Sunday 22 April 2018

Madden seals final berth

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

A final spot, a clean sheet and a much-improved performance were exactly what Bohemians needed at Windsor Park, and in reaching the Setanta Sports Cup decider they got all three.

This victory means that the competition will be decided with a Dublin derby between Bohs and St Patrick's Athletic, set to be confirmed for Tallaght Stadium next month.

Having been slow starters in so many of their games thus far in 2010, Bohemians finally got out of the blocks well as Paul Keegan sprung Linfield's offside trap with a ball over the top and the on-rushing Paddy Madden beat Alan Blayney from just inside the box.

The Dubliners looked comfortable at the south Belfast venue and rode out a 20-minute storm at the start of the second half to go progress.

A second Bohs goal looked the more likely before the break and Jason Byrne should have done better when picked out by Killian Brennan, his header went straight to Blayney.

The ex-Gypsy had to work harder when Raffaele Cretaro met Mark Rossiter's deep cross with a firm header, Blayney tipping the ball around the post, while Ken Oman headed over from Keegan's corner.

Paul Munster had Linfield's best chance with two shots from a Douglas long throw, but both were blocked as Bohs led at the break.

The hosts could have been back in the game within five minutes as Madden headed Michael Gault's effort on to the bar and away, before Barry Murphy did well to react to Robert Garrett's deflected shot.

The hapless striker missed their best chance, when put through by Thompson, when he cushioned a free header straight at Murphy as Bohs held out.

LINFIELD -- Blayney; BJ Burns (Bailie 85), Gault, Murphy, Douglas; A Burns (Allen 69); Carvill (Lowry 63), Garrett, Curran; Thompson, Munster.

BOHEMIANS -- B Murphy; Shelley, McGuinness, Oman (A Murphy 63), Rossiter (Powell 77); Cretaro (A Murphy 63), Keegan, Cronin, Brennan; Madden, Byrne (Quigley 71).

Ref -- D Malcolm (Bangor).

Irish Independent

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