Saturday 23 March 2019

James Finnerty preserves Bohs' unbeaten record in front of Mick McCarthy at sold out Dalymount Park

Bohemians 1 Derry City 1

8 March 2019; James Finnerty of Bohemians celebrates with team-mate Daniel Mandroiu after scoring his side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Derry City at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
8 March 2019; James Finnerty of Bohemians celebrates with team-mate Daniel Mandroiu after scoring his side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Derry City at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
8 March 2019; Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy in attendance during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Derry City at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

A perfect defensive record had been the key to a brilliant start to the season for Bohemians.

But it was a goal from centre half James Finnerty that dug them out of a hole at Dalymount Park last night.

Keith Long's side were full value for a point and could really have nabbed all three as they applied ferocious late pressure after Finnerty's 76th minute leveller.

The wind was on their back, but visiting netminder Peter Cherrie was a significant obstacle. A late stop from Gypsies sub Danny Grant ensured that Declan Devine's side were able to travel home reasonably happy.

Bohs were without stalwarts Keith Buckley and Dinny Corcoran, yet the Candystripes had suffered an even more interrupted preparation with a quintet of important players ruled out of proceedings.

Perhaps that helped to explain a sluggish start in front of the watching Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny.

The first half was devoid of entertainment once an early flurry of activity died down.

Cherrie made a brilliant stop to keep out a free from Gypsies playmaker Keith Ward, but neither keeper had much to do thereafter. The bobbly pitch was much of a leveller as the absentees.

A goal was needed to inject life into proceedings and it was delivered just after the restart.

Bohs fans paid tribute to skipper Derek Pender before the match after he made his 200th appearance for the club last week.

However, he was guilty of a rare error with his mistimed tackle felling Eoghan Stokes - a player who spent last season with the Gyspies. He grabbed the ball and converted with confidence.

Bohs upped the ante thereafter with Long sending in youngsters Robbie McCourt and Grant to freshen things up. Leicester bound Ali Reghba attacker called Cherrie into action from close range.

Yet it was Finnerty that eventually breached the Derry line by reacting quickest in the area to a breaking ball and a packed Jodi Stand roared the natives on as they went in search of a winner.

Their efforts were thwarted, but Bohs - who had to turn fans away from this game - will be hopeful that the rally will ensure that the punters keep coming back.

Bohemians: Talbot, Pender, Cornwall, Finnerty, Leahy; Levingston, Allardice (McCourt 57); Wade-Slater (Grant 62) , Mandroiu, Ward; Reghba (Byrne 76)

Derry City: Cherrie, McDermott, Gilchrist, Toal, Coll; Cole, Harkin; Stokes, Bruna (McNamee 79), Delap; Junior

Referee: T Connolly (Dublin)

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