Sunday 4 December 2016

Flood pounces in great Bohs escape

SLIGO ROVERS 1 BOHEMIANS 2

Published 23/04/2011 | 05:00

ANOTHER week at the Alamo for Bohemians, but this time the wall stayed firm.

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Seven days after they were denied a famous derby victory by Ronan Finn's 94th-minute equaliser, they escaped Sligo with an unlikely three points after coming from behind and surviving a late onslaught.

For 45 minutes the visiting fans -- who clearly planned around dry Good Friday -- roared out 1990s dance classic 'Freed From Desire' seemingly oblivious to their team being dismantled on the park.

The players were the opposite after the interval. Full of belief and intent, they won this game by force of will and little else. Sligo did the pretty stuff, but Bohs returned home with the points.

They should have been at least three down at the break, but showed grit, determination and a force of will that saw them come from behind to steal a memorable victory.

At one point of the opening half, a pair of shoes were flung on to the pitch from the away section. It looked like a despairing last attempt to stop the home side's relentless march. At times it looked like it was going to be embarrassing for Pat Fenlon's men.

But they escaped, the woodwork stopping Sligo from adding to Eoin Doyle's opener, and after the break they were a different team. Paul Cook's men won't know how they lost it.

Both sides started with intent, but it quickly became clear that Sligo had the greater cutting edge. Anto Flood went close with a delicate lob having been played through by Killian Brennan, but it was the hosts who took the initiative through Doyle.

While the build-up was fortuitous, the striker's finish was emphatic as Robert Bayly attempted to intercept a pass but only knocked the ball into Doyle's path and the former Shamrock Rovers man beat Chris O'Connor at his near post.

Cook's men should have been home and hosed by the break. Doyle's flying header from Alan Keane's cross came off the foot of the post, before John Dillon also hit the woodwork -- his powerful shot beating O'Connor but striking the base of the upright as Sligo hit Bohs on the break.

Doyle dipped a volley from another dangerous Keane cross over and although Bohs finished the half stronger with a Flood shot saved by Brendan Clarke, they were lucky to get in just one down.

And they made the most of their relative fortune, going level within 10 minutes of the restart.

Cook will have nightmares about the farcical nature of the goal, though, as Brennan dispossessed Ndo and burst into the area. Gavin Peers' clearance only went as far as Ollie Cahill who sent in a low cross. Richie Ryan and Keane got in each other's way and Stephen Traynor forced the ball home.

As if that wasn't enough for the stunned home side, they were dealt a further blow just past the hour mark, when Peers fouled Flood and the striker pounced to finish as Clarke could only parry Brennan's fierce effort into his path.

Matthew Blinkhorn and Raffaele Cretaro were rushed into action as Sligo desperately sought to rediscover their spark. The English striker went close, as did Doyle and Keane, but Bohs held on.

SLIGO ROVERS -- Clarke; Keane, Peers, McGuinness, Davoren; Dillon (Blinkhorn 80), Ryan, Russell (Cretaro 64), Ndo, Greene (Horgan 69); Doyle.

BOHEMIANS -- O'Connor; Heary, Burns, Price, O'Brien; Buckley, Bayly, Brennan, Cahill (Burke 75); Traynor; Flood.

REF -- D Hancock (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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