Ronan MacNamara reports from Bishopsgate
Bohemians made it back-to-back wins as a stunner from Liam Burt and Ali Coote’s tidy finish gave the visitors a comfortable 2-0 win over a struggling Longford Town.
It is now ten games without a win for Daire Doyle’s charges who remain second from bottom.
This was a tough game on paper for Keith Long’s side after De Town had come from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw in the corresponding fixture at Dalymount Park.
Both sides huffed and puffed in a scrappy opening quarter, and it became apparent that whoever got to grips with the difficult playing conditions was going to take control of the game.
So it proved, as Bohs went close through 20-year-old Ross Tierney who blasted wide from close range after Coote fired in a low cross.
The Gypsies dominated the remainder of the half showing great variety in their play, playing through the thirds and often going direct to Georgie Kelly who linked up excellently with Tierney.
And they deservedly broke the deadlock, as a thunderous strike from Burt nestled into the top right corner from the edge of the box to score his third goal of the season.
De Town offered no attacking threat in the opening half, with Rob Manley cutting an isolated figure, with too much space between him, Dylan Grimes, Aaron Bolger and Dean Byrne.
Keith Long’s charges piled on the pressure before half time, a handball from Coote saw his delicate chip over Michael Kelly ruled out. Town had to defend well to head away dangerous crosses from Dawson Devoy and Coote.
The visitors almost doubled their advantage just before the hour mark. Coote shot narrowly wide after Kelly met Tyriek Wilson’s corner but his header was blocked before James Finnerty recycled the ball well in the area to find Coote.
Longford stopper Michael Kelly pulled off a stunning save to keep his side in the game denying Georgie Kelly who ran across the front post to glance Coote’s free kick on goal.
The home side were awarded numerous soft frees much to the frustration of the booked Bohemians manager Keith Long. Finnerty almost glanced Grimes’ deep curling free kick into his own net.
The visitors doubled their lead after 74 minutes. Tierney’s pull back wasn’t cleared by the Town defence and Coote pounced to slot home from 8 yards, after the hosts had enjoyed their best spell of the game.
Dawson Devoy almost put the icing on the cake in added time but his curling effort from 25 yards sailed just over the bar.
It was a deserved win for Bohemians who held on for a second consecutive clean sheet with Finnerty and his defensive compatriot Rob Cornwall impressing at the back.
Longford Town: Michael Kelly; Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Aaron O'Driscoll; Dylan Grimes, Aodh Dervin, Aaron Bolger (Sam Verdon 74), Dean Zambra (c) (Aaron Robinson 74); Karl Chambers (Patrick Kirk 65), Dean Byrne, Rob Manley (Conor Davis 74).
Subs not used: Aaron Dobbs, Joseph Manley, Matthew O'Brien, Lee Steacy, Callum Thompson.
Booked: Patrick Kirk (88), Sam Verdon (90+2).
Bohemians: James Talbot; James Finnerty, Rory Feely (Andy Lyons 46), Rob Cornwall (Ciaran Kelly 82), Tyreke Wilson; Dawson Devoy, Ali Coote (Anto Breslin 84), Liam Burt, Keith Buckley (c), Ross Tierney (Keith Ward 82); Georgie Kelly (Promise Omochere 82).
Subs not used: Bastien Hery, Conor Levingston, Robert Mahon, Stephen McGuinness.
Booked: Rob Cornwall (25), Dawson Devoy (70).
Referee: Adriano Reale
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Ali Coote (Bohemians).