PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

SSE Airtricity League
Friday July 2 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians to use tonight’s Dublin derby against St Patrick’s Athletic as a chance to refocus following last week’s bruising 4-0 defeat against Sligo Rovers.

Stephen O’Donnell’s Saints have had Bohs’ number in their two previous meetings this season.

But both defeats were tight affairs – first a 1-0 at Dalymount in the first series of games and then a 2-1 mugging in Richmond Park in May.

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Tonight’s opposition top the table on goal difference ahead of Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers, with Bohs eight points adrift in fourth.

Long said: “This is an opportunity to refocus now. They have beaten us twice this season and we know how good a side they are.

“We had been on a good run prior to Sligo and it is important that we try to bounce back with a good performance.”

That defeat in the Showgrounds was a kick in the teeth for Bohs who went into the game in form with four wins in a draw from their previous five games.

But in an encounter that saw both defences carved open with unusual ease, it was Liam Buckley’s Bit O’Red who had their scoring boots on.

Bohs had an abundance of goal-scoring opportunities but could not – other than a Georgie Kelly effort that was controversially ruled offside – find the net.

Long said: “It was a chastening experience in the Showgrounds last Saturday as we struggled badly to follow up our wins here at home to Drogheda and Shamrock Rovers. The truth is we never got going, and were a little fortunate in the end that we did not concede more.

“It looked like we lacked energy and we did not play with the tempo and intensity of recent games.

“Sligo are a good side with good attacking players but we very much contributed to our own downfall, conceding some poor goals and failing to take the chances we created.

“I don’t want to take away from Sligo’s performance but it would have been interesting if the disallowed goal we got just after half-time had stood.

“Having watched the replay back numerous times, it’s difficult to see how Georgie is deemed to be offside and at 2-1 it would have been game-on having started the second half brightly.

“Instead, we conceded a bad third goal and were comprehensively beaten. It was a bad night for us and sometimes that can happen in football but it was not for the lack of effort from the boys.”

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Stephen Mallon (hip) remains a doubt.

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