PAT FENLON believes that there's a momentum behind his Bohemians side as the league title race enters the final phase -- and he hopes that it's enough to carry his team over the finish line and allow them seal a third successive title.
The 2010 title race took a massive twist last night when Shamrock Rovers went down 5-1 away to Dundalk, their first defeat in 18 league games and their heaviest loss since a 5-0 defeat to St Pats in 2007, while St Pats went down 3-2 away to UCD.
Those results, combined with a 2-0 win for Bohs at home to Drogheda United thanks to goals from Drogheda native Killian Brennan and Jason Byrne, mean that Pats are now 10 points off the pace and truly out of contention for the title while Bohs, now just four points behind Rovers, are right back in the running.
But with five wins and a draw from the last six games, Fenlon reckons that his side are finding form at just the right time, even though Bohs did garnish a large slice of luck last night. Drogheda were denied a goal seven minutes from time when the referee deemed that Ryan Brennan's cross had not gone over the line whereas replays will show that it should have been a goal.
"This is the stage of the season where it really counts, what you have done up to now in the season is gone. You really start to do your work in the last 10 games of the season and we are on a decent run now. We have a bit of momentum behind us.
"Everyone was saying until now that it was Rovers who had the momentum behind them, but hopefully there will be a little change in that now and we'll get a swing of things," said Fenlon after the Drogheda win.
"It's still out of our own hands as Rovers have that four-point lead so they have to slip up again and we have to keep winning games. We have a lot of tough matches left, and I see a few more twists and turns before it's over.
"It was a decent night for us all round in terms of the other results on top of our own win, but we have to go and do our own work now in the rest of the games," added Fenlon.
"We have a break of eight days now before the next league game but that won't do us any harm and it will be good to recharge the batteries. We have a big game on Friday against Bray, I'd love to get into the semi-finals of the FAI Cup and that will be a hard match for us as Bray are playing well at the moment, as they showed again last night. We're playing well and I am happy with how the lads are doing. We could afford to leave Paul Keegan and Ken Oman in the stands last night and that's a big plus for us, to have a squad like that available.
"We also have a settled side. I think last night was the first time in a long while that we had the same starting eleven for two games in a row.
"I think the bit of experience with Raff Cretaro and Jay Byrne up front helps too. I know Paddy Madden and Aaron Greene will be disappointed not to be in the team but the two boys up front have done well in the last two games," Fenlon added.
Bohs tore into Drogheda from the first minute and it looked like it would be a very tough night for the away side.
Killian Brennan and Jason Byrne went close for Bohs early on and it was that pair who secured the points with a goal each in the space of nine minutes. Brennan fired Bohs into the lead on 24 minutes with a stunning shot, while a Byrne header from a cross by the very impressive Glenn Cronin on 33 minutes made it 2-0 for the Gypsies.
Drogheda had more purpose in their attacking play after the break as Bohs dropped deep. That almost cost Bohs seven minutes from time when Bohs keeper Chris O'Connor was caught out by a cross/shot from Ryan Brennan, and the Drogheda supporters protested loudly that the ball was over the line but the referee waved play on.