Bohemians suffered their second heavy home defeat on the bounce as high-flying Derry City won by four goals to nil at Dalymount Park. In a match that was eerily similar to last Friday’s defeat to Sligo, the Gypsies played some good football in patches, but were ultimately undone by a mix of poor defending and clinical finishing, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Aaron Callaghan might just be hoping that the RTÉ cameras stay away from Phibsborough for a few weeks, with the second televised game in a row ending in a very unfavourable scoreline for Bohs. Despite a confidence-boosting win over Shelbourne on Monday, the unchanged side were well beaten by Declan Devine’s efficient counter-attacking outfit.


Just like the game at Tolka, Bohs started well. Superb close control from Ryan McEvoy gave him some space to feed Luke Byrne, who slid a lovely pass through to Ciaran Nangle. Nangle’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal, agonizingly close to both Dave Scully and Kevin Devaney.

Unfortunately for Bohs, they were hit with a sucker punch just as the team were starting to dominate. Derry’s Patrick McEleney had been anonymous for the opening 13 minutes, but he definitely caught the attention in the 14th. He picked the ball up on the left side about 30 yards out, skipped inside Derek Pender, and unleashed what is often referred to as a “worldie”. His curling 30-yard strike hit the underside of Dean Delany’s crossbar, bounced down and back up into the top corner. It was a strike to light up any game.

As good as Derry’s opening goal was, their second was the kind of goal that would give a manager sleepless nights. An aimless ball down the line from Paddy Kavanagh was totally misjudged by Ciaran Nangle, who let the ball slip under his boot. Simon Madden suddenly had acres of room to deliver a cross, which found Michael Rafter on the penalty spot. Rafter had far too much time to take a touch, set himself, and shoot through Roberto Lopes’ legs to double Derry’s lead.

As the game wore on, it was difficult not to cast minds back to the first half of the game against Shamrock Rovers, and Chris Lyons’ injury. Bohs just haven’t looked particularly dangerous since the former UCD man was chopped down by Derek Foran, and Aaron Callaghan will be hoping his ankle injury heals as quick as possible.

Bohs’ best spell came after the break, when a string of corners and free kicks heaped pressure on the Derry defence. Again, no clear cut chances materialized, despite a clear penalty appeal being turned down for a blatant handball by Shane McEleny. The out-of-retirement Anthony Buttimer may well have been unsighted, but his assistant in front of the Derry fans should have put his flag across his chest.

With Bohs close-but-not-quite getting back into the game, a third Derry goal was always going to be the killer. Again, it was sloppy. Dean Delany flapped at a Derry corner, and the looping ball returned to the back post was miraculously cleared off the line by Ryan McEvoy. However, no one in red and black reacted, and Shane McEleney rose to nod the ball into the empty net.

Just three minutes later, a forgettable night for the Gypsies was complete. Michael Rafter found himself in a lot of space between the midfield and defence. He had time to slip a ball around the side of a wrong-footed Roberto Lopes, and Barry McNamee applied the finish. Bohs now have 11 days to lick their wounds before an intruiging trip to Limerick and the grandeur of Thomond Park on Tuesday the 16th of April.

Bohemians:  Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle (Karl Moore 77), Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Keith Buckley 45), Dave Mulcahy; Dave Scully, Kevin Devaney. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Dwyane Wilson, Conor O’Brien , Andy Mulligan.

Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Simon Madden, Shane McEleney, Ryan McBride, Thomas Crawley (Dermot McCaffrey 83); Patrick Kavanagh (Michael Duffy 79), Barry Molloy, Ruaidhri Higgins, Patrick McEleney; Barry McNamee, Michael Rafter (Mark Griffin 80). Subs not used: James Gallagher, Ryan Curran, Tony McNamee, Conall Kelly.



Kevin Devaney fired Bohemians to their second win of the season in a hotly-contested North Dublin Derby at Tolka Park on a bitterly cold Easter Monday.

Aaron Callaghan’s white knights were no April Fools as Devaney’s fifth-minute strike was enough to send the Gypsies into the top half thanks to this victory over 10-man Shelbourne, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Bar a 15-minute period of intense pressure early in the second half, Bohs were definitely the better side against a Shelbourne team still looking for their first win of the season.


The visitors’ midfield trio of Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy and Stephen Traynor controlled what was often a scrappy affair, with neither side able to fully commit to passes due to the bobbly and uneven Tolka Park pitch.

Following a disappointing defeat but a promising performance against champions Sligo Rovers on Friday, Bohs came out of the blocks all guns blazing against their near-neighbours. Traynor’s slaloming run forced an early corner, which was whipped in by McEvoy. Stephen Paisley, in for the injured Owen Heary, miskicked in the six-yard box, and the ball fell to Devaney, who fired a low drive into the bottom corner of Niall Burdon’s net.

It was the kind of start that Callaghan would have dreamed about, and the Gypsies continued in a confident vein. Ciaran Nangle and Devaney were occupying the flanks to good effect, while the bustling Dave Scully was proving a nuisance to the Shelbourne defence.

The home side’s captain Ian Ryan was booked for a particularly high challenge on Nangle, while Devaney saw yellow for an unfortunate slip that comically clattered former Bohs man Robert “Boccer” Bayly.

Bohs forced a string of first-half corners but just couldn’t quite find a second goal that would have been richly deserved at the break. Devaney could have doubled his tally but for a last-ditch block by Brian Shortall with the goal gaping. Shelbourne, and Philly Hughes in particular, had a couple of half-chances, but Dean Delany was never really troubled.

Whatever Alan Matthews said to his charges at half-time, it definitely worked. The home side were a different animal after the break and Bohs found themselves pinned in their own half. A series of free-kicks and corners brought a couple of good saves from Delany, while Paisley and Roberto Lopes were kept busy by a smattering of long balls into the Bohs box.

One of these was cleared out to Bayly 25 yards out, and he screamed a shot that cannoned back off the crossbar. That seemed to shake Bohs back into life, and the introduction of Dwayne Wilson also relieved some pressure. The gangly and unorthodox Wilson managed to win a few frees with a series of powerful runs, providing much-needed relief to a stretched Bohs back-line.

Bohs got the cushion of an extra man with 20 minutes remaining. Wilson fed Scully in space, and after the striker flicked it past Ian Ryan, he found himself body-checked to the ground. Referee Sutton had no choice but to give Ryan a second yellow. After that, Bohs could well have had a second but for some lax play in the final third.

The excellent Mulcahy marauded forward on more than one occasion, but after he set Wilson through, the sub could only shoot at Burdon’s feet. Bohs saw out the final minutes without incident, and can go into Friday’s televised clash with Derry City with renewed confidence.

Shelbourne: Niall Burdon; Robert Cornwall (Mark Leech, 86), Ian Ryan, Brian Shortall, Jack Memery, Adam Hanlon, Pat Flynn, Paul Crowley, Robert Bayly (Stephen Hurley, 82), Dean Kelly, Philly Hughes. Subs not used: Sean Brennan, Alex Prizeman, Craig Mooney, Darren Tinnelly, Eoin Comerford.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Dwayne Wilson, 64), David Mulcahy; Kevin Devaney (Keith Buckley, 77), Dave Scully. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Karl Moore, Michael Barker, Andy Mulligan.

Attendance: 1,329

Bohs Man of the Match: Dave Mulcahy



Bohemians were given a masterclass in counter-attacking football as champions Sligo Rovers ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at Dalymount Park.

First-half goals from ex-Bohs men Raffaelle Cretaro and Aaron Greene and a second-half header from Anthony Elding sent Aaron Callaghan’s men crashing to their first home defeat of the new season, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Callaghan welcomed back Dave Mulcahy into the Bohs midfield, with Kevin Devaney leading the line in place of the injured Chris Lyons in a 4-5-1 formation.

In a departure from their usual tactics, Sligo played an orthodox 4-4-2, with Cretaro partnering top scorer Elding up front. But for all their quality, the Bit O’Red were gifted the first goal with barely 90 seconds on the clock.

A deep cross by Ross Gaynor was uncharacteristically misjudged by Owen Heary. Cretaro chested the ball over Heary, but it looked like Roberto Lopes was about to clean up. However, both he and Heary seemed to say “after you”, allowing the Tubbercurry Tornado to poke the league leaders in front. A very sloppy goal from a Bohs point of view.

Credit to Callaghan’s side, the early goal didn’t faze them. They played the better football in the opening periods, with the Dalymount pitch noticeably improved from the draw with Shamrock Rovers. While the surface doesn’t quite lend itself to the flowing passing that Callaghan has instilled, a good April’s growth should see the pitch come back to its best.

An equalizer would have been no more than the Gypsies deserved, and Devaney had a golden chance to do just that on the half hour mark. After sterling work from Derek Pender down the right, Stephen Traynor clipped a lovely ball through. Devaney’s shot was at the angle of the six yard box, but he fired wide at the near post instead of shooting across goal.

Just when Bohs were asserting their dominance, another old boy popped up with a sucker punch. Aaron Greene received the ball on the edge of the box from Alan Keane with his back to goal. Their seemed to be little danger with Lopes tight to the winger, but with a quick turn flash of his left boot, Bohs were suddenly two down. His 20 yard effort went in off Dean Delany’s near post. The Bohs keeper had no chance.

Despite the deficit, Bohs continued to play the kind of football that will surely serve them well throughout the season. McEvoy and Traynor were again impressive, with Luke Byrne continuing to show why he’s so well thought of at Dalymount. Half time came at a bad time for Callaghan’s charges who were well on top when the whistle went.

Captain Heary, who had suffered a torrid first half, was replaced by Stephen Paisley for the second period. With a game against Shelbourne on Monday, Bohs will be hoping that the 37 year old’s knock isn’t too serious.

Sligo soaked up all Bohs second half pressure with the experience of Champions. Evan McMillan was particularly solid. Devaney struggled against the former Bohs and UCD defender. Dave Scully arrived to bolster the Bohs attack, but they could do little to break down the Sligo banks of four. The visitors sealed the victory with one final devastating counter in the 70th minute. Lee Lynch snet Cretaro through down the right, and his delightful clipped cross found Elding un-marked at the back post. The league’s top scorer made no mistake, heading his 8th goal in 7 games for the Bit O’Red.

Bohs don’t have long to reflect on this defeat, with a Dublin Derby in Tolka Park looming on Easter Monday. The perfect tonic for a team looking to bounce back.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Owen Heary (Stephen Paisley, 46), Roberto Lopes (Darragh Hanaphy, 83), Luke Byrne, Keith Buckley, Dave Mulcahy, Stephen Traynor, Ryan McEvoy, Karl Moore (Dave Scully, 59), Kevin Devaney. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Michael Barker, Shane Murray, Ciaran Nangle.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers, Alan Keane, Jeff Henderson, Evan McMillan, Ross Gaynor, Ryan Connolly (Kieran Djallili, 60), David Cawley, Lee Lynch, Aaron Greene (Pascal Millien, 79), Raffaele Cretaro (Liam Martin, 87), Anthony Elding. Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly, Iarfhlaith Davoren, Hugh McFadden, Marty Owens

Bohs Man of the Match: Luke Byrne

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