Fiachra Gallagher reports from Dalymount Park
Andre Wright completed a remarkable 2-1 smash-and-grab victory for Bohemians over Derry City in Phibsborough on Friday evening cutting the gap between Shamrock Rovers at the summit of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division to five points.
In what was at times an uninspiring display from the home side, a Keith Ward penalty and Wright’s winner – both in injury time – handed the Dublin 7 outfit an unlikely three points.
On a distinctly autumnal evening in Dalymount, Bohemians’ failure to settle into the game from the off cost them. Walter Figueira was sharp to claim possession in a congested midfield, after Keith Buckley failed to control an Andre Wright pass. Figueira threaded the ball through to Akintunde, whose dink licked the underside of James Talbot’s crossbar, giving the Candystripes the lead after just two minutes.
Derry rode the wave of momentum that followed – in reality, they could have had several goals in the opening quarter of an hour. The Bohemians defence creaked as Figuiera and Akintunde probed from wide. City were confident, with ambitious passes coming off time and again. Bohs, on the other hand, looked tentative going forward. Clunky passing left nothing for Wright to work with.
Abandoning their long-ball tactics of the opening exchanges, Bohs grew into the match after 20 minutes of play. Wright began to drop to the wing, linking in with Promise Omochere and Anto Breslin to launch offensives from the left.
Dawson Devoy proved to be Bohemians’ primary threat in the opening period. Danny Grant found the Meathman in space inside the box. Devoy lined up a low strike but couldn’t get it out of his feet, Figueira popping up again to end the attack.
Devoy got his shot off moments later. Afforded room outside the Derry area after some hard graft from the Omochere-Breslin-Wright trifecta, Devoy’s looping effort drifted marginally wide of Peter Cherrie’s upright.
The second half brought no changes in jersey colours (those looking on through WATCHLOI lamented the similarity in kits throughout the tie), and no shift in pace from the end of the first half.
Not for the first time, Figueira was a central threat. Carving out chances single-handedly, the front-man’s efforts out wide were ultimately in vain, with Derry shirts second to his crossed balls on a couple of occasions.
Derry almost doubled their lead on 74 minutes - an inswinging corner was met by a black shirt and Talbot was beaten. However Devoy was the difference, clearing off the line and despite shouts of protest from the visitors, the scoreline remained unchanged.
The tie trundled on: Bohs tried to force an equaliser, but the final pass wasn’t coming off. With the match petering out, Bohemian’s upped the ante through substitute Keith Ward and Wright.
It paid off. Ross Tierney was taken down in the area deep into injury time, handing Bohs a lifeline. Ward dispatched the penalty confidently. They probably would have been happy if that was that, too.
However Bohs weren’t finished though. Breslin stepped up to deliver a free kick from the flank, the Derry area swamped with bodies. The ball fell awkwardly, spilling out to a well-placed Wright who made no mistake. Talbot sprinted to the half way line to join the ensuing celebrations.
Although they were hardly deserving of the result, Bohemians’ resilience – led by Ward – must be applauded. Derry will go home hurt, looking over their shoulders gingerly as they face their final number of fixtures.
Bohemians: James Talbot, Anto Lyons, Anto Breslin, Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Danny Grant (Keith Ward), Conor Levingston (Ross Tierney), Andre Wright, Keith Buckley (Dinny Corcoran), Dawson Devoy, Promise Omochere.
Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Ciaran Kelly, JJ Lunney, Glen McAuley.
Derry City: Peter Cherrie, Ciaran Coll, Eoin Toal, Adam Hammill, Walter Figueira, Oluwaseun Akintune (Ibrahim Meite), Jake Dunwoody, Darren Cole (Colm Horgan) Cameron McJannet, Conor McCormack, Jack Malone (Ciaron Harkin).
Subs not used: Nathan Gartside, Ronan Boyce, Conor Clifford, Mark McCrystal.
Booked: Walter Figueira (25), Peter Cherrie (59), Eoin Toal (71), Darren Cole (75), Cameron McJannet (90+1), Ciaran Coll (90+3).
Referee: Ben Connolly
extratime.com man of the match: Keith Ward