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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

PREVIEW: SLIGO ROVERS v BOHEMIANS

SSE Airtricity League
Saturday June 26 2021
The Showgrounds, 7.45pm
Live on LOITV

It is third against fourth as Sligo Rovers host Bohemians in the Showgrounds tonight.

For Liam Buckley’s Bit O’Red, it is an opportunity to go level with league leaders St Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers, who both dropped points last night in draws away to Waterford and at home to Drogheda United respectively.

For Keith Long’s side, it is a chance to keep the pressure on the three teams currently ahead of them, while hopefully adding some distance between themselves and Drogheda United and Dundalk who are breathing down their necks in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Bohs come into this game in form with four wins and a draw from their last five games.

They are particularly buoyed by last Friday’s 5-0 over Drogheda United and Monday’s 1-0 win in the Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers, with on-fire Georgie Kelly netting five between those two games to top the goalscoring charts with 11.

Shamrock Rovers had won the previous five meetings between the sides so Monday’s victory was not insignificant.

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But while fans’ natural inclination might be to get carried away with the bragging rights, now in his seventh season in charge of Bohs, Long has always been one to keep feet on the ground.

He is right to do so. Sligo came to Dalymount Park earlier this season and while it was a game that could have gone either way, Buckley’s men punished Bohs mistakes and went home with all three points.

They showed that night that they have a killer instinct that could punish Bohs once more tonight if Long’s men are not on top of their game.

So, understandably, Long did not dwell on Monday’s derby, and instead gave tonight’s opposition his full attention.

He said: “Sligo are an excellent team with a great balance of experience and some exciting young players.

“They beat us well in Dalymount in the last phase of games and, although we felt we could have got something from that game, they showed the quality they possess and punished us with some high quality goals.”

Bohs enjoyed a level of vocal support that belied the small number allowed to attend – 100 fans for each – their last two games.

It will be Sligo who can count on cheers from the stands this evening, with away fans yet to be allowed into games but Long’s men are fully focused on the job at hand.

Long added: “Going to the Showgrounds is always difficult and after a good couple of results, we understand that we will have to produce a really good performance to get any type of result.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians hope that Stephen Mallon (hip) will be available for selection once more.

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Interviews: Chloe Darby and Christy Lougheed

Bohemians player Chloe Darby and coach Christy Lougheed spoke to Emma Clinton and Emma Meyler respectively this week ahead of their WNL clash against Galway at Dalymount Park today.

Aviva Stadium to host Bohemians’ Europa Conference League tie

Bohemian FC and the Football Association of Ireland can confirm that the second leg of the club’s UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round tie with Stjarnan FC of Iceland will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday, July 15th, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Further details on stadium capacity and ticketing will be made available in due course. We will not be in a position to make any further comment until those details are finalised.

Aviva Ireland light up Aviva Stadium to celebrate Pride Month

Reaction: Georgie Kelly

The Dublin derby match-winner spoke to Colm McDonnell after last night’s game.

Highlights: Bohemians 1 Shamrock Rovers 0

A great strike from in-form Georgie Kelly gave Bohemians the bragging rights in the first Dublin derby held in front of fans in 16 months.

Reaction: Trevor Croly

Bohs fans in attendance went home happy on Monday evening, but assistant manager Trevor Croly, while delighted with the 1-0 win in the Dublin derby, believes there is still room for improvement. He spoke to Colm McDonnell.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v SHAMROCK ROVERS

SSE Airtricity League
Monday June 21 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV

The return of supporters to Dalymount Park on Friday night meant so much to Bohemians manager Keith Long and his players.

But having had a reminder of what it is like to be roared on from the Jodi Stand, Long shares the frustration that only 100 more will be able to attend the Dublin derby against league leaders Shamrock Rovers.

The Gypsies turned on the style in Friday’s emphatic 5-0 win over fourth-placed Drogheda United to send the 100 Bohs fans in attendance home happy.

Frustratingly, the gradual return of crowds to games has been a long time coming – the last time fans, other than a small number of essential club staff, officials and volunteers, attended a game at Dalymount Park was the March 6 2020 win against Shelbourne.

100 more – 90 members and 10 season ticket holders – will be in attendance for the first Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers Dublin derby to be held at Dalymount since the onset of the pandemic 15 months ago.

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The two meetings between the sides at Tallaght Stadium since then were both very close affairs from which Bohs emerged empty-handed.

Daniel Lafferty’s fourth-minute goal in September was enough to give the home side all three points.

And back in April, a bewildering refereeing decision at 1-1 when Bohs were in the ascendancy saw Rovers awarded a penalty from which they scored the winner, while James Finnerty was shown a red card for the same incident.

Dougie Bolger was the first fan in on Friday – Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Home fans in attendance in Dalymount will be hoping their vocal support can help their side over the line this time around.

Those lucky 100 aside, all other Bohemians will have to contend themselves from supporting the team from home on a stream once more.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and Long, his staff and players, have been all too aware of those fans every time they have taken to the pitch since football returned behind closed doors last August.

Long said: “It’s such a pity we won’t have more of a crowd in behind us for this considering the atmosphere the derby creates in Dalymount.

“But it was brilliant to have some fans back in the ground, even if it’s only 100 or so.

“They got right behind the lads on Friday, even during the warm-ups. It makes a huge difference having that support during the game and after it as well.

“The boys put on a bit of a display for them as well with a 5-0 win so we are pleased with that.

“Even though it is a limited number for now, it means a lot having them back in the stadium. We have really missed them.

“Dalymount is a special place to play football but what makes it even more special is when you have fans there; when the Jodi Stand is rammed with supporters right behind the team.

Georgie Kelly jumped top of the league’s goalscoring charts – Luke O’Riordan

“We have a team now that can excite supporters. We have a team with real talent and I think supporters will have enjoyed some of the performances we have put in here at home recently, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we can have more inside the ground.”

Long is right to say his side put on a display – Georgie Kelly grabbed the headlines with his stunning and deserved four-goal haul putting him top of the league’s goalscoring charts with 10.

But Bohs were purring in the middle of the park too, particularly in the second half after a more testing opening 45 despite going in at the break with a firm two-goal lead.

Ross Tierney was only on the pitch 69 minutes but in that time helped himself to four assists, propelling him to joint-top of the division assists chart with seven.

Still only 20, Tierney has been a standout performer this season having come through St Kevin’s, the Bohs-SKB U17s and the Bohemians U19s.

His replacement on Friday, 16-year-old debutant Jamie Mullins, will hope to follow a similar development path having started with St Kevin’s with their U9s and having won the league with the Bohs-SKB U17s last season under Derek Pender. He certainly did not look out of place on Friday.


Skipper Keith Buckley welcomes Jamie Mullins on for his debut – Stephen Burke

Long said: “Georgie got four goals on Friday and he was full value for them. His second goal was particularly important for us because Drogheda are a good side, they’ve been playing really well, and we needed that second goal.

“We certainly didn’t have it all our own way in the first half – Drogheda created chances. But we got ourselves 2-0 in front at half-time.

“We addressed a few things at half-time and we went out determined that we would get the next goal as that would be really important – and we went out and got it in 20 or 30 seconds.

“It was a brilliant goal by Liam Burt after some great work by Ross, who was immense in the build-up.

“Ross was fantastic throughout. He’s a great kid with incredible energy. He’s only 20 and still improving too, so he can only get better.”

 


Ross Tierney slips the ball through for Georgie Kelly’s opener – Stephen Burke

While the attacking players got all of the attention, Long was happy too with the side’s performance at the back.

Much has been talked about Bohs’ habit of conceding late goals – turning wins into draws and draws into defeats – too often at times this season, including the previous game against Derry City where Bohs conceded in the 93rd minute having taken the lead nine minutes previously through a wonder strike from Ali Coote.

Those lapses in concentration are at the back of everyone’s mind, so keeping a clean sheet was perhaps as pleasing as the goals scored at the other end.

One man central to that defensive display was Ciarán Kelly, who really has had to bide his time to break into the team since his arrival ahead of the 2020 season.

Last year he was a victim of the truncated football schedule necessitated by Covid-19 that cut the number of league games in half, and abandoned other opportunities for players to stake their claim, such as the EA Sports Cup and Leinster Senior Cup.

In all, he managed just 93 minutes of league football for Bohs in 2020 and an appearance in the FAI Cup against First Division Cabinteely.

Rather than take that disappointing return to heart, the former St Pat’s man seized the opportunity of a three-month loan spell with Ballymena United. He became a key man for David Jeffrey’s side in that time, featuring in 12 games and scoring once.

Since returning to Dalymount Park in January, injuries to Rob Cornwall and James Finnerty have seen the 22-year-old afforded his first extended run in the team. He has featured in 11 of Bohs’ 16 league games this season, starting nine of those, including the last five in a row.

Ciarán Kelly battles for possession with Chris Lyons - Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Long added: “It is important that we build a platform from the back where we don’t concede. We have dropped too many points late in games this year.

“We feel we should have more points than we have and there’s no doubt that the key to that changing is keeping clean sheets.

“Ciarán can play his part in that. It’s a good news story when you persevere and that when you get setbacks, you don’t roll over.

“Ciarán has come into the team and he has been really good. He hasn’t had it all his own way here at all – he has had to be very patient.

“It’s been tough for Ciarán at times but he’s come through it, he’s been resilient and he’s learning. He’s constantly improving and he’s getting the rewards for his performances now.

“He’s been quite consistent for us since coming into the team. He has shown that work ethic and tenacity to get his rewards when a chance to play came his way.”

TEAM NEWS

James Finnerty, who pulled out of the squad late on Friday due to tonsillitis, is available again as is Promise Omochere (quad).

Stephen McGuinness (arm) is rated 50/50, while Stephen Mallon, who shipped a heavy knock late on Friday night, will be assessed again ahead of the game.

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Match report: Bohemians 5 Drogheda United 0

Four-midable Georgie Kelly put Drogheda to the sword and Bohs ran riot in a five-star performance.

Goals were expected as the league’s two top scoring teams played out an enthralling encounter in the Dublin 7 sunshine. But unfortunately for the high-flying Drogs, they were all for the home side.

For the first time since March 2020 the “Home of Irish Football” welcomed back 100 supporters, 90 members and 10 season ticket holders, as the Gypsies played host to an impressive Drogheda United side who sit one place above them in the table.

And the exuberant crowd didn’t have to wait long for their welcome home gift. With just 10 minutes played it was the home side who broke the deadlock through talismanic front man Georgie Kelly.

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Ross Tierney left his marker for dead in the middle of the park with a clever drop of the shoulder, and had the quality to play a delightful slide-rule pass to split the Drogheda defence to Kelly, who tucked it way past the onrushing David Odumoso.

Tim Clancy’s men, fresh and full of confidence from a fantastic away win at joint table-toppers Sligo Rovers, remained unchanged and showed no signs of dropping their heads, and responded well to the setback.

Chris Lyons, who started the game as the league’s joint top scorer, almost added to his impressive haul when he showed excellent quick feet in the area to fashion half a yard for himself, but his strike was inches away from the top corner.

The visitors again showed moments of real class with an incredible passing move cutting through the Bohs midfield, resulting in Ronan Murray having a go from all of 30 yards with a powerful left-footed drive, which James Talbot was forced to tip over.

There was relentless pressure continued, forcing Bohs to defend doggedly, with cross after cross bombarding Talbot’s area. But just as it looked as if the pressure might tell, the Gypsies hit back with a swift counter-attack through Tierney and Dawson Devoy, with the latter seeing his gilt-edged chance well saved.

Drogheda failed to clear their lines from the resulting set piece and Georgie Kelly added to his haul for the evening.

Rob Cornwall, making his return from injury, floated a deep cross to the back post towards Tierney, who rose incredibly well to win the header, and as the ball
dropped in the area, the unmarked Kelly did the rest, volleying home to make it two.

The visitors opted for a double change to try to drag themselves back into the tie, with ex-Bohs fan favourite Dinny Corcoran and Killian Phillips, replacing Jake Hyland and, more surprisingly, Chris Lyons.

But before the duo had a chance to make an impact, the hosts added a third almost immediately.

Liam Burt was the man who put the finishing touches to yet another swift break, with Tierney fizzing in a ball form the right wing to Kelly’s feet, but must have had eyes in the back of his head, as he stepped over the ball and let it run through to the flying Scotsman to calmly finish.

Drogheda just had no answer to Ireland U21 star Tierney, who was central to everything that was good from Bohs.

The 20-year old was really enjoying himself and again showed why he is so highly rated as he forced the fourth.

Picking up a loose ball on the edge of the area, Tierney went on a dribble, attracting most of the Drogheda defence, with the ball eventually spilling to Kelly, who showed supreme composure to step around Odumoso and slot home for his hat-trick.

There were still more than 15 minutes to play when Georgie incredibly grabbed his fourth of the game. Substitute Stephen Mallon clipped a delightful cross from the left wing right on the money, as Kelly lobbed his header beautifully over the on-rushing Drogheda stopper.

A clinical performance from Keith Long’s men in the end, who will be delighted to drag themselves closer to the top four, and sets the Phibsboro side up nicely for a mouthwatering Dublin Derby against the old enemy Shamrock Rovers on Monday night.

But in direct contrast, Tim Clacy looked on as bewildered as he was frustrated with how his team defended on the night and will have to put it right quickly, as they face Dundalk in just three days’ time.

Bohemians: James Talbot, Rory Feely, Rob Cornwall, Ciaran Kelly, Ali Coote (Stephen Mallon 62), Liam Burt (Keith Ward 62), Georgie Kelly (Bastien Héry 74), Conor Levingston, Tyreke Wilson, Ross Tierney (Jamie Mullins 69), Dawson Devoy (Keith Buckley 62). Unused substitutes: Enda Minogue, Anto Breslin, Keith Buckley, Jack Moylan, Seán Grehan.

Drogheda United: David Odumoso, James Brown, Conor Kane, Daniel O’Reilly, Darragh Markey, Gary Deegan (Luke Heeney 59), Chris Lyons (Dinny Corcoran 45), Jake Hyland (Killian Phillips 45), Mark Doyle (James Clarke 59), Ronan Murray (Jordan Adeyemo 59), Dane Massey
Unused substitutes: Colin McCabe, Brandon Bermingham, Charles Mutawe, Ryan O’Shea.

Referee: Ben Connolly.

 

Georgie Kelly - Luke O'Riordan

Preview: BOHEMIANS v DROGHEDA UNITED

SSE Airtricity League
Friday June 18 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Live on LOITV.ie

One of the first names on Keith Long’s teamsheet since making his debut in 2017, Rob Cornwall believes he has a battle on his hands to win back his place in the heart of the Bohemians defence.

The club vice-captain was forced off with an ankle injury in the 2-1 defeat away to St Patrick’s Athletic four weeks ago and has seen Rory Feely and Ciarán Kelly impress in the three games since from which Bohs have taken seven points.

Cornwall, 26, said: “I’m hoping I can get back into the team as soon as possible but I can’t have any complaints as the lads have done really well as we are unbeaten in the three games I’ve missed.

“Rory and Ciarán have been excellent in defence. I’m particularly happy for Ciarán as he has had to bide his time to get a run in the team but he has shown what he is capable of.

“It will be difficult for either myself or James Finnerty to get back into the team given their form but that competition for places is exactly what you want.”

In his absence, Bohs turned on the style in a 5-1 win over Dundalk and a 3-0 victory over Waterford.

But they were left kicking themselves last Friday when they once again conceded a goal deep into injury-time to hand a share of the spoils to Derry City after an Ali Coote wonder strike had given the Gypsies the lead on 83 minutes.

It was a bitterly frustrating end to the game for Long’s side, who had hoped they had stamped out that frustrating habit of conceding late goals that have turned wins into draws and draws into defeats.

Cornwall said: “It is hard to put your finger on why that has happened four or five times now this season. We know we have to be better than that.

“The performances are definitely there. We need to trust in ourselves more and believe in our game-plan, but we have to cut out those errors.

“We have a young team – I’m one of the eldest at 26 – but we need to learn and adapt quickly. We’re halfway through the season now and we are gelling well in so many ways, but we have to cut out those mistakes.”

Last time out against tomorrow’s opposition Drogheda United was a similar story – a stunning team move put away by Liam Burt and an otherwise excellent performance was undone in the 93rd minute when Bohs conceded from a corner.

Cornwall said: “Drogheda have already shown us what they are capable of. Their result against Sligo last week is further proof that they are a very good side.

“We should have won our last game against them – we had a lot of possession too – but Drogheda never gave up and were right at it right until the end of the game to get something out of it.

“They are having a great season, particularly for a newly-promoted team. They have a good mix of youth and experience not unlike ourselves. So we know we have to be right at it to get a result.”

The Europa Conference League draw at the start of the week pitted Bohs against Icelandic side Stjarnan next month but Cornwall isn’t thinking too far ahead.

He said: “I know it is a cliche to say we are only looking at our next game but it’s the truth.

“We have a very busy few weeks of games ahead and we want to move up the table – we can’t afford to be looking too far ahead.”

While frustratingly, for the second season running, Bohemians fans will be unable to travel abroad to support their team in that European qualifier, there is some sense that we are entering the twilight stage of the pandemic with the moderate return of some supporters to home games.

90 members and 10 season ticket holders will attend tomorrow’s game – the first time fans have been able to attend since our last game pre-Covid-19 against Shelbourne in March 2020.

Cornwall added: “It’s such a relief to have some fans back. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we have more in as well.

“Since returning to play football last August, it has been such a strange experience playing in empty stadiums.

“Our fans mean the world to us – there has always been a strong bond between the team and supporters in my time with the club.

“We just can’t wait to have them behind us again. It will give everyone in the team a huge lift.

“We know there’ll only be a small number in the stands initially but I’ve no doubt they will make themselves heard.”

TEAM NEWS

Bastien Héry (calf) and Conor Levingston (wisdom teeth) return but Promise Omochere (quad) remains out.

Bohemians v Finn Harps - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

PREVIEW: DERRY CITY v BOHEMIANS

DERRY CITY v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday June 11 2021
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, 7.45pm
Live on LOITV.ie

Stephen Mallon had to bide his time for his first runout in the red and black of Bohemians but now he has had a taste for it, he is keen to make up for lost time.

The Belfast man was a closed season arrival in January from Sheffield United having spent last year on loan with tonight’s opposition. But he suffered a cruel blow in pre-season when he fractured his metatarsal.

He finally made his bow with a 15-minute cameo appearance in Bohs’ 3-0 win over Waterford a fortnight ago as the League of Ireland season reached its halfway point.

The 22-year-old said: “It has been a tough few months. Obviously when you arrive at a new club, you are really keen to impress early on so to get an injury in pre-season that rules you out for so long was hard to take.

“I just had to knuckle down and work hard with Remy Tang, our conditioning and fitness coach, and the physios to get back as soon as I could.

“It was great to get back on the pitch again. It will take four or five games for me to get back my march sharpness as there is only so much you can do when you are out injured – you cannot replicate what it is like playing.

“But it was a huge relief to finally get my first game under my belt. Hopefully I will get more opportunities now and push on.”

Mallon might find breaking into the team more difficult now than he might have done had he been available at the start of the season.

The pacy former Ireland U21 international was tipped to be one of Bohs’ key men this season but in his absence, after a stop-start beginning to the season, his housemates, Scottish duo Liam Burt and Ali Coote, have found real form on the flanks over the past month or so.

His rivalry with his two fellow wingers, with whom they share a house with Georgie Kelly, is very much a healthy one where they want the very best for one another.

Mallon said: “There’s no bitterness! There is a good, healthy competition. We keep pushing ourselves to be the best that we can.

“I get on really well with the lads I live with, we are all very close. We all want the very best for one another.

“The team had a bit of a slow start but sometimes that happens when you have so many new faces. It was going to take time to gel but the lads have shown what they are capable of.

“Ali and Liam have really clicked in the last month or so and I’m delighted for them both particularly as I live with them and have become good friends as a result.

“Them being so in form can only be good for me too as it makes me strive to be the best version of myself that I can be as that is the only way I will get a chance to get into the team.

“It’s good living with the three lads as we all have similar experiences – living in a new place away from home.

“But the Dublin lads, and the players who were at the club from before, have all been so good to us too. From day one, the players, the coaches and everyone at the club have been so welcoming to all of us.

“It is the perfect platform for us to try to push on together. There’s a great group of players, and we have been made to feel appreciated by everyone at the club.”

Given the form of Burt and Coote, tonight Mallon is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench against his former club, for whom he scored against Bohs in the Brandywell last season.

Mallon added: “Derry have beaten us already this season so we know we have to be right at it to get a result.

“I am looking forward to it, I have a lot of respect for the club and they gave me an opportunity last season.

“We are particularly looking forward to this one as this will be one of the first games with some fans back at games, which everyone is looking forward to seeing, particularly at Dalymount.”

TEAM NEWS

Tyreke Wilson returns from suspension.

Bastién Hery (calf) is likely to miss out while Promise Omochere (quad) is rated 50-50.

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