Gary O’Neill’s 89th-minute equaliser snatched an ill-deserved point for Drogheda United, but Bohemians will rue a glut of missed chances after throwing away a two-goal lead at Dalymount Park. It was a tale of two strikers as Dinny Corcoran’s brace put the home side two up within the half hour, but it was O’Neill who had the last word, capitalising on sloppy Bohs defending to keep the visitors on top of the fledgling SSE Airtricity League table.

In a game of numerous chances, slack defending, and some excellent attacking football, Owen Heary will be by far the more disappointed manager, with his Pro License classmate Robbie Horgan content with a point on his trip back up the M1, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Bohs made two enforced changes from last week’s comprehensive opening victory over UCD, with Ryan McEvoy and Kevin Devaney replacing the injured Dave Mulcahy and Karl Moore respectively. However, it was McEvoy’s midfield partner Craig Walsh who ignited this game in the 14th minute. The former ‘Football’s Next Star’ candidate burst through two challenges on the left flank, and unleashed a sublime through ball with the outside of his right boot. The pass curled majestically into the path of Dinny Corcoran, who controlled well, steadied himself, and tucked the ball neatly into the bottom corner past Dave Ryan.

Bohs were showing the kind of attacking flair that has many fans chirping about a top half finish already, with Paddy Kavanagh again weaving some magic in the hole behind Corcoran. It was a slaloming run from Kavanagh that instigated Bohs’ second. He cut inside from the left flank, showed quick feet, and toe-poked it across to Corcoran, who was felled from behind by a lunging Alan McNally. The familiar shiny-topped figure of referee Dave McKeon pointed to the spot without hesitation. Though Ryan McEvoy enquired about taking the penalty, there was no prying the ball from Corcoran, who confidently slotted the ball into the same corner to make it 2-0 before the half hour.

The boisterous home crowd sang ‘we are top of the league’, and there seemed to be little danger of note from a sluggish Drogheda, who hadn’t registered a shot on target until a 35th minute disaster. Left back Jack Memery was off the pitch having treatment for a burst lip, but the confusion that occurred between Dean Delany and Roberto Lopes was baffling. A hopeful long punt seemed to be skipping too far ahead of the chasing Gary O’Neill, who at one point, checked his run as he thought Delany was going to gather. However, the Bohs keeper never came, Lopes let O’Neill go, and the Drogs hitman somehow squeezed the ball in from a stupendously-tight angle. It was the kind of goal a manager has nightmares about.

Despite the setback, Bohs could have all-but killed the game either side of half time. First, a lightning break involving Walsh, Kavanagh, and Steven Beattie put Corcoran clean through, but the striker flashed his shot high and wide with a hat-trick at his mercy. Then, just six minutes after the restart, Corcoran combined with Kevin Devaney to release Kavanagh, who blazed over from 16 yards with only Ryan to beat. Knowing glances were shared among the Bohs faithful – these missed chances were going to cost the men in black (with a splash of red) dear.

Drogheda had two great chances to equalise before the goal eventually came, and both involved sheer luck combined with heroic defending. First, a weak Delany punch fell straight to Eric Foley, but the midfielder could only head straight back at the Bohs keeper. Then, with just 4 minutes remaining, Aidan Price made an awesome block on the goal-line to deny Cathal Brady. Bohs went up the other end immediately, and when Beattie’s cross found sub Stephen Traynor’s head 8 yards out, the victory should have been secured. Traynor however, headed straight at Ryan, and Bohs were finally punished for a lack of ruthlessness in the 89th minute. An in-swinging corner fell to the back post, where Derek Pender crucially slipped, allowing Gary O’Neill to force the ball home and send the visiting supporters wild in the Shed End. A crushing blow for Bohs, but all credit to O’Neill. That the former Bohs man is even playing football at all is an inspiration, never mind being Drogheda’s sharpest, most intelligent attacking threat. If a last minute equaliser has to be conceded, better it go to O’Neill than anyone else.

All that sets us up for a simply mouthwatering clash with Shamrock Rovers next Friday. Dublin 7 will be hopping.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery, Ryan McEvoy, Craig Walsh, Steven Beattie, Paddy Kavanagh (Stephen Traynor, 67), Kevin Devaney, Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne, 77). Subs not used: Lee Murphy, Dan Byrne, Darragh Reynor, Keith Buckley, Philly McCabe.

Drogheda United: Dave Ryan, Michael Daly, Alan McNally, Paul Andrews, Shane Grimes, Cathal Brady, Ciaran McGuigan, Carl Walshe (Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien, 77), Daire Doyle (Stephen Maher, 68), Eric Foley (Gavin Holohan, 68), Gary O’Neill. Subs not used: Dylan Connolly, Paul Crowley, Austin McCann, Ciaran O’Connor.



Owen Heary made nine changes to his team from Friday night but the scoreline was exactly the same as Bohemians claimed another comfortable victory over UCD on Monday evening – this time in the EA Sports Cup, writes CONOR HAYES.

Goals from Kevin Devaney, Jason Byrne and youngster Jake Hyland ensured the Gypsies would record their second 3-0 win over the Students at Belfield in the space of four days.

UCD began the game brightly, hoping for a reversal of fortunes from the result in the league game and after just three minutes, it was Gary Burke – one of three ex-Gypsies in the Students’ line-up alongside Michael Scott and Dwayne Wison – who had their first shot in anger, which was well blocked by centre-half Roberto Lopes.


Bohs responded in kind and five minutes later had their first effort as Darragh Reynor’s scuff shot was easily saved by UCD netminder Mark McGinley.

But two minutes later, the visitors took the lead as good play from Stephen Traynor in midfield saw him release Devaney down the left wing. The Sligo man skilfully cut inside and curled an excellent shot into the far bottom corner, the ball clipping the post on its way into the net. A goal every bit as good as Patrick Kavanagh’s wonder strike on Friday evening at the same ground.

UCD did not seem overawed by this setback and almost found a way back into the game in the 19th minute. Some tricky play by Cillian Morrison drew a foul from Bohs left-back Philly McCabe and the resulting free-kick, whipped in by Burke, found the diving head of Ian Ryan but he couldn’t keep the effort down and it sailed over the bar from six yards out.

The game lulled at this stage with both sides struggling to keep possession but again College nearly drew level after a wayward cross from Students skipper Samir Belhout almost found the top corner but was well parried away by Lee Murphy, who was making his competitive debut in the Bohs goal.

As the half got closer to its conclusion, Bohs came back into the game and more interplay between Traynor and Devaney resulted in Byrne being slipped through but his shot inside the area was pushed away by McGinley. The last action of the first period saw Keith Buckley link up with Ryan McEvoy outside the area but the winger’s shot was blocked.

Bohs began the second half with purpose as they looked to put the game beyond doubt. Again Buckley was involved as he charged down the right-hand side but he dragged his shot wide as 36-year-old Byrne waited free in the middle.

But the evergreen striker would get on the scoresheet in the 55th minute. Great play from Traynor on the right wing saw his pull-back only half-cleared by the UCD defence. The ball fell to Reynor, 30 yards from goal, and his drive could only be clawed by the UCD keeper directly into the path of Byrne, who finished easily inside the six-yard box.

The away side were in total control now and twice Devaney, who was a thorn in the Students’ side all evening, was set free down the left wing but each time his ball into the box was collected by McGinley with Byrne waiting to pounce. Bohs then seemed satisfied with their lead as they kept possession while creating little.

The game seemed to be petering out, but if early-season indicators are anything to go by, this Bohemians side have a knack for finding the net that their most recent predecessors have lacked. On 83 minutes, UCD’s Barry McCabe dwelt on the ball too long at the back allowing 18-year-old Bohs substitute Hyland to nip in and steal it – he then finished coolly, slotting the ball past McGinley with ease.

So a clear win for the men in red and black and the players who didn’t start in the first league match got their chance to show their worth to the manager.

Bohemians have now played three competitive matches, winning three times in three different competitions scoring 11 goals in the process. Tougher challenges lie ahead, beginning on Friday against Drogheda at Dalymount Park. But for now, Bohs fans have every right to feel optimistic about what the season has in store.

UCD: Mark McGinley, Gareth Matthews, Mark Langtry, Ian Ryan, Hugh Douglas, Michael Scott (Barry McCabe 78), James Kavanagh (Dean Clarke 78), Gary Burke, Dwayne Wilson (Chris Mulhall 34), Cillian Morrison, Samir Belhout. Subs not used: Conor O’Donnell, Sean Coyne, Colin Crowe, Thomas O’Halloran.

BOHEMIANS: Lee Murphy, Derek Pender (Stephen Beattie 54), Roberto Lopes, Dan Byrne, Philly McCabe, Keith Buckley (Paddy Collins 86), Darragh Reynor, Ryan McEvoy, Kevin Devaney, Stephen Traynor (Jake Hyland 80), Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Dean Delany, Karl Moore, Keith Mahony, Aidan Price.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephen Traynor.

REFEREE: Simon Rogers.

Pic: Jake Hyland adds Bohs’ third (A. Baldiemann).



Owen Heary’s Bohemians got their league campaign off to the perfect start with a dominant away performance on campus at the Belfield Bowl.

Goals from Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran and an inevitable late strike from Jason Byrne gave the Gypsies a well-deserved win with a scoreline that certainly didn’t flatter the away side.

Clearly impressed with last week’s demolition of Bray Wanderers in the Leinster Senior Cup, Heary made just one change from that side, with Karl Moore replacing Andy Mulligan on the left wing.

However, it was the man just inside him that had the Bohs fans murmuring with intrigue throughout the night. Although this is only the opening gambit of the 2014 league season, the acquisition of Paddy Kavanagh in the winter might well prove to be inspired, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


The Belfield Bowl isn’t exactly the best place to whip up a season-opening atmosphere, but an expectant and boisterous away crowd welcomed a green boot-clad Bohs on to the field. The opening 15 minutes were as cagey as an opening game can get, but gradually the away side started to assume control.

The opening goal almost came in the 17th minute. Kavanagh drifted into space before releasing Steven Beattie, whose cross fell to Moore at the back post. Moore’s hooked effort came back off the post and Corcoran couldn’t quite net the rebound.

The middle period of the first half featured Bohs at their most dominant away from home in quite some time. Much of that impetus came from Craig Walsh, who stomped his way around the park in a Gary Deegan-esque manner. He aggressively broke up play alongside Dave Mulcahy, which allowed Kavanagh to weave his magic in the attacking third.

Walsh himself broke quickly onto a loose ball in the 19th minute, but his eventual shot was well parried by Conor O’Donnell in the UCD goal.

Kavanagh’s influence was increasing, and more neat play from him on the left sideline led to a deep Jack Memery cross being headed against the crossbar by Corcoran. A Kavanagh shot led to a series of Bohs corners before the deadlock was finally broken on the 35th minute.

When the former Derry man received the ball just inside the left touchline, there was little danger for UCD. However, one effortless shimmy later, he found a kernel of space just inside the angle of the 18 yard box. From there, he unleashed a fabulous curling effort that was postage stamped, delivered, and signed for in the top corner. It proved to be the first goal of the 2014 Airtricity League season.

Bohs couldn’t quite press on and get the second before half time, but 1-0 flattered the students at the break to be fair. Former Bohs boss Aaron Callaghan has a lot of work to do at Belfield, and most at Dalymount would send nothing but good will his way.

Every single game in the Airtricity League will feature a stage where the opposition is in the ascendancy, and this occurred in the first ten minutes of the second half here. UCD, as ever, have some neat footballers in their squad, and Dean Clarke flashed their first real half-chance over the bar on 49 minutes. However, just as the Students looked to be clawing their way back into the game, Dinny Corcoran struck.

The lone frontman had performed admirably all game, and finally got a deserved goal just after the hour mark. This one was all his own making – having shrugged off the ample frame of Ian Ryan, Corcoran checked back to beat the same man again before applying the finish.

The ball cannoned off of the right hand post, and agonizingly fell over the line. Even if it hadn’t, Beattie would have tapped in any scraps that came back out. Corcoran deserved his standing ovation when he was replaced by Byrne for the final five minutes.

Is there anything more that can be said about Byrne? When he scored with his first touch of the ball, there was nothing surprising about it! The bustling Beattie picked up the ball on the right wing, checked inside, and let fly with a powerful 25-yard strike that O’Donnell could only parry.

You Know Who was on-hand to head the rebound into the net for his 208th goal in Irish football. His 87th minute strike was also his record ninth opening round goal since the league split in 1985. Every Bohs player was roundly applauded off by a delighted away crowd.

Next up in the league for Bohs is a home clash with Drogheda United, who were impressive home winners against last season’s runners up Dundalk. Before all that, Bohs have to pack up their notes and head back to UCD for an EA Sports Cup clash on Monday night. A study of this performance would be the perfect homework assignment.

UCD: Conor O’Donnell, Michael Barker, Ian Ryan, Tomás Boyle, Gareth Matthews, James Kavanagh (Cillian Morrison, 78), Robbie Creevy, Chris Mulhall, Ayman Ben Mohamad (Samir Belhout, 60), Robbie Benson, Dean Clarke. Subs not used: Mark McGinley, Hugh Douglas, Gary Burke, Cillian Morrison, Dwayne Wilson, Michael Scott, Samir Belhout

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery, Stephen Beattie, Craig Walsh, Dave Mulcahy (Ryan McEvoy, 57) , Karl Moore (Keith Buckley, 76), Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne, 85). Subs not used: Lee Murphy, Stephen Traynor, Kevin Devaney, Philly McCabe.

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