League Preview: Bohemians -v- Derry City

Bohs celebrating a Jonathan Afolabi goal against UCD last week

Bohs celebrating a Jonathan Afolabi goal against UCD last week Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)

Two teams who are locked on 46 points apiece go head- to- head on Friday night when Bohemians host Derry City in a Premier Division clash at Dalymount Park.


Bohs do have an extra game played due to Derry’s involvement in European football but nevertheless they will be anxious to continue their recent excellent good form and pull ahead of their top four rivals in their 28th league game of the season.

They are now unbeaten in eight games, six in the league and two in cup competitions, a record only matched by second placed St Patricks Athletic (excluding the results from their European games).

They had another confidence boosting win last weekend, albeit against a non-league side, when they easily accounted for Rockmount of the MSL on a 6-0 scoreline.

Their last league encounter was a 0-0 draw away at St Patricks Athletic, not a bad result given the Inchicore’s side equally good run of recent form.

They enjoyed 60 % of the possession against Pats and had almost twice as many shots, 21 to 11 for Pats, but could not make the breakthrough against their resolute defence.

Bohs manager Declan Devine is aware of the threat posed by Derry after their last two defeats, a point he emphasised when he spoke to the club’s media team this week.

He said: “Derry have had a tough week. They will have been extremely disappointed going out of two competitions in a week. They will be hurting, and we know what they are capable of. But at the same time, our focus is on us. We have to take care of our side of things.

“For us, it has been a real positive week in training in terms of our intensity and our quality. The players are fresh. We were able to rest a couple against Rockmount last week, which is important.

“Our recent form has earned our players the right to eat at the top table.

“We come into this game in really good form. We have five wins and two draws out of our last seven games, have scored 17 goals in our last six, 12 in our last four, and four clean sheets in our last five.

“So, we are playing well, but we know that we are going to have to be at our very best when Derry come to Dalymount. Recent performances have given us the opportunity to go into the game with confidence and belief.”


Derry City players could be excused from still suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome when they make the journey to Dublin on Friday night to face the Gypsies in the league.

Over a four-day period last week they saw two thirds of their goals for the season slip away from them in the most dramatic of circumstances.

They only had a one goal deficit to overturn against Tobol Kostanay of Kazakhstan in the European Conference League and cancelled out the deficit within 15 minutes of the second leg in the Brandywell last Thursday to make it 1-1 on aggregate. They failed to find a second goal however and agonisingly lost out by 6-5 in the subsequent penalty shootout, thus ending their ambitions of making it to the play off stage of that competition.

Their misery was compounded when they failed to score against St Patricks Athletic in the second round of the FAI Cup at home last Sunday, the match ending 0-0 after extra time.  The game went to penalties and once again they were rooted to the half way line as their opponents celebrated victory, Pats winning the shoot out by 4 -3.

The only consolation for manager Ruadhri Higgins is that the two defeats clear the way for a concentrated assault of the league title, a competition they last won back in 1996/97.

They do have one game in hand over their top four rivals and will be looking to bounce back and take advantage of that game by closing the gap on league leaders Shamrock Rovers.

They currently sit on 46 points in third spot, five points behind Rovers but only a single point behind St Patricks Athletic who are currently second.

Higgins was in pragmatic mood this week when he spoke to the Derry Journal.

He said: “We haven't conceded a goal and we've ended up out of two competitions.

“It's a hard one to take, but what do you do? Do you sit and feel sorry for yourself? We'll do that tonight but then it's back to work.

“We'll get everyone in and remind them of the way we are playing and the run we've been on. We spoke about how big the next 10 games are already in the dressing room and we’ll be fully focused to go and attack those 10 games.

“It is professional football, no one ever said it was going to be a bed of roses. We'll face huge challenges now over the next few weeks but I know they are challenges that our players can cope with and come out the other end.

“When you get knocks like we have in the last few days, your real top end players normally show what they are about and drag the rest of the group with them. We’ll need everyone over the next few weeks to see if we can make a push for this.”

Referee: Robert Harvey


The results of the three encounters between Bohs and Derry City this season mirror precisely their league position, with one win each and a draw in their last game at the Brandywell.

A Dean Williams goal gave the Gypsies all three points in their clash in Derry back in April while a Ryan Graydon goal separated the sides when Derry won 1-0 in Dalymount in May.

The most recent encounter was a 0-0 draw so it’s likely to be another low scoring affair when they lock horns on Friday night.

Jonathon Afolabi is Bohemians leading scorer this season with ten goals to his credit while Jordan McEneff is the Candystripes leading scorer on seven.


Bohemians 7/5; Draw 21/10; Derry City 9/5



Bohemians 0-1 Derry City



Injured: None

Doubtful: Dean Williams

Suspended: None


Derry City

Injured:  None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None