Preview: Bohemians v St Patrick’s Athletic

Bohemians v Longford Town - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

BOHEMIANS v ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
SSE Airtricity League
Saturday April 3 2021, 6pm
Live on WatchLOI.ie

Keith Long has urged his Bohemians side to show their mettle after they shot themselves in the foot in the opening two games of the season.

There was plenty to be encouraged about by both performances but the Gypsies will be kicking themselves with just one point to show for their efforts.

In the season opener a fortnight ago away to Finn Harps, Bohs had by far the more chances to win the game but a defensive error in the first half was punished by Adam Foley who was allowed in one-on-one with James Talbot to score the only goal of the game.

But last week’s collapse was altogether more frustrating. Bohs were 2-0 ahead against Longford Town at Dalymount Park at half-time thanks to goals from Georgie Kelly and the lively Ross Tierney.

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In reality, the interval lead could have more than double that such were the opportunities the home side created in an exciting first half performance, and Bohs continued to dominate proceedings until the 65th minute or so.

Ultimately, it was another unfortunate lapse in concentration that turned this game on its head – Bohs’ efforts to clear the ball from a dangerous position were too casual, which allowed Longford Town supersub Conor Davis in to claw one back.

From a position of being outplayed for much of the game, Longford’s tails were up and they sensed blood – and it was Davis again who swooped in at the back post to claim a share of the spoils for the visitors.

Long said: “Tomorrow’s game is a chance now for us to show our mettle. There is no doubt that we are all disappointed with our results and performances in the opening two games and there would be no better way to get our season fully up and running with a win against St Pat’s.

“We squandered a two-goal lead last week despite having the better of the play for most of the game. We should have been a goal or two more to the good before conceding the first goal.

“We looked nervous after that and Longford to their credit took advantage. We will need to improve and it is important that we do not come away from the values that have served us well in recent seasons.

“It will take time for new players coming to a new club with different demands being placed on them but the basics of the game remain the same, and need to be respected.

“There have been some positives in the form of Ross Tierney over the opening two games and it was great for Georgie Kelly to open his account for the club – on another day he could have had a hat-trick.”

Bohs will be aiming to build on those signs of encouragement when Stephen O’Donnell’s Saints come to Dalymount Park.

St Pat’s have started well with four points from their opening to games – a draw away to Shamrock Rovers on opening night and a win at home to Drogheda United last Saturday.

Long added: “We know it will be very difficult against a Pat’s side who will be brimming with confidence after their last-minute winner against Drogheda last week.

“But we understand the task ahead. Our focus is on trying to win the game. We must do the basics well, work hard, be aggressive and function as a team. If we can do that we will give ourselves a chance to win.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians are without Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) and Promise Omochere (knee).

Conor Levingston (calf) and Bradley Rolt (hamstring) are back in contention.

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