NEILY THERE

BOHEMIANS 1 DUNDALK 1

Bohemians edged a point closer to safety on Saturday night with a 92nd-minute equaliser from centre-half Neil Yadolahi, writes CILLIAN SHIELDS.

Dane Massey had earlier given Dundalk the lead with a fine header in the first half, but an electric Dalymount Park atmosphere inspired the Gypsies to the late comeback.

The home side, in great form of late, started well. A couple of set pieces showed intent but led to nothing. Ryan McEvoy made sure that Peter Cherrie was still concentrating in the Dundalk goal, however his shot went over the bar.

In the 18th minute, John Dillon delivered an inch-perfect pass over the heads of the Bohemian back four, and found the on rushing left-back Massey, who looped his header over stranded goalkeeper Dean Delany to give Stephen Kenny’s title hopefuls the lead.

Bohs looked to respond quickly, and minutes later were awarded a free-kick in dangerous territory. Karl Moore’s effort was unintentionally met by Lilywhite Sullivan, resulting in the ball narrowly going wide of his own goal and out for a Bohs corner.

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Dundalk then began to assert themselves, clearly looking to make amends for their controversial but brave cup exit last week against rivals Drogheda United. Vinny Faherty had claims for a penalty and a great chance to double the lead before the half-time whistle came, but the score remained 1-0 going into the break.

Into the second half, Bohs were gifted one of the rarest of scoring opportunities. A lapse in concentration from Dundalk net-minder Cherrie saw him pick up a ball that was kicked back to him from one of his own defenders. Referee Paul Tuite pointed to the six-yard line for an indirect free-kick for the back-pass. The majority of the away side lined up on the goal-line, and McEvoy’s lay-off to Stephen Traynor only resulted in the shot being charged down and blocked.

Both sides stiffened up after this Dundalk let-off, leaving chances at a premium. One side was fighting to keep alive their title hopes, however slim they may have been with St Pat’s firmly in the driving seat, and the other battling for those last few points to ensure safety and top division status for next season.

With 13 minutes left on the clock, it looked like Dundalk’s title efforts would continue strongly for another week, while Bohs would have to wait to celebrate salvation. Luke Byrne’s tackle on John Mountney at the edge of the box was seen as a foul in the eyes of ref Tuite, and captain and former Bohs man Stephen O’Donnell stepped up to take the kick. His audacious attempted chip into the top left corner of the net went safely out of play for a Bohs goal-kick, much to the delight of the home fans.

The Gypsies knew they had been let off with the penalty miss and were spurred by the opportunity given to them to get back and earn something from this game. The players waged on in search of the goal, substitute Kevin Devaney stung Cherrie’s fingers as the keeper sent the ball out for a corner, which fellow substitute Darragh Reynor took. Young centre-half Neil Yadolahi met the cross perfectly and ended the Lilywhites’ title ambitions with his first goal for the Gypsies.

With Bray beating Limerick 1-0 on Sunday, focus now turns to the Seagulls’ visit to Dalymount this Friday. Pat Devlin’s men are now just five points behind Bohs and with two games remaining. A point for the Gypsies would be enough to avoid the dreaded play-off.

Bohemians: Delany; Pender, Lopes, Yadolahi, Byrne; Buckley (Mulligan, 60), Mulcahy (Reynor, 60), McEvoy, Moore; Traynor (Devaney, 79); Corcoran.

Dundalk: Cherrie; Rossiter, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Mountney, Sullivan, O’Donnell, Dillon (McCaffrey, 60), Byrne  (Murphy, 85), Faherty (Hoban, 88).

Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).

RYAN HIGH

BOHEMIANS 2 DERRY CITY 0

An eight-point advantage over bottom side Shelbourne was the reward for Bohemians as they beat Derry City 2-0 at Dalymount Park on Friday night, writes ROBERT O’REARDON.

Ryan McEvoy struck twice to give his side two straight wins and moved Bohs up to ninth – that could lead to the club being mathematically safe of relegation as early as Monday evening.

The Gypsies’ recent record against the Candystripes has been poor to say the least but this demon was put to bed with ease.

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Bobby Browne and Owen Heary had their team fired up as they came out of the dressing room looking hungrier than their opponents and it paid off after just four minutes.

The ball was headed over the top and Stephen Traynor was bundled over by David McDaid inside the box having just beating the offside trip by inches.

Ryan McEvoy stepped up and placed the ball to the left of Derry keeper Ger Doherty, who guessed right but couldn’t do anything about it.

The confidence was coursing through the veins of those in red and black, and the chances began to come thick and fast.

Dinny Corcoran, key to the revival under the several different management teams in recent weeks, had a decent shot that flashed wide.

Declan Devine’s team began to take more of an interest in proceedings but once again McEvoy dealt them a huge blow.

After some great football in midfield, Keith Buckley found himself with the ball in midfield. He floated it up and McEvoy, the architect of the move, made a late run into the box.

He got his head to the ball and at first it looked as if it wouldn’t have the pace to beat the goalkeeper but Doherty couldn’t get near it and it was 2-0.

And that’s how it would stay, despite the Candystripes’ best efforts. Corcoran had a half-chance with a header at the beginning of the second half but the visitors had a couple of chances midway through the second half, including a heart-in-mouth moment for Dean Delany after a goalmouth scramble.

Corcoran was again in the thick of the action as Ryan McBride was given his marching orders for hauling down the former UCD man when he was through on goal. McBride was deemed to be the last man.

Despite an initial flurry of attacking intent from Bohs, Derry began to look a more composed side than they did when they their full complement of players.

Simon Madden came closest to pulling one back as he trickled the ball wide but that was that and there we joyful scenes at the end from both players and fans alike. One more win will surely do the trick and hopefully that could come away at Limerick on Monday evening.

BOHEMIANS: Delany, Pender, Lopes, Yaholadi, Byrne, Mulcahy, McEvoy, Moore, Buckley (Mulligan 85), Traynor, Corcoran (Lyons 92).
DERRY CITY: Doherty, Madden, S McEleney, McBride, Jarvis, McDaid (P McEleney 55), Higgins, McNamee, Duffy (Curran 80), Rafter, Patterson.

GYPSIES TAKE GIANT STEP TOWARDS SALVATION

SHELBOURNE 0 – 3 BOHEMIANS

Whisper it, mutter it under your breath, dare to believe it… the Bohs might just be staying up! That was the battle cry from the visiting fans as Bohs produced possibly their best performance of the season at the most crucial moment.

The stakes couldn’t have been higher for tonight’s relegation showdown in Tolka Park, and it was Phibsborough club who showed the heart, desire, and commitment to earn the three points that could prove vital come November.

Although Bobby Browne’s name was in the ‘Manager’ column on the teamsheet, this was an Owen Heary-led Bohemians team, and they displayed the kind of fearlessness that the great man showed for both of these clubs on so many occasions. Goals from Dinny Corcoran, Ryan McEvoy and Dave Mulcahy gave the huge Bohs crowd plenty to shout about on a night when they could have easily had 6 or 7, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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The opening 15 minutes of this encounter was right out of the bottom drawer. Both sides were painfully, nervously trying not to make any mistakes, and flowing football was at a premium. Long, hoofed clearances were the order of the day, but even at that stage, Bohs just about seemed to have an edge. The opening goal came out of the blue, but it was one of the best goals the Gypsies have scored all year. Anto Murphy was the catalyst, and his slaloming run down the left side carved open the Shelbourne defence. His back post cross was stood up beautifully to Karl Moore, who nodded the ball back to Corcoran, whose first time strike was perfect. A Shels defender tried in vain to clear, but could only block the ball into the roof of the net.

The Bohs fans outnumbered the home crowd by around four to one, but it sounded like double that as the decibel level rose once it became clear that this was a game Bohs were totally in control of. Corcoran could well have had at least one other soon after his goal, but his first effort flew over, and a second, easier chance was dragged wide. Dave Mulcahy should have done better from a Stephen Traynor corner, but Bohs were absolutely in the asendancy at the break.

Careful not to be made to pay for missing those chances, Bohs came out of the blocks like a train in the second half. First, Traynor had a great chance after a woeful back header from Adam O’Connor, but Lee Murphy saved well from close range. The second goal was coming, and it was fitting that a true Bohs man sealed the deal. Traynor’s deflected cross from the right fell kindly for Ryan McEvoy at the near post, and the midfielder hooked a lofted shot over Murphy into the far corner.

Traynor had possibly his best game in a Bohs shirt, and just 2 minutes after McEvoy’s goal he displayed an ice cool nerve to stop the ball in the centre of the box, and square it to Keith Buckley. Amazingly, Buckley shot straight at Murphy from 6 yards, but by that stage, Shels were beaten. Bohs have played an extra game than their close rivals, but it’s hard to see Shelbourne picking up anywhere near enough points to make up the 5-point deficit.

The icing on the red and black cake came on 83 minutes, and again it was a late-arriving midfielder who did the trick. This time, Karl Moore’s near post cross was turned home by Dave Mulcahy. Murphy could probably have done better for both second half goals, but in truth, he was one of many atrocious performers for the home side.

With UCD and Bray also losing, this could prove to be a critical night in Bohs’ search for Premier Division status in 2014. Either way, this was an unforgettable victory in front of a passionate crowd that loved every minute.

Shelbourne: Lee Murphy, Pat Flynn, Graham Gartland, Adam O’Connor, Ian Ryan (Derek Doyle, 76) Adam Hanlon, Glenn Cronin (Darren Tinnelly, 33), Stephen Hurley, Sean Brennan; Lee Murtagh, Stephen Sheerin (Jamie McGlynn, 60). Subs Not Used: Niall Burdon, Paul Andrews, Brian Gannon, Jake Donnelly.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender (Daniel Byrne 73), Roberto Lopes,  Anto Murphy, Luke Byrne, Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Dave Mulcahy, Stephen Traynor (Chris Lyons, 9o), Karl Moore (Kevin Devaney, 90),  Dinny Corcoran. Subs Not Used: Dave Scully, Darragh Reynor, Andy Mulligan, Greg Murray.

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