Derry curse hits Gypsies once again
Bohemians 1 Derry City 2
Derry City boss Kenny Shiels must surely be humming ‘can we play you every week?’ in relation to Bohemians as, once again, he oversaw a win over the Dublin club, a badly-needed victory for Derry which lifts their spirits and leaves the Gypsies dangerously close to the drop zone.
Nine times since he became Derry boss, Shiels has faced Bohs in a league game, and all nine ties have ended in wins for City, the latest success for Shiels sealed with two goals in the space of three minutes in the first half from Rory Hale and Rory Patterson, the only response from Bohs an 85th-minute strike from sub JJ Lunney.
Once again, home advantage was anything but an advantage for Bohs who have managed to score just two goals, and gain only two points, from the last six matches at Dalymount.
And they got what they deserved last night in front of 1,722 paying customers, Bohs off the pace until some second-half subs did inject some life into the side, especially the impressive Danny Grant who sat a Leaving Cert exam earlier that day.
The opening phase was awful stuff, all kick and rush on a dry Dalymount Park pitch, and it was the first bit of quality in the match, on 22 minutes, which led to the opening goal. Aaron McEneff looked up and threaded through a fine pass for Rory Hale, and while the Belfast boy still had work to do, he did it well to round 'keeper Shane Supple and slide home his first goal since April.
This Bohs team tends to respond well once they go a goal down but they fell to another goal within three minutes. Bohs failed to clear a corner, Rory Hale put the ball into the box and Rory Patterson was on hand to put the ball past Supple.
Bohs offered nothing much in attack, boss Keith Long reacting to that sub-par display by bringing on Kevin Devaney for the second half.
And there was finally some life in the home side. Ward’s cross into the box was met by the head of Ian Morris but the effort was off-target and young left-back Paddy Kirk did well to get a cross in but there was no team-mate on hand to profit, while at the other end McEneff should have made it 3-0 with a shot on the hour mark.
Bohs nicked one back five minutes from time, sub Lunney beating Doherty at last with a left-footed shot.
Dylan Watts, whose loan spell from Leicester City ends this month, had the chance to equalise with a 90th-minute free-kick but it wasn’t enough, and in injury-time Derry pressed again with Ronan Curtis and Nicky Low unlucky not to score.
BOHEMIANS – Supple; Pender, Cornwall, Morris, Kirk; Stokes, Brennan, Watts, Kavanagh (Devaney 46); Ward (Lunney 67); Corcoran (Grant 73).
DERRY – G Doherty; McDonagh, Toal, McDermott, Doyle; Cole; Ronan Hale, McEneff, Rory Hale (Low 71), Curtis; Patterson.
REF – G Kelly (Dublin)