Ten-man Bohemians had to wait until the 89th minute before they grabbed a late and well-deserved equaliser against a retreating Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park. Owen Heary’s men were a man down for over an hour after Dean Delany was sent off for a challenge on Bray’s Jake Kelly. The resultant penalty put Bray into the lead, but the Gyspies fought back to claim their second 1-1 draw in as many games.

While Steven Beattie was awarded the Mr Green Man of the Match Award, it was referee Sean Grant who was the centre of attention, with a series of eccentric decisions that had the Jodi Stand hopping with rage, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Bohs boss Heary made just two changes from the team that drew away at Dundalk, with Steven Beattie replacing Keith Buckley and Dinny Corcoran replacing Jason Byrne. Bohs fan Dano Byrne continued his shielding of the back four. Bohs started fast, the first ten minutes were quick-fire with good crisp passing and attacking threat. Beattie forced Bray keeper Stephen McGuinness into an early save.

Bray are still finding their feet under Alan Matthews, and gradually began to find their feet in this game. Big frontman Ismahil Akinade was causing problems for Aidan Price and Roberto Lopes, while Jake Kelly was buzzing around picking up second balls. Bohs fans have been clamouring for keeper Dean Delany to come off his line for many a month, but they would have given anything for him not to have done so in the 20th minute. A long punt from full back Robert Maloney split the Bohs defence, and with Jake Kelly getting close to the ball, Delany rushed out and pole-axed the Bray forward with a very clumsy lunge. Referee Grant produced a red card, but there was a massive 5+ minutes of waiting before the penalty was taken. Kelly was clearly seriously injured and left the field on a stretcher. Bohs cult favourite Dave Scully replaced him, and eventually Graham Kelly stepped up and scored his penalty past new Bohs debutant Lee Murphy.

Bohs were rattled for a full 10 minutes after the concession. Matthews will rue the fact that Bray didn’t press home their advantage. Shane Byrne had a free pop at goal from 16 yards but could only scuff into Murphy’s arms. Gradually, Bohs got over their shock and began to regain their footing in the game. Steven Beattie was bustling and industrious down the right flank, but got on the wrong side of referee Grant after tangling with Adam Mitchell. Beattie eventually won a free kick on the stroke of half time, and Darragh Reynor’s cross found Aidan Price’s head – just like last week in Oriel Park. However, this time Price’s header cannoned off the crossbar and looped over.

The second half was barely two minutes old before Bray’s best chance to seal it arrived. Akinade charged down Price’s rushed clearance, and suddenly found himself through on goal. His floated shot flew past the onrushing Murphy, but fell wide much to Bohs’ relief. On the hour mark, Beattie had a great chance to equalize after being played through by Craig Walsh, but his shot was well saved by diminutive keeper McGuinness. Heary made a key substitution with 20 minutes left – Kevin Devaney came on for the ineffective Karl Moore, and immediately injected a purpose into Bohs’ play.

Gradually, the pressure built, and the goal came with just a minute of normal time remaining. Walsh sprayed an amazing ball over the top of the Bray defence to set Corcoran through. The Bohs frontman showed great composure to let the ball beat him and McGuinness simultaneously, before slotting firmly into the empty net. The goal actually put Bohs into the top half of the table, and Heary’s men will be looking to add to their total when they visit point-less Athlone on Monday evening.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Aidan Price, Roberto Lopes, Darragh Reynor (Jason Byrne, 78), Karl Moore (Kevin Devaney, 69), Daniel Byrne, Craig Walsh, Steven Beattie, Paddy Kavanagh (Lee Murphy, 22), Dinny Corcoran. Subs not used: Stephen Traynor, Ryan McEvoy, Philip McCabe, Keith Buckley.

Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness, Shane O’Connor, David Webster, Adam Mitchell, Robert Moloney (Shane O’Neill 78), Graham Kelly, Dean Zambra, David Cassidy, Shane Byrne, Jake Kelly (Dave Scully, 27), Ismahil Akinade.  Subs not used: Jamie McGlynn, Gary Curran, Niall Cooney, Ciarán Byrne.



Bohemians debuted a new away strip, a compact new formation, and a steely grit as they grabbed a hard-earned point in Oriel Park against last season’s Airtricity League runners up. Owen Heary’s men banished the demons of last week’s Derby defeat with a rousing rearguard performance against a largely-dominant Dundalk side.

In front of a big early-season crowd in the northeast, Aidan Price cancelled out Brian Gartland’s opener in a game decided by two first half set-piece headers. Those goals came within three minutes of each other, but Bohs spent most of the second period camped in their own half, and have Dean Delany to thank for the point as he pulled off a superb injury time save from John Mountney, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Boss Heary made 5 changes to the team that lost to Shamrock Rovers and reverted to a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Dan Byrne shielding the back four. Karl Moore played from the left, Patrick Kavanagh from the right, with Jason Byrne ploughing a lone furrow ahead of Keith Buckley and Craig Walsh. The other change saw Darragh Reynor step in for Jack Memery at left back. This was the first outing for the much talked-about away strip. Although playing in an unfamiliar colour, Bohs certiainly got the rub of the green for most of the 90 minutes here.

The Oriel Park pitch is one that surely no one in the league likes playing on. Bouncy, bobbly, rough, and generally rather awkward, the astro turf in Dundalk never seems to suit a flowing game. This was certainly the case in the opening 15 minutes, with miscontrols and misplaced passes dominating procedures. The first flash at goal came from a likely source – Jason Byrne was 25 yards out at a tough angle, but his snapshot swerved and dipped just above Peter Cherrie’s crossbar. This seemed to spring Dundalk into life, and Dean Delany had to make a fine reaction save after good solo work from Kurtis Byrne.

Dundalk were struggling to create anything in behind a rigid Bohs, but managed to squeeze into the lead on 28 minutes. An outswinging Darren Meenan corner was met by the ample forehead of Brian Gartland, whose header had goal written all over it from the moment he made contact. A disappointing concession for Owen Heary, who will be disgruntled at the ease in which Gartland headed the Lilywhites into the lead.

The giddy home fans on the Shed Side weren’t hopping for long, as the men in green got a quick-fire equaliser just two minutes later. Darragh Reynor’s delicious in-swinging free-kick found Aidan Price, and the towering defender placed his penalty-spot header expertly into the far corner. Cue wild scenes from the away fans. The Gypsies could even have gone into the break ahead after a stroke of genius from Byrne almost came off. Pouncing on loose control from Dane Massey, the veteran striker looked up, spotted Cherrie off his line, and tried an audacious 40 yard attempt. The Dundalk keeper scrambled back to tip the ball over the bar, and half time came.

The editors for RTE’s Soccer Republic will have a job finding any positive highlights for Bohs in the second period. Happy with the scoreline, the Gypsies set out their stall to defend for the second half. The wind increased as the game progressed, making for a tense final 20 minutes. Delany was Bohs’ stand-out performer. Richie Towell mimicked Jason Byrne’s first half effort, forcing Delany to tip his 30 yard chip just over the bar. Sub John Mountney caused Reynor plenty of problems on the right flank, but Bohs bravely kept fighting. The home fans were increasingly frustrated, and you felt there was one big chance left in the game as 5 minutes of stoppage time was announced.

The chance arrived on 92 minutes, and Delany proved his worth with an absolutely outstanding save. Sub David McMillan launched a long throw into the box – the ball bounced around, and sat up perfectly for John Mountney. His right-footed volley looked to be the winner, but Delany’s outstretched claw saved the day for Bohs.

Next up is an interesting three-game in 7 days run of Bray (home), Athlone (away), and Limerick (home). Owen Heary will be hoping to at least double the current points tally of 5 by April 11th.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon (Ruaidhri Higgins, 82), Andy Boyle, Brian Gartland, Dane Massey, Stephen O’Donnell, Richie Towell, Daryl Horgan, Darren Meenan (John Mountney, 66), Kurtis Byrne, Pat Hoban. Subs not used: Chris Shields, Marc Griffin, Manuel Kaguako, Gabriel Sava.

Bohemians:  Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Darragh Raynor, Keith Buckley, Dan Byrne (Ryan McEvoy, 86), Craig Walsh, Karl Moore, Paddy Kavanagh (Stephen Beattie, 66), Jason Byrne (Dinny Corcoran, 90+2). Subs not used: Philly McCabe, Stephen Traynor, Kevin Devaney, Lee Murphy. Man of the Match: Dean Delany



A late double salvo from Ronan Finn and Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters settled a scrappy and tempestuous Dublin Derby as Bohemians suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of their fiercest rivals. A Conor Kenna own goal had earlier cancelled out Gary McCabe’s penalty as the Gypsies coughed up more sloppy goals at Dalymount Park.

A huge and boisterous crowd meant the game was played at a frantic pace, and featured chances at both ends, refereeing disagreements, and the usual cacophony of crowd hostility inside the stadium. This was the League of Ireland at its best, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Boss Owen Heary named the same team that drew with Drogheda United last week, with fit again Karl Moore starting from the bench. The opening 15 minutes were extremely cagey – a line that could easily have been written about every Bohs-Rovers game ever. The visitors looked the more comfortable on the ball, particularly the returning Luke Byrne, who was given an extremely hostile reception from the Bohs faithful.

If Byrne looked comfortable, the same could not be said of Jack Memery, who will want to completely wipe the memory of this game from his mind. The left back was culpable for all three Rovers goals, beginning with the opener on 14 minutes. After Gary McCabe got in behind Memery on the byline, the defender’s clumsy challenge left referee Padraig Sutton with little option. McCabe himself stepped up, and sent Dean Delany the wrong way to send the surprisingly large away crowd into convulsions of glee. Owen Heary would have no complaints about the penalty, but was aggrieved at the award of a Rovers throw-in in the lead up. The Bohs boss rightly felt that Simon Madden had touched the ball last.

Heary was also miffed on the half hour mark, when Dinny Corcoran had a goal dubiously ruled out for offside. Paddy Kavanagh’s cross fell kindly into Corcoran’s path, but the near-side linesman waved a slightly late flag. Corcoran looked to be level when the ball was kicked. Bohs best first half chance came just three minutes later when the impressive Craig Walsh snarled his way into the box with a determined run. His effort was blocked, and Kevin Devaney’s rebound agonizingly hit the crossbar and went over.

Heary didn’t waste much time changing things in the second half, which was barely 10 minutes old when Jason Byrne arrived, moving the Gypsies into a 4-4-2 formation. Byrne was almost instantly through on goal, but his effort was excellently saved by Barry Murphy. However, the change of shape did initially give Bohs a boost, and the equaliser deservedly arrived on 65 minutes. A delicious triangle of passes involving Kavanagh, Corcoran, and Derek Pender led to the latter bursting into the Rovers box. His low, drilled cross was a defender’s nightmare, and Hoops captain Conor Kenna could only smash an attempted clearance into his own net.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Bohs. The game had drifted into a bit of a lull when a 3 minute one-two sent the home side onto the canvas. Rovers right back Simon Madden, who was excellent all game, made the most of a Jack Memery slip to send a lovely deep cross onto the head of Ciaran Kilduff. He nodded the ball back across to Ronan Finn, who forced his header in. Although the header was from close range, the ball was straight at Dean Delany, but somehow found its way into the back of the net.

The killer blow arrived less than 3 minutes later. Madden went into a 40-60 with Jack Memery and came out well on top. The spinning ball stayed in play, and allowed the full back to pick out another super cross. This time, Kieran Marty Waters gave the Cheerin Shouty Supporters more to crow about, and the game was all but done.

Bohs have a tough task to bounce back from this defeat, and a trip to Oriel Park is next on the calendar for Owen Heary’s men.

Bohemians: Dean Delany Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery (Karl Moore 78), Steven Beattie, Craig Walsh (Stephen Traynor 75), Kevin Devaney (Jason Byrne 56), Ryan McEvoy, Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran. Subs not used: Daniel Byrne, Keith Buckley, Philip McCabe, Lee Murphy.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Jason McGuinness, Conor Kenna, Luke Byrne,  Ryan Brennan (Robert Bayly 78), Shane Robinson, Gary McCabe, Ronan Finn, Sean O’Connor (Kieran Marty Waterts 75), Ciaran Kilduff. Subs not used: Rob Cornwall, Karl Sheppard, Eamon Zayed, Dean Kelly, Craig Hyland.

Website by Simon Alcock