FAI Cup Report: Bohemians 1 - 0 Shelbourne

Bohs got the cup victory over Shels on Friday night

Bohs got the cup victory over Shels on Friday night Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

Macdara Ferris reports from Dalymount Park

Bohemians extracted revenge for their 3-0 FAI Cup defeat to Shelbourne last season by prevailing 1-0 against the Reds at Dalymount Park in the first round of this year’s competition.

Jonathan Afolabi got the winner in the first half as Bohs got their first victory in six competitive games against Shels much to the delight of the Bohs faithful in the sold out crowd.

It was always going to be a feisty affair when Bohs were drawn at home to Shels in the first round of the FAI Cup.

What was maybe surprising was the fact that the Gypsies dominated the most of the game in a damp Dalymount Park in this third Dublin derby in the cup between the teams in the last five seasons.

Last week in Tolka Park the sides had drawn 1-1 in the league with Jonathan Afolabi getting a late equaliser for Bohs and it was the striker who had Gypsies in the lead at half time.

Bohs racked up nine first half corner kicks with James Akintunde swinging them in from the left and Jordan Flores from the right.

It was Flores’ centre in the 31st minute that picked out Afolabi inside the six yard box to head home his fifth goal in his last five games and it was no more than Declan Devine’s charges deserved.

Flores had gone super close to grabbing the opener in just the third minute of the match. JJ Lunney fouled James Clarke – one of two changes to last week’s team along with Akintunde coming in – in a dangerous spot just outside the Shels box.

Conor Kearns did well to turn behind Flores driven effort after he hit it around the Shelbourne defensive wall. Clarke went close with a curling shot himself and just before they went behind Kearns right boot saved Shels when Clarke picked up Afolabi’s lay off after good work down the right by Buckley.

Shels were wary of the threat of the pace of Dylan Connolly who looked to take them on when space opened up.

Sean Boyd and Jack Moylan were left to feed on scraps with their chances in the first half coming from a shot from Boyd that skipped up off the turf in front of James Talbot and a shout for handball. It seemed James McMannus scooped the ball away from Boyd but referee Paul McLaughlin waved play on.

Jad Hakiki had an early second half header from an Evan Caffrey corner that he should have converted but he only glanced the ball goalwards from four yards out and Bohs were able to clear.

The Gypsies lost Flores to a back injury he picked up late in the half and just before the hour mark Damien Duff made a triple switch as they looked to get back into the cup tie.

Afolabi went close on a couple of occasions just prior to him being withdrawn as Declan Devine brought fresh legs on to see out the tie which is what his team did to move into the second round of the competition.

It is 15 years since Bohs last FAI Cup trophy success but they have made one big step in the direction of ending their cup drought this evening.

One possible route to Europe has closed for last year’s FAI Cup finalist after this loss and it will need a strong finish to season for Damien Duff’s men if Shels are to achieve their target of European football next season.

Bohemians: James Talbot; Keith Buckley ©, Krystian Nowak (Cian Byrne 66), Kacper Radkowski, Patrick Kirk; Jordan Flores (Declan McDaid 78), James McManus; Dylan Connolly, James Clarke, James Akintunde (Declan McDaid 78); Jonathan Afolabi (John O'Sullivan 78).
Subs not used: Andrew Stuart Trainor, Ali Coote, Kris Twardek, Daniel Grant, Bartlomiej Kukulowicz.
Booked: Jonathan Afolabi (45), James Clarke (90+5)

Shelbourne: Conor Kearns; ; John Ross Wilson, Paddy Barrett (Andrew Quinn 58), Luke Byrne ©  (Kameron Ledwidge 71), Gavin Molloy; Evan Caffrey, Mark Coyle (Harry Wood 58), JJ Lunney, Jad Hakiki (Shane Farrell 58); Sean Boyd, Jack Moylan.
Subs not used: David Toure, Tyreke Wilson, Conor Kane, Gbemi Arubi, Harry Fisk.
Booked: Gavin Molloy (16).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
Attendance: 4,168
extratime.com Player of the Match: Jonathan Afolabi (Bohemians)