SSE Airtricity League, United Park, Friday 16 May, 7.45pm

Bohemians are looking to turn near-wins into victories as they go to Drogheda on Friday writes BRIAN TRENCH. With three draws in their last three league games Bohemians have proven hard to beat, including with ten men last week.

Manager Owen Heary takes comfort from his side’s strong defensive performances but insists they need to get wins.

“The good thing about last week is that, with ten men, we kept a clean sheet. That’s a positive.


“We took the game to UCD, we didn’t sit back, and on another night Jason [Byrne] could have had two or three goals. We can build on that, knowing that we’re playing well, we’re doing things right.

“We need wins, and we go out for every game aiming to win. Friday’s game will be no different.

“If we can get a win it changes the table around, as there’s not much between the teams in the middle.”

Heary considers his side to have been unlucky in several recent games and is hoping for a change of fortune.

“We’ve had a few things go against us, even going back to the [Shamrock] Rovers game where a goal was disallowed that shouldn’t have been. Little things seem to have turned games against us.

“We’re hoping that this will change, even if we get goals off Jason’s behind, or the bounce comes for us and the ball goes in.”

Earlier this season, Bohemians went 2-0 up in Dalymount against Drogheda, but were then pegged back for a 2-2 draw.

“We’re going up there on a positive note, even though we’re missing a few players. There’s an opportunity for other players to step up to the mark,” said Heary.

Bohemians’ defence, already shuffled to move Derek Pender to the left and bring Steven Beattie in at right back, will need to be changed again for Friday.

Central defender Roberto Lopes is suspended following his contested sending-off against UCD and Aidan Price (quad tear) is unlikely to be fit for selection.

Meanwhile, Anto Murphy (hamstring) is back in full training and made a brief subsitute appearance against St Patrick’s Athletic in the EA Sports Cup ten days ago. But he may not be fit to start.
Two younger players, Eoin Wearen and Dan Byrne, may form the central defence against Drogheda.

Bohemians have been finding goals hard to get in league games, with the established goal-scorers all having near-misses. “The chances are coming but we’re not putting the ball in the net,” said Heary.

Striker Dinny Corcoran will miss Friday’s game, serving the first additional suspension of two for his sending-off against Derry City two weeks ago. Jake Hyland, 18, scored twice in the EA Sports Cup win over St Patrick’s but Heary is being careful not to over-expose him.

“He’s still on a learning curve, and he’s just come off a long season with the under-19s. The last thing we want to do is just to throw him in and then he’s wrecked before we’ve started.

“We’ll continue to put him in and take him out, and show him what it’s all about. He’s definitely one for the future.”

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