Bohs take the points against Galway under watchful gaze of President Higgins
Bohemians 2 Galway United 0
THE presence of Michael D Higgins meant this game was preceded by a presidential walk along the line to meet the teams, a rendition of the national anthem from a brass band and other ceremonial details normally associated with a cup final.
Realistically, it would be a surprise if the players of Bohemians and Galway were in contention for such honours at the end of the season given the paucity of their budget compared to the big guns.
Bohs have started well under new manager Keith Long and deserved a second successive victory courtesy of Anto Murphy's brace but their followers will not be getting too carried away as a trip to beleaguered Limerick and the visit of a Galwegian group still finding their feet in the top flight qualifies as a soft landing.
What is clear, however, is that Long has assembled a side with the quality to comfortably avoid the threat of relegation which has hung over Phibsborough in recent years.
His employers will be hoping that a strong start swells attendances with a turnout of 1,500 dreadfully disappointing for the first home league gate.
They were on their way early here, capitalising on Galway's disorganisation defending set pieces which led to both goals. To be fair the execution was good for the breakthrough with the seasoned Murphy, selected at centre half here, in the right place to dispatch Lorcan Fitzgerald’s sixth minute free kick with a firm header.
It came in a frenetic, ragged opening peppered by loose touches with Galway relying on Ryan Connolly for a bit of assurance. Bohemians benefited from the energy of Roberto Lopes in a congested midfield area with Keith Buckley sharing the workload and Kealan Dillon attempting to push on.
Adam Evans, formerly of Inverness, was sporadically dangerous and his left wing cross was headed over by Dean Kelly before Murphy’s centre half partner spun free at a corner to test Conor Gleeson.
They did push into the Bohs territory for a period after the resumption but they were snookered by an absence of real creativity in the final third and only had speculative attempts to speak of when Dunne sent for popular American striker Jake Keegan with 20 minutes remaining.
Long's charges showed greater conviction going forward although the bar was set low. Newcomer Robbie Creevy crashed a header against the crossbar.
Dunne gambled late on by sending in Padraic Cunningham as a second striker when Sam Oji was withdrawn.
Bohs sniffed blood and struck again with seven minutes to go when Murphy found the room to sweep in a corner from sub Marc Griffin. It sealed a victory for Michael D's neighbours, and a worrying defeat for the club he loves.
Bohemians – Delany, Pender, Murphy, Prendergast, Fitzgerald; Lopes, Dillon (Creevy 60), Buckley; Kavanagh, Kelly (Griffin 75), Evans (Moore 90)
Galway United – Gleeson, Horgan, Walsh, Oji (Cunningham 75), Ludden; Molloy, Byrne (O'Connell 90), Walsh, Shanahan; Connolly; Curran (Keegan 69)
Ref – R Matthews (Westmeath)