, and found Mark Quigley un-marked in front of goal. The curly-mopped striker made no mistake, and there was no denying the quality of the move. More football like that, and Pats might well threaten Polish champions Legia Warsaw on Wednesday.

Perhaps unsurprisingly with that game in mind, Pats were happy to sit back after their opener. Bohs were in charge of possession, prodding and probing to little effect. It’s an unfortunate stat that Bohs hadn’t scored at the Shopping Centre end in the league since August 2013 – so it was only fitting that the goal to break that hoodoo. A patient build-up eventually fell to the excellent Roberto Lopes, who fed Eoin Wearen on the edge of the box. Wearen jinked to the left, and curled a beauty into the top corner with his left boot. It was no more than the home side deserved.

Amazingly, the second half was just 15 seconds old when Dinny Corcoran missed a gilt-edged chance to put the home side ahead. Fitzgerald was again at fault, mis-hitting his backpass straight to Devaney, who stayed cool, and squared it to Corcoran. Unbelievably, from 7 yards with the keeper on the floor, Dinny skied his effort into the Des Kelly Stand.  All the threat was coming down the Bohs right, and Devaney was a real thorn in Pats’ side. He went on a mazy run beating three Pats defenders, but his left-footed effort went wide of Clarke’s post.

Liam Buckley introduced the league’s top scorer Christy Fagan to inject some impetus into the Pats attack, and the diminutive striker made an instant impact. His looping header was well saved by an off-balance Delany before the former Man Utd trainee had a goal ruled out on 80 minutes. Luckily for Bohs, he was a yard offside before he slotted home. Fittingly, the last chance fell for Bohs. Lopes won the ball yet again in the middle of the park and released Paddy Kavanagh who reversed it through to Wearen. Unfortunately for Bohs, he scuffed the shot into the ground and it was cleared for a corner.

6 games unbeaten in all competitions for Bohs, who travel to Sligo next week with a spring in their step. That home win is surely just around the corner.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Anto Murphy, Aidan Price, Dan Byrne, Derek Pender, Kevin Devaney (Craig Walsh, 78), Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen, Paddy Kavanagh, Steven Beattie, Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne, 83). Subs not used: Karl Moore, Gavin Moore, Jack Memery, Keith Buckley, Dave Mulcahy.

St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Kenny Browne, Ger O’Brien, Ken Oman, Chris Forrester (Christy Fagan, 67), James Chambers, Conan Byrne, Greg Bolger, Conor McCormack (Lee Lynch, 7), Mark Quigley. Subs not used: Rene Gilmartin, Derek Foran, Ian Bermingham, Daryl Kavanagh, Sam Verdon.

Mr Green.ie Man of the Match: Roberto Lopes

Pic by Eddie Lennon – eddielennonsportingimages.com

Website by Simon Alcock