The statistics make for unpleasant reading if you are of a Bohemians persuasion. No goals in the last 4 league games… Just 3 goals in the last 9 league games (all from Jason Byrne)… 4 points from the last available 27… No home wins since September 2013…

League leaders Dundalk rolled into town with a plan to continue Bohs’ Dalymount woes, and executed it perfectly. Manager Stephen Kenny has crafted a slick side with a penchant for excellent counter attacking, and they weren’t under any real pressure at any stage of this SSE Airtricity League clash. They cemented their place at the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win which featured a contender for goal of the season, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Bohs boss Owen Heary kept faith with the same starting 11 that came away with a well-deserved point from the bowels of Tallaght, with captain Dave Mulcahy passing a late fitness test. Unfortunately for his Bohs side, they were never really in this game having been on the back foot from the 8th minute. Dundalk’s Darren Meenan fed Daryl Horgan all-too-easily on the edge of the Bohs box. The sandy-haired winger jinked once, found himself in a square-mile of space, and planted a solid left-footed shot that found the bottom corner.

Bohs huffed and puffed for the entire first half, but the only real threat they posed came from the hands of Anto Murphy. His long throws were the only occasion when Dundalk looked ruffled, and resulted in Bohs only opening of the game. In the 34th minute, his Delap-style arrow evaded the scrum on the six yard line, bounced high into the air, and fell to Jason Byrne at the back post. The veteran striker couldn’t quite get over his shot and skewed it horribly over the bar.

The second half started in almost an identical fashion as the first. Seven minutes in, and a quick Dundalk counter fell to Patrick Hoban’s feet 25 yards from goal. His one touch lay off sat perfectly for Richie Towell, who unleashed a superlative curling effort into the top corner. The large Dundalk contingent in the Des Kelly Stand knew it was in from the moment it left Towell’s boot, and it’ll definitely be one to drool over on Soccer Republic on Monday. However, Towell’s arrogant celebration was unnecessary as he preened like a boyband member in a leisurely yet-inflammatory jog front of the Jodi Stand.

Coming from 2 down against this Dundalk team was pretty much an impossibility. The underrated Andy Boyle was a colossus at the back, marshalling Jason Byrne with some ease. Byrne was visibly tired for much of the game, and may well be feeling the effects of a long run of starts. Dave Mulcahy, too, was clearly struggling from the outset, and failed to get stuck into the game. Next week sees a welcome break from league action, but a daunting trip to Thomond Park nonetheless. Defeat in the FAI Cup 2nd Round to Limerick doesn’t bear thinking about.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Anto Murphy, Dan Byrne, Aidan Price, Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Craig Walsh (Kevin Devaney, 79), Paddy Kavanagh, Steven Beattie, Karl Moore (Dinny Corcoran, 59), Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Gavin Moore, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Traynor, Ryan McEvoy, Keith Buckley, Gavin Moore.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Chris Shields, Richie Towell, Daryl Horgan, Kurtis Byrne (John Mountney, 80) Darren Meenan, Patrick Hoban (David McMillan, 83). Subs not used: Gabriel Sava, Ruaidhri Higgins, Mark Griffin, Mark Rossiter, Simon Kelly. Man of the Match: Daniel Byrne



Bohemians are through to the EA Sports Cup semi-final – but the Gypsies made very hard work of First Division Longford Town on a crisp Monday might in the Midlands. A pre-game deluge threatened to postpone this Quarter Final tie, but after a 45 minute delay, the City Calling pitch was declared playable and things got under way at 8.30. Unfortunately for the visiting supporters, they weren’t treated to a deluge of quality as Bohs scraped past 9-man Longford Town with considerable difficulty. Despite playing with a 1-man advantage for 70 minutes and a 2-man advantage for 30 minutes, Owen Heary’s men only made sure of the victory with three minutes to spare, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


The Bohs manager started with a relatively strong team – the same back five from Friday night’s draw with Shamrock Rovers were retained, and there was a welcome return for Dinny Corcoran following his 3 match suspension. Jake Hyland, who has been the competition’s star man so far, operated in the hole behind Corcoran, but was unable to continue his fine form from previous rounds. Longford fielded some familiar faces, with former Shamrock Rovers ‘heroes’ Stephen Rice, Pat Flynn, and Pat Sullivan in their side. With surface water still lingering on some parts of the pitch, controlling the game was difficult – but the Bohs midfield of Roberto Lopes and Stephen Traynor dominated possession without creating much until the 20th minute.

If Tony Cousins wasn’t already gray, his hair could easily have turned anyway following the sheer madness of his side’s two red cards. Just 19 minutes had passed when a lovely clipped ball from Anto Murphy sent Dinny Corcoran through. The Donabate man controlled well before rounding Chris Bennion. He applied the finish, but defender Noel Haverty decided to blatantly slap the ball away with his hand. The referee had no choice but to award the penalty and flash a red card. The Bohs fans’ chant of ‘super keeper’ followed Haverty down the tunnel, while his manager scolded him for making such a rash decision. However, he would have been soothed to hear the cheers of the home fans as Bennion saved Corcoran’s poorly struck penalty with his legs.

Bohs’ best outlet was down the left flank where Kevin Devaney was giving Pat Sullivan a torrid time. It’s a far cry from White Hart Lane to the City Calling Stadium, but Sullivan simply couldn’t handle Devaney’s pace. Backed up by the increasingly-comfortable at left back Derek Pender, one felt this would be the key to unlocking a stubborn Longford. Indeed, with just 2 minutes to the break, Devaney combined with Pender, allowing the latter to fire a dipping, in-swinging cross toward the 6-yard box. Jake Hyland got the faintest of touches first, but Dinny Corcoran got the final – meaningful touch with a flicked header into the far corner.

The complete gray-ing of Tony Cousins’ hair came on the hour mark. Kevin O’Connor had been booked for a silly lunge in the first half, but his overly-aggressive body check on Devaney was as needless as it was ridiculous. A second yellow was flashed, and O”Connor joined Haverty back in the dressing room. With 30 minutes remaining, the stage was set for Bohs to cruise to victory. Unfortunately, this did not materialise. Longford amazingly grew into the game once their second man was dismissed, forced a corner, and could easily have equalized but Etanda Nkolo dragged his effort just wide following a goal mouth scramble.

Despite the two-man advantage, chances didn’t really arrive for Bohs until Steven Beattie was introduced with 10 minutes remaining. He instantly whipped in an inch-perfect cross for Dinny, who volleyed disappointingly wide from 8 yards. Paddy Kavanagh was also introduced, but lost the ball no fewer than 6 occasions in his brief cameo. The small but vocal away support were audibly unimpressed with being only one goal to the good against 9 First Division men, but they were appeased somewhat with the clinching goal on 87 minutes. Again it was Pender the supplier as his deep free kick was floated all the way into the box where Dano Byrne rose highest to loop a header to the far corner. It was a frustrating night in truth – but a Cup win is a Cup win, and Bohs can now sit back and see who’ll join them in the semi final draw. More pressing for Owen Heary is a league game with current leaders Dundalk on Friday in Dalymount Park.

Longford Town: Chris Bennion, Pat Sullivan, Noel Haverty, Pat Flynn, Willie Tyrell (Don Cowan, 72), Sean Russell, Stephen Rice, Kevin O’Connor, David O’Sullivan (Glen O’Connor, 64), Etanda Nkololo, Peter Hynes (Gary Shaw, 60).

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Anto Murphy, Aidan Price, Daniel Byrne, Derek Pender, Keith Buckley, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Traynor (Steven Beattie, 78), Kevin Devaney, Jake Hyland (Paddy Kavanagh, 70), Dinny Corcoran. Man of the Match: Derek Pender



Wins are becoming dangerously hard to come by for Owen Heary’s Bohemians as they fell to a fifth defeat of the season at Hunky Dorys Park in Drogheda. Numerous good chances were squandered on a night where Jason Byrne’s golden touch failed him, and the travelling fans showed their disapproval at a run that has seen the Gypsies win just one of their last 12 league games, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Boss Heary has spoken about Bohs’ luck turning soon, but that Lady had no interest in the men in green as Drogheda stole the points with their only real half-opening of the 90 minutes. In contrast, Bohs could have had 5. Karl Moore missed two sitters, Byrne had three great opportunities for a predator like him, and countless other attacks broke down disappointingly in the final third.


Heary made two changes to the team that drew with UCD last Friday. Aidan Price returned for the suspended Roberto Lopes, while Anto Murphy made a welcome return to the side – he replaced Kevin Devaney and operated from the right flank. Karl Moore operated from the left – which gave Paddy Kavanagh the opportunity to roam in the hole behind Jason Byrne. This formation almost opened the door for Bohs in the 3rd minute, as Murphy’s clipped pass broke the Drogs offside trap and bounced kindly for Kavanagh. His headed pass across goal took United keeper Dave Ryan out of the equation, but Karl Moore’s bouncing shot was cleared off the line by Daire Doyle.

Drogheda’s only other opening bar their goal came just a minute after that Moore chance. Dano Byrne and Dean Delany left the ball to each other, and Cathal Brady capitalized to turn a half chance into a speculative effort that clonked off the opposite post. However, as the first half wore on, it became increasingly obvious that Drogheda were grossly out of confidence – this was a team who had lost 6 straight games remember. Bohs were dominating possession without creating much, but still should have gone into the break ahead. A Moore corner was nodded down by Dano Byrne, and his namesake Jason preposterously fired the ball into the housing estate behind Ryan’s goal.

Heary clearly sensed that this game was there for the taking, and Bohs noticeably upped the pace at the start of the second half. Mulcahy was in particularly good knick, performing trademark bull-charging runs to start attacks. Kavanagh was pulling the strings, and created another opening for Moore, who’s shot was again poorly struck and allowed Ryan to save. Moore turned provider and whipped in a lovely cross for Jason Byrne who headed just over. The record-chaser’s third and final chance was the killer; an inch-perfect whipped cross from Kavanagh found him just 8 yards out and unmarked, but his downward header was too straight and saved by Ryan’s legs. To the neutral, it looked like a matter of time before Bohs took the lead, but among seasoned followers, knowing glances were shared – we would be made to rue these missed chances.

Bohs had looked relatively solid in defence, but a wild mistake proved to be their undoing. Steven Beattie is not a full back, so was perhaps never taught that famous schoolboy mantra of ‘never pass the ball across your own goal’. Alas, he did just that, catching Price and Darragh Reynor off guard. Carl Walshe pounced on the loose ball, and fired a crisp shot low into the bottom corner. Against the run of play, but they all count. Sadly for Bohs, it seemed they had used up all of their chances, and nothing clear cut materialised in the last 10 minutes. Next up is a daunting trip to Tallaght, hardly a sanctuary for teams in desperate need of three points.

Drogheda United: Dave Ryan, Michael Daly, Ciaran McGuigan, Daire Doyle, Shane Grimes, Cathal Brady (Declan O’Brien 12), Eric Foley, Paul Crowley, Gavan Holohan, Carl Walshe, Gary O’Neill. Subs not used: Dylan Connolly, Paul Andrews, Philly Hughes, Dominic Mahon, Sean O’Connor, Roy Kierans.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Steven Beattie, Aidan Price, Dan Byrne, Derek Pender (Darragh Reynor 21), Anto Murphy (Kevin Devaney 72), Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy (Craig Walsh 80), Karl Moore, Paddy Kavanagh, Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Gavin Moore, Eoin Wearan, Stephen Traynor. Jake Hyland. Man of the Match: Paddy Kavanagh
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