John Manning reports from Dalymount Park
Bohemians guaranteed European football at Dalymount Park for next season with a comfortable 3-0 win against Premier Division strugglers Cork City thanks to goals from Andre Wright either side of a Danny Grant strike.
It was another impressive outing for Keith Long’s men, whose fourth successive win keeps them in second place in the table behind Shamrock Rovers and poised to take the advantage over the Hoops in the unlikely event of a slip-up by their cross-city rivals
By contrast, City failed to achieve any bounce from the managerial change midweek and seem destined for the automatic relegation spot.
Before kick-off, a minute’s applause was held in memory of former Bohs stalwart Robbie Brunton and Cork City founder Jim Hennebry as a torrential rain shower hammered down.
That deluge left the visitors playing into the wind and rain early on. Ironically, the elements appeared to hinder the home side initially as a number of attacks broke down on foot of overhit passes and crosses.
Bohs did have an early chance as two visiting defenders slipped in the fourth minute to allow Andre Wright let fly with a low shot that was deflected for a corner on the left.
Anto Breslin swung that fifth minute set peice across and it was met by Dan Casey’s powerful header, which looked goal-bound, before being touched onto the bar by City ‘keeper Mark McNulty.
Thankfully, the rain quickly relented shortly after to give way to bright sunshine over Phibsboro.
After Breslin’s cross was volleyed wide by Dawson Devoy, Promise Omochere’s first time left-footer was saved by McNulty.
The signs were increasingly ominous for the Leesiders. Following a 13th minute foul by skipper Gearoid Morrissey on Omochere, Beslin’s free kick from the right was headed just past the near post by Rob Cornwall.
Neat inter play in 16th minute between Omochere and Wright on the right side of the area gave Wright an opportunity to touch the ball past Jake O’Brien - the ex-Coventry City striker slipped the ball neatly beyond McNulty for the lead goal.
The home side doubled their advantage four mintues later when Danny Grant ran onto a long ball out of the Bohs’ half by Conor Levingston and lobbed McNulty who was caught way off his line.
That 35-yarder was Grant’s fourth goal inside a week after his hat trick against Shelbourne last weekend.
As Bohs turned the screw, a superb 29th minute crossfield ball by Devoy put Grant through down the Bohs left, but his low shot was well saved by McNulty, diving low to his right.
City had been restricted to a sixth minute Cian Bargary low shot that was comfortably saved by James Talbot and a left wing free kick lobbed harmlessly into James Talbot’s hands by Cory Galvin.
However, out of nowhere, Bohs could have been rocked in the 35th minute. Galvin’s mazy dribble gave him a sight of goal and his powerful right footed 20-yarder crashed back into play off the School End crossbar with Talbot helpless.
A 37th minute brawl on the far touchline was sparked by Uniss Kargbo appearing to kick out at an opponent. The City right back was probably lucky to only see yellow. Arising out of that incident, he was joined in the book by fellow City defender O’Brien and Rob Cornwall of Bohs.
The second half opened with a smidgen of promise for City. A minute in Morrissey swung in a cross from the right but Bargary’s first–time shot on the turn was easily saved by Talbot.
A 50th minute shot on the turn by City’s Roberto Dinanga flew well over the bar.
However, the promising signs were shortlived. Six minutes into the second-half, City needlessly gave the ball away to Omochere who fed Grant for a daisycutter that was saved by McNulty
That was but a momentary reprieve as Bohs secured an easy 52nd minute third goal when a floated cross from the right by Devoy was headed neatly home by Wright at the far post.
Morrissey played a neat 56th minute one-two with Bargary but his low shot from distance sailed well wide. The City captain, who toiled manfully all night, had a powerful shot saved by Talbot in the 73rd minute.
But in truth, Bohs could and maybe should have added to their tally. Andy Lyons’ low shot well was well saved by McNulty on 72 minutes.
Grant might have had another two minutes later when his curling shot just missed the far upright.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, Rob Cornwall (Michael Barker 79), Dan Casey, Anto Breslin; Keith Buckley (JJ Lunney79) Conor Levingston (Keith Ward 66) Dawson Devoy; Promise Omochere (Ross Tierney,75), Danny Grant, Andre Wright (Dinny Corcoran 75).
Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness (gk), Glen McAuley.
Booked: Rob Cornwall (38)
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Uniss Kargbo, Joseph Olowu, Jake O'Brien Kevin O'Connor; Dale Holland, Gearoid Morrissey, Ricardo Dinanga (Sean Kennedy, 66), Cory Galvin (Cian Murphy, 88), Cian Bargary (Henry Ochieng; 79); Deshane Dalling.
Subs not used: Liam Bossin (gk), Alan Bennett , Rob Slevin, Kit Elliott.
Booked: Uniss Kargbo (37), Jake O’Brien (38), Gearoid Morrissey (80), Henry Ochieng (82).
Referee: Sean Grant
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Andre Wright (Bohemians).