A North Dublin Derby turned into a North Dublin Nightmare as Bohemians were thrashed at home by basement club Shelbourne in a disastrous night at Dalymount Park. The miserable weather matched the mood of the home fans at the final whistle following a crushing defeat in the last game before the mid-season break.

Derek Pender’s 32nd minute red card masked a dreadful home performance that lacked vigour, creativity and determination. All three Shelbourne goals came from poor Bohs defending. To try and put the scoreline in perspective – before tonight, the visitors had scored one away goal and collected just two points on their travels. New boss Johnny McDonnell seems to have invigorated the Tolka Park club, while this defeat is Bohs’ sixth by two goals or more at home in all competitions this season, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Shelbourne started the better, playing with a kind of purpose that was certainly lacking when these sides met in the first round of games. Yet again, Bohs conceded an early goal at home. After a Shels corner was cleared away, Sean Brennan picked up the ball just inside the Bohs half. He beat his first man with consumate ease, then got the benefit of a lucky ricochet off Owen Heary to suddenly find himself through on goal. Brennan kept his composure and slotted the ball past Dean Delany to send the away fans in the Des Kelly stand into wild celebration.

Despite the return of Heary, Bohs looked particularly shaky at the back. Granted, the wind was right in their faces, but a series of hoofed clearances and missed passes did little to relieve the pressure on the back four. Even when the ball did go up the other end, Dave Scully cut a forlorn figure. Keith Buckley, Karl Moore and a rather sluggish-looking Kevin Devaney offered little in the way of back-up play.

The key moment of the game came just after the half hour mark. Derek Pender had been cynically tripped five minutes earlier, and perhaps was still reeling. He lunged in on Darren Tinnelly with studs showing. For a supposedly experienced player, it was a ridiculous challenge to make at this stage of such an important game. There were howls of anger when referee Tomás Connolly produced a straight red card – but the truth is, Pender gave the referee little choice. If you lunge in recklessly with feet off the ground, you can have no arguments.

If Pender’s tackle was ridiculous, it was nothing to the shambles of Shelbourne’s second goal which came just two minutes after the red card. Owen Heary is a legendary figure, but the seven-time league winner is not beyond criticism, and his 34th minute error will rank as one of the worst of his career. Sean Brennan floated an innocuous ball into the danger area. Heary was right underneath it, and inexplicably just stepped aside and left it. Bohs fans watched – mouth-agape – as Dean Kelly gleefully nodded the ball in from just five yards. Heary seemed angry with Dean Delaney, but it was 100% the captain’s fault.

Ironically enough, Bohs actually started to play well while a man down and 2 goals down. With little to lose, they strung a few passes together before the break. Kevin Devaney half-heartedly tumbled in the box, but referee Connolly was having none of it.

The second half started poorly for the home side again. Dean Delany fired a series of goal kicks all the way out of play as Bohs struggled to judge the wind. The final nail in the coffin came on 52 minutes, and again an individual error cost the Gypsies. Luke Byrne has been Bohs best player of the season by some distance, but he was culpable for the visitors’ third. First, he stood off Philly Hughes as the big frontman brought it down and flicked it through for Kelly. Byrne was favourite to intercept the pass, but slipped and fell, allowing Kelly a clear run on goal. He clipped it brilliantly over Delany to finish the game as a contest.

The final forty minutes was difficult watching for any Bohs fan. The errors kept on coming. Byrne played a weak pass across the face of goal and Sean Brennan could have made it 4 if not for Delany’s intervention. The keeper again saved Bohs on 70 minutes when he saved well from Hughes before Mark Leech scuffed a shot from 6 yards straight at the Bohs net minder.

Referee Tomás Connolly attracted most of the ire from the Bohs fans, who seemed particularly interested in Shelbourne’s time-wasting and their moving of free kicks and throw-ins a yard or two further ahead. Surely a more important problem was Bohs’ devastating lack of creativity. Karl Moore was the only player with a little spark about him, and he won a soft penalty with 10 minutes to go. Connolly seemed to be eager to even things up (although his decision to send Pender off was a simple one). Moore tumbled over Shels keeper Niall Burdon, who seemed to get a hand on the ball. Nevertheless, Connolly pointed to the spot. Chris Lyons stepped up, and keeping with the theme of the night, struck a dreadful penalty straight at Burdon’s legs.

The mid-season break sees Bohs level on points with UCD in the relegation play-off spot. Shelbourne, in the automatic relegation spot, are now just 5 points behind the Gypsies. Bohs are without a win in their last 8 games, and have only scored 13 goals in 17 league games. Before the game, Aaron Callaghan talked about bringing in two or three players in the transfer window. Aftre this result, there is no doubt that the squad needs strengthening if the Gypsies are to avoid a proper scrap to avoid the drop.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Owen Heary, Roberto Lopes (Ciaran Nangle, 14), Luke Byrne, Karl Moore, Ryan McEvoy, Dave Mulcahy (Stephen Traynor, 56), Keith Buckley, Kevin Devaney (Chris Lyons, 73), Dave Scully. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Michael Scott, Michael Barker.

Shelbourne: Niall Burdon, Jack Memery (Brian Shortall, 78), Graham Gartland, Ian Ryan, Darren Tinnelly, Glenn Cronin, Sean Brennan, Stephen Hurley, Pat Flynn, Dean Kelly (Mark Leech, 66), Philip Hughes (Gareth O’Connor, 87). Subs not used: Adam Hanlon, Ger Hanley, Craig Mooney, Jake Donnelly.



Outclassed, outfought and out of the FAI Cup – Bohemians are a team flirting dangerously close to a crisis.  Three unanswered goals from visitors Drogheda United saw the Gypsies limp out of the cup at the first time of asking in front of a disappointingly small crowd at Dalymount Park.

Aaron Callaghan’s men were without the suspended Dave Scully and worryingly enough really struggled without the big front man.  Chris Lyons was deployed as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation that struggled to create chances and rarely got in behind the Drogheda defence, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Bohs have had the unhealthy habit of conceding early goals this season, and tonight the trend continued.  A Jason Marks corner was knocked down to right back Stephen Quigley who unleashed a powerful half-volleyed shot from the edge of the area.  Not for the first time this season, Dean Delany will be disappointed with his role, as the ball seemed to go right through his out stretched arms.  On the bench – Greg Murray watches and waits.

Bohs only real spell of dominance came during the middle of the first half.  First, a Ryan McEvoy swirling cross slipped through Gabriel Sava’s hands and hit the post. Then, Bohs only clear cut chances were created. Unfortunately for the home side, they fell to the less prolific Keith Buckley.   He created the first for himself, jinking inside and floating a shot too close to Sava. The second chance was the key one. Good work from Lyons down the left led to Buckley in acres of space, 14 yards out in the centre of the goal. His right-footed shot was somewhat scuffed, and bobbled off the post. It was a stroke of luck that has summed up Bohs last few performances at Dalymount Park.

Drogheda’s second goal came from a simple move down the left. Michael Barker was tortured by Jason Marks all night, and the left winger’s 38th minute cross found Declan O’Brien in acres of space in the six yard box. A striker of Fabio’s quality doesn’t need to be asked twice, and his header doubled the Drogs’ lead. The half-time whistle was greeted with a kind of glum silence.

Fair play to Bohs, they tried to gee themselves up in the second period. Buckley was especially busy, buzzing around the midfield areas. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any real cutting edge. The watching Pat Fenlon would have been puzzled to see the strike force that ended the game. Kevin O’Leary and Adam Kelly are not household names, but their inclusion in such an important game underlines the standard of Bohs squad at the moment.

Drogheda’s third goal fully killed the game. After Bohs failed to properly clear their lines, Philip Hand unleashed a powerful shot from a truly outrageous angle. Delany will again be disappointed to be beaten at his near post, but the finish was very good.

Bohs return to league action next week with a daunting trip to Sligo before a crunch relegation clash against Shelbourne.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne, Andy Mulligan (Karl Moore, 75), Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Michael Barker, Dwayne Wilson (Kevin O’Leary, 46), Chris Lyons (Adam Kelly, 70). Subs not used: Greg Murray, Stephen Traynor, Michael Scott, Darragh Reynor.

Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava, Stephen Quigley, Paul O’Conor, Alan McNally, Cathal Brady, Ryan Brennan (Michael Daly, 86), Peter Hynes, Shane Grimes, Jason Marks (Philip Hand, 58), Alan Byrne, Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien (David Cassidy, 64). Subs not used: Michael Schlingermann, Gary O’Neill, Brian Gannon, Dean Gaynor.

Bohs Man of the Match: Luke Byrne


Bohemians’ winless run stretched to 6 league games following a disappointing 2-0 defeat to St. Patrick’s Athletic at Dalymount Park. The Gypsies have now slipped into the bottom two, with just one win in 10 Premier Division games after goals from ex-Bohs men Christy Fagan and Killian Brennan downed Aaron Callaghan’s men.

The Gypsies boss made two changes to the team that drew  with Shamrock Rovers in last week’s Derby, but the returning Chris Lyons and Stephen Traynor could do little to influence a game dominated by the newly-crowned league leaders, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


While the gulf in class was apparent, Bohs will be extremely disappointed with a listless first half performance that showed very little heart and determination. The goals came within just three minutes of each other, and knocked what little stuffing was left out of Callaghan’s young side.

The opening 20 minutes was painfully cagey, with both teams feeling each other out on a deceptively bobbly surface in Phibsboro. You felt it would take a moment of magic or a mistake to open the game, and it was the latter, unfortunately for Bohs and Stephen Traynor. The midfielder was caught in possession 30 yards from goal on 23 minutes by John Russell, who quickly slipped a lovely ball through to Christy Fagan. The former Man United trainee showed his class by slotting the ball between the legs of Dean Delany to give the Saints the lead.

A clearly shell-shocked Bohs had barely registered the opener when the lead was doubled. Just 90 seconds had passed when Chris Forrester’s mis-hit cross was clearly handled just inside the box by Derek Pender. It was a silly and needless error from the experienced Pender, and referee Alan Kelly had no choice but to point to the spot. Killian Brennan smashed the penalty home with an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Brennan’s Ronaldo-esque apologetic celebration showed some respect to the club he spent 4 successful years.

Half-time couldn’t come quick enough for the Gypsies who were at sixes and sevens. Traynor was having a particularly torrid evening alongside Ciaran Nangle. The left back was culpable again as Fagan got in behind for a second time, but this time his shot creeped just past the post.

Callaghan changed to a 3-5-2 in the second period, but Bohs still struggled to create any clear cut chances. The home fans were howling on the hour mark when a Dave Scully cross seemed to strike the arm of Kenny Browne. Although Pender’s was more obvious, many felt Alan Kelly would even up the penalty count – but to no avail. The Bohs fans were particularly irked by a string of Kelly decisions. Perhaps that was a good thing for the Bohs players as it took the attention away from probably one of the team’s worst performances in a long time.

With the next league game away to Sligo Rovers, Bohs may well be still in the bottom two by the time Shelbourne visit on the 14th of June. What a huge game that might be in the context of the season.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne, Ciaran Nangle (Kevin O’Leary, 66), Shane Murray, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Roberto Lopes, 46), Andy Mulligan (Karl Moore, 83), Chris Lyons, Dave Scully. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Kevin Devaney, Michael Barker, Michael Scott.

St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Ger O’Brien, Conor Kenna, Kenny Browne (Aidan Price, 77), Ian Bermingham, Chris Forrester, Greg Bolger, Conan Byrne, Killian Brennan, John Russell, Christy Fagan (Anto ‘Bisto’ Flood, 86). Subs not used: Dave Ryan, Jake Carroll, Shane McFaul, Sean Gannon, Jake Kelly.

Bohs Man of the Match: Luke Byrne

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