FAI Cup Report: Bohemians 1 - 1 Longford Town (Bohemians win 5-4 on penalties)Sat, Aug 24 2019
Andrew Dempsey reports from Dalymount Park
James Talbot was the hero for Bohemians as they eventually saw off a heroic Longford Town in the second round of the FAI Cup.
Andre Wright gave the hosts the lead before Jack Doherty levelled minutes later in extra-time. Penalties ensued where the Gypsies won out as Talbot saved Lee Steacy’s spot kick at the death.
The Midlander’s can be immensely proud of their performance against such respected opposition, with plenty of their young stars shining.
Having gone into the clash without manager Neale Fenn, former assistant manager Daire Doyle took charge of the side after a week of turmoil.
Doyle opted for a changed shape of four at the back, with Joe Manley dropping out in place of Dean Zambra.
The hosts on the other made seven changes from their heavy EA Sports Cup semi-final defeat at Oriel Park on Monday evening.
With both teams coming into the game off the back of a defeat, proceedings started in a lively fashion, with both Lee Steacy and James Talbot forced into action.
The Midlander’s dominated for much of the early stages of the game with Byrne proving troublesome for the hosts to deal with his trickery and neat play on the left flank.
However, the first real opening of the game came through Daniel Mandroiu, but he was unable to squeeze his effort through the legs of Anto Breslin – shooting wide of goal, much to the visitor’s relief.
The Gypsies continued to impress as the half wore on, with James Finnerty going close with a header at the back post.
Finnerty appeared to have turned the ball home but referee Paul Tuite waved away the protests, with the home crowd chanting ‘VAR’ in angst against the decision.
Keith Long’s side ought to have taken the lead just before the break on two occasions with both Mandroiu and Keith Buckley going close.
The former Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder was unable to convert at the back post with the goal at his mercy.
Buckley then curled a weak effort at Steacy with the goal at his mercy as Town went in at the break living a charmed life.
Bohs continued in the ascendancy during the infancy of the second half, with Steacy being forced into making a world class save from just five yards out.
Grant’s header was driven into the ground, with the ex-Bohs keeper somehow clawing the ball away from danger as Town survived once more.
Darragh Leahy’s cross from the left was then left unmet by the head of Wright minutes later with the First Division side being punished for some lax defensive play on the right wing.
Having been subjected to much early pressure in the second half, Town produced an opening of their own, with Dobbs forcing a good save from Talbot after a Sam Verdon knock-down.
Just seconds later, the Longford ‘keeper was called into action again, somehow clearing a Wright header destined for the net away from goal.
With the game opening up, Town went close through the lively Byrne who went on a mazy run before his effort was cleared off the line via the bar by Leahy.
Verdon then had a great chance via the penalty spot with just under ten minutes remaining, but his well-struck effort crashed off the post after Breslin was taken down inside the area.
Extra-time ensued and it was Bohs who grabbed the lead through Wright, scoring his fifth goal in three games, with a fine finish at the near post.
However, Town levelled minutes later through sub Doherty – firing home with a rasping strike finish. The former Wexford star picked up the ball on the edge of the area, leaving Talbot with no chance in front of a fervent away support.
Peter Hopkins had chances to win the game in the second period of extra-time, but he was unable to make his chances pay – as penalties became an inevitability – despite a clear penalty being denied by referee Tuite as Breslin had his shirt pulled back as he looked ready to pull the trigger.
A nerve-shredding shootout ensued, with both Byrne and Mandroiu missing their opening strikes. The copybook was unblemished until Steacy stepped up, with Talbot getting down to his right to send Bohs through to the last eight of the FAI Cup.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Rob Cornwall (Michael Barker, 91), James Finnerty, Darragh Leahy, Andy Lyons; Keith Buckley (Keith Ward, 76), Conor Levingston, Daniel Mandroiu, Luke Wade-Slater; Daniel Grant (Ross Tierney, 79), Andre Wright.
Subs not used: Scott Allardice, Aaron Barry, Michael Kelly, Derek Pender.
Longford Town: Lee Steacy; Anto Breslin, Shane Elworthy, Conor Kenna, Michael McDonnell; Dean Byrne, Aodh Dervin, Dylan Grimes (Peter Hopkins, 72), Sam Verdon, Dean Zambra (Karl Chambers, 103); Aaron Dobbs (Jack Doherty, 87).
Subs not used: Joseph Manley, Jack Menton, Paul O'Conor, Aaron McCabe.
Booked: Sam Verdon (56), Anto Breslin (104).
Referee: Paul Tuite.
Attendance: 2,000 (Estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Aodh Dervin (Longford Town).