Preview: Bohemians v Drogheda United


SSE Airtricity League Men’s Premier Division
Monday March 6 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Declan Devine has told his side they need to ask more questions of the opposition in the final third when they are in the ascendency in games.

It is second versus third at Dalymount Park on Monday night, meaning Devine’s side have not been afforded much time to feel sorry for themselves following Friday’s 1-0 defeat against Shelbourne.

In a tight game in Tolka Park, Bohs struggled to break down a fired-up Shels side.

Frustrated in the opening periods of the game, Devine’s men were on top before and after half-time but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities that might test the home keeper, Conor Kearns.

And their chances of making a breakthrough received a blow in the 66th minute when Dylan Connolly received a controversial red card from referee Arnold Hunter, which was unsuccessfully appealed on Saturday.

Damien Duff’s side made their numerical advantage count with Kian Leavy scoring the only goal of the game 11 minutes later as Bohs were knocked off their perch at the top of the table by Derry City.

Bohs have a quick turnaround to try to put that pressure on the league leaders when Kevin Doherty’s Drogheda – unbeaten so far with one win and two draws – provide the opposition at Dalymount on Monday.

Devine said: “We were gutted on Friday night. It is not in my DNA or in the DNA of my players that we are willing to lose games, especially a Dublin derby.

“We have to take that defeat on the chin – there is no point feeling sorry for ourselves.

“We are happy that we have another game coming so quickly as I feel we have a strong squad but we certainly will not be underestimating Drogheda.

“Against Shelbourne, we went down to 10 men having been on top without having enough penetration. We had a lot of the ball without creating enough clear-cut chances. That is something we have to learn from – we have to be creating more chances in all our games.

“But I felt that even when we went down to 10 men that we were the better team but we have to learn that when we are on top, that our attack-minded players ask more questions of the opposition in the final third.”

One positive to take from the game was the performance of 17-year-old midfielder James McManus, previously singled out for praise by Devine for his form in pre-season, who was introduced as a half-time substitute for his first league appearance of 2023.

Devine said: “The young lad is a really talented boy. He is a box-to-box midfielder. He can dig in and give you a defensive option but is also very creative and has a willingness to get on the ball.

“I feel we have good midfield players – it was great to see John O’Sullivan take back to the pitch. That cameo role will give him a lift. He is still a bit away from starting but to have players like him and James McManus able to come on

“It is important to have those options. We have used our bench in all three games. I used four subs down in Cork, four against Dundalk and five against Shels when we were chasing the game.

“That is the purpose of having a strong squad. I trust every member of our squad. There are players the fans haven’t seen much of yet but there is really strong competition for places.

“When you have three games in a week, that is when you really feel the benefit of a strong squad, and we will be playing a very strong team against Drogheda. We cannot look past that. It is a home game.”

Monday night fixtures often fail to quite match the atmosphere of Friday night games, but Devine is hoping to see fans into the ground early and Dalymount rocking once more.

He added: “We have won our one home game already and we want to build on that. We want our home form to be strong.

“We need our supporters really behind us in this game. I would call out to them – and I understand that it can be really expensive and a hard ask to attend three games in a week – but if we have our supporters in the ground early and behind us again on Monday it will really give the team a big lift.

“We need our people behind us. We need that bond that we had at the Dundalk game – that extra bit of noise and support that helps to get you over the line.

“Drogheda are coming into Dalymount having not lost a game in three, so it is important that we are fully focused for what will be a battle on Monday night.”


Dylan Connolly (suspended) is Bohs’ only absentee.

The Jodi Stand is long sold-out for this game, but some tickets remain for the Des Kelly Stand from

Website by Simon Alcock