Brush keeps Bohs at bay for 10-man Sligo
Bohemians 0 Sligo Rovers 0
FOR the third game in succession, Bohemians were given a numerical advantage with the result in the balance. This time, however, they failed to make it pay.
The defending champions were behind against both UCD and Drogheda until the opposition fell foul of the officials. Technically, they had a smaller hill to climb here, considering the scores were deadlocked when Gavin Peers was awarded his second yellow by Alan Kelly.
However, Pat Fenlon rates Sligo highly after the difficulty they caused the Gypsies in 2009, and they vindicated that assessment here. Not that the Bohs boss will be too chuffed with that foresight this morning, as he reflects on a frustrating evening for his charges.
Sligo 'keeper Richard Brush, who denied Jason Byrne on three separate occasions, was central to the outcome, although the visitors deserved a point for showing plenty of ambition until Peers was dismissed for halting Byrne's path to goal on the hour mark. They dug in thereafter to delight the travelling contingent and retain their unbeaten start to the campaign.
A negative judgment of this game by virtue of the scoreline would be harsh. Both teams were profligate in the opening half, with Sligo's Padraig Amond the initial culprit within 40 seconds.
The Carlow native, who grabbed the winner for Shamrock Rovers in his last outing against Bohs, purposefully pursued a Matt Blinkhorn flick yet failed to get the required height on an attempted chip over Chris O'Connor.
Certainly, unlike some visitors to Dalymount, Paul Cook's side weren't overawed and came with a positive approach which made for entertaining fare.
The trade-off was that they left themselves potentially exposed, and really should have been punished by a flowing Bohs move which concluded with Paul Keegan slipping Byrne into the space, but the clinical finisher was denied by the imposing frame of Brush.
Although the apprentice member of the Bohs front two, Paddy Madden, was busy in general play, the master was in the right place once again as half-time approached, swinging wildly at a loose ball in the opposition area before getting a second chance which Brush blocked away to safety.
At the other end, Amond headed narrowly over from a pacey John Dillon delivery.
Sligo burst out following the resumption, and recent acquisition Dillon stung the palms of O'Connor with a venomous strike.
Once Peers was ordered off, however, the priority switched to defence, with the last line, Brush, showing commendable bravery and timing to foil Byrne by diving at his feet. The Tallaght man endured a rare off-night.
Fenlon shuffled the pack and introduced Mark Quigley, Ruaidhri Higgins and Raffaele Cretaro -- who was greeted with loud boos by his old friends in the Sligo corner of the Jodi Stand -- yet while the Dubliners dominated possession, penetration was minimal with Cook's troops maintaining their discipline and shape in a frenetic conclusion.
Bohemians -- O'Connor; Heary, Shelley, Oman, Powell; Rossiter (Quigley 76), Keegan, Cronin (Higgins 76), McGlynn; Madden (Cretaro 81), Byrne.
Sligo Rovers -- Brush; Ventre, Peers, Keane, Davoren; Dillon (McCabe 73), O'Grady, Ryan, Doyle; Blinkhorn, Amond (Almeida 61).
REF -- A Kelly (Cork).