Bohemians opened the 2016 season with a disappointing two-goal defeat at the hands of a new-look Cort City side as Keith Long’s men failed to capitalise on an excellent first half performance in Turners Cross. The fixture list threw up one of the most difficult possible openers for the Gypsies – and so it proved – despite a well-drilled first half display.

Defensive errors cost Long’s men either side of the hour mark as Cork new boy Sean Maguire scored a brace on his league debut for the Leesiders. 2015 Player of the Season Roberto Lopes was sent off late on to cap off a frustrating night, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Bohs boss Long resisted the urge to blood all of his new boys, with Kurtis Byrne the only debutant in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Other new signings Mark Quigley and Ayman Ben Mohamed were named on the bench. Cork fielded no less than 7 new signings including former St Pats duo Kenny Browne and Greg Bolger, with former Dundalk youngster Maguire leading the line.

In front of a heaving crowd of 4,028, Bohs took immediate advantage of the wind that blew strongly in the Gypsies favour towards the shed end. Sporting a startling new season hairdo, Ismahil Akinade was the target of plenty of early ball, and plenty of early punishment from the Cork defence. John Caulfield had clearly marked Akinade as the dangerman, and Kenny Browne was deservedly booked for clattering the Nigerian from behind after 17 minutes.

The pitch at Turners Cross was deceptively bad. Television viewers may not have been able to notice the very bobbly surface which made free-flowing football almost impossible. The ground staff at Turners Cross may well have been working hard, but a snow flurry the day before left the surface in a poor state. Summer football, ey?

Bohs struggled to convert their dominance in possession into any clear cut chances. Cork’s continued hacking of Akinade yielded plenty of free kicks, but Lorcan Fitzgerald’s deliveries were below his usual high standard. Nevertheless, Keith Long would have been satisfied heading into the dressing room at half time. His side had dominated the play, quitened the crowd, and left Cork looking toothless.

A ten minute salvo between the 53rd and 63rd minutes proved to be the winning – and losing – of this game. Bohs defender Anto Murphy will hope that the Sky plus box accidentally malfunctioned, because he wont want to watch this second half again. Cork full back Eoghan O’Connell chipped the ball into the box, and it seemed like an easy pass for Murphy to cut out. However, the defender tried to shepherd it back to Dean Delany, unaware that Sean Maguire was lurking right behind him. The former Dundalk man kept his composure and poked the ball past Delany at the near post.

The opening goal seemed to shell-shock the Gypsies, who never really looked coherent again. The second came just after the hour mark, and again Anto Murphy wont be happy. A similar pass down the channel put Maguire in a chase with Murphy, but the Cork man outpaced and outmuscled the experienced defender. Maguire still had plenty to do, 15 yards out at an almost impossible angle. That his firm shot found its way through Delany’s legs and in off the opposite post will be hugely disappointing to the Bohs shot-stopper.

Long introduced Mark Quigley and Eoin Wearen in an attempt to introduce more creativity to the Gypsies’ attacking play, but Cork and their fans had their tails up. Roberto Lopes grew increasingly frustrated, and his first yellow card was well-deserved for a lunge at Gavin Holohan. His second was a little more contentious as it looked like he may have touched the ball before felling Stephen Dooley, but the game was lost long before then.

Bohs welcome Sligo Rovers to Dalymount next Friday, hoping to bounce back straight away at the beginning of a big week that sees them play the Bit O’Red, St. Pats and Wexford Youths in the space of 7 days.

Cork City: Mark McNulty, Eoghan O’Connell, Alan Bennett, Kenny Browne, John Dunleavy, Greg Bolger, Gearóid Morrissey, Ian Turner (Karl Sheppard,75), Gavan Holohan (Steven Beattie, 68), Stephen Dooley (Colin Healy, 85), Sean Maguire. Subs not used: Mark O’Sullivan, Danny Morrissey, Michael McSweeney, Alan Smith.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Derek Prendergast, Anto Murphy (Eoin Wearen, 74), Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Keith Buckley, Paddy Kavanagh, Jake Kelly (Mark Quigley, 66), Kurtis Byrne, Ismahil Akinade (Dan Byrne, 86). Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Ayman Ben Mohamed, Adam Evans, Dylan Hayes. Man of the Match: Ismahil Akinade

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