Winning by three goals to nil is a habit that any team would love to get used to – and a confident Bohemians recorded their second victory by such a margin in 4 days as they defeated First Division side Athlone Town at a chilly Dalymount Park to progress to the last 16 of the EA Sports Cup.

Former Town boss Keith Long was up against many familiar faces, and freshened his Bohemians side with a massive 9 changes from the side that opened the League campaign so impressively in Limerick on Saturday evening. Only goalkeeper Dean Delany and Roberto Lopes continued in the side, with new signings Marc Griffin, Adam Wixted, Robbie Creevy, and Dylan Hayes all given chances to show their worth. From Bohs’ own crop of youngsters, Jake Hyland, Jason Caffrey, and Stephen Best were all given starting spots, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


There was no whirlwind start for the Gypsies this time around, as early exchanges were quite scrappy with both sides struggling to get on top. The Dalymount pitch has seen a definite improvement from the Leinster Senior game against Bray, and boss Long will be hoping for continued progress as the league season kicks in. Bohs were the most threatening in the opening quarter, and came closest when captain Lopes headed over from a Hyland corner. At the other end, Athlone midfielder Eric Foley brought a good save from Delany when he arrived late in the box to meet a dangerous cross from the left.

This was a cup tie that needed a spark – one which was brilliantly provided in the 28th minute. Karl Moore, who would have been disappointed to miss out in Limerick, started a move that resulted in a fine opening goal. He drifted in dangerously from the left, and slipped a ball through to opposite winger Adam Wixted, whose deep cross found Marc Griffin at the far post. From a tight angle, Griffin volleyed brilliantly past Patrick Dunican in the Athlone goal. A clinical finish that showed what the often mercurial Griffin is capable of. The former Dundalk man was excellent all evening, and definitely gave Keith Long a welcome headache for Friday’s visit of Galway United.

The goal seemed to instill even more confidence in the home side and they dominated the remainder of the half. Wixted and Dylan Hayes were a constant threat down the right, and the axis of Robbie Creevy and Jake Hyland were well on top in midfield. Just before the half time whistle, Bohs deservedly doubled their lead. The ever-dangerous Griffin burst clear as Athlone tried to push out, and managed to squeeze his shot under the advancing Dunican to grab his second, and give the home side a comfortable half time cushion.

Athlone had their best period just after the break, but bar a few scrambles in the Bohs goalmouth, the dependable Lopes and his fellow defenders kept decent control. Griffin came close to grabbing his hat-trick on a couple of occasions, while his strike partner Jason Byrne struck the top of the bar with a looping header from a Jake Hyland free kick.

The third goal came in the 71st minute, and this time Man of the Match Griffin turned provider. His whipped corner found Jake Hyland, who powered a header past Dunican to remove any doubt about the result. Keith Long rested keeper Delany for the last few minutes, and also gave a competitive debut to Robert Duggan for the last 20.

Bohs now advance to the last 16 of the competition, where the Pool system means that they know they will face either Shamrock Rovers, Longford Town, or league new-boys Cabinteely.

Bohemians: Dean Delany (Lee Steacy 80), Dylan Hayes, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Best, Jason Caffrey, Adam Wixted, Robbie Creevy (Robert Duggan, 70), Jake Hyland, Karl Moore, Marc Griffin, Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Lorcan Fitzgerald, Paddy Kavanagh, Kealan Dillon, Anto Murphy, Adam Evans

Athlone Town: Patrick Dunican, Stephen Quigley, Michael Brown, Stephen Dunne, Ryan Doolin, Gavin Boyne, Gary Burke (Philip Gorman 74), Eric Foley, Sam O’Connor (Garbhan Coughlan 74), Garreth Brady (Thomas Mulroney 61), Marco Chindea. Subs not used: Shane Cusack, Aidan Collins, Daniel Purdy, Robbie Gaul.

BohemianFC.com Man of the Match: Marc Griffin

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