The Gypsies come into Friday’s game against Shamrock Rovers buoyed by a comprehensive 4-1 win over Shelbourne at Tolka Park.
The win means Bohs are is keeping pace with the teams around them in the table and while they sit in sixth position, they are just two points off third spot.
With six drawn matches, no side has drawn more games so far in the top flight this season and so Keith Long is targeting the three points on offer this week.
“It’s a funny league at the moment,” said Long speaking about the season so far with the Irish Sun. “Most managers, I would imagine, would be disappointed with their points return at this moment in time.
“What are we, 11 games into the season now? We’ve drawn too many games, and from winning margins too.”
Conceding late goals has been an issue for Bohs this month. They were leading Finn Harps and Drogheda United in recent weeks only to concede equalisers in the 93rd and 88th minutes respectively.
Against Derry in Dalymount at the start of the month, they conceded a 93rd minute winner.
“We’ve been ahead a lot. That’s extremely frustrating,” said Long.
“Winning runs can help us, there is no doubt about it. I’m stating the obvious but you go on a winning run and you climb the table very quickly.
“Draws don’t help you do that, we’re better off losing a couple and winning a couple then drawing the ones we have.”
Last November, Bohs inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the Hoops when the teams last met in Dalymount Park. That was the biggest winning margin in a league match between the teams since February 2018 when the Gypsies won by the same scoreline.
The Hoops come into the game on a run of four victories in a row, with back-to-back 1-0 victories over the Easter weekend bringing Rovers to within a point of league leaders Derry City.
Rovers picked up those maximum points at home – beating St. Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk – thanks to solitary goals in each game from Rory Gaffney and Danny Mandroiu respectively.
Speaking ahead of the game, Hoops Head Coach Stephen Bradley reflected on what was an excellent Easter period for his charges. “We came out of the weekend with six points,” said Bradley.
“I thought we performed very well and took maximum points. The overall performance was good (on Monday)because we have to understand that the way Dundalk came to play; they came to stifle the game and make it hard for us.”
Speaking about the only goal of the game, Bradley said: “Gary (O’Neill) did well, his weight of pass to Jack (Byrne) was brilliant. Jack's pass is obviously really, really high quality and then Danny goes and finishes, so it was a high quality goal all round."
Bradley described these derby games as “always tetchy” and is looking for that bit of luck that can make all the difference in the derby.
“They're always tight and competitive. You need a bit of luck on the night, that's an obvious one in derby games. You need things to go your way and hopefully it goes our way on Friday.
"There's always more excitement around the Dublin derbies, whether it's Pat's, Bohs or Shels. You do obviously feel that but we've got to make sure that we focus and do what we have been doing - and that's performing."
Referee: Neil Doyle
The results between the rivals in recent years have been clumped in successful runs for either team. Between July 2017 and June 2019, Keith Long’s side won seven of the eight meetings, with the other game a 1-1 draw. The Hoops then went on a five game winning run. Last season after Rovers won the opening league game between the teams, results swung the Gypsies way as they won three and drew the other match – one victory included knocking Rovers out of the FAI Cup en-route to Bohs reaching the final.
This is the first time Shamrock Rovers fans will attend a game in Dalymount Park since before COVID-19, with 837 tickets made available to the travelling club for Friday’s match. The last Dublin Derby clash between the teams at Dalymount with spectators from both clubs was the 15 February meeting in 2020. Andy Lyons got sent off for Bohs that day with Aaron Greene popping up to score the winner in the 93rd minute.
Bohs’ largest attendance in Dalymount Park this season was the 3,640 who attended their 1-1 draw with Shelbourne in mid-March.
2 – 1 away win
Doubtful: James Finnerty.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, please consider becoming a patron of extratime.com for just €4 a month to help us cover running costs.