Andrew Dempsey reports from Dalymount Park
An inspired performance from Longford Town goalkeeper Lee Steacy ensured that his side would leave Dalymount Park with a hard-fought point against Bohemians on a sweltering Sunday afternoon.
Steacy was called upon on a number of occasions as Town earned a valuable result in their quest to stay up in the top-flight.
Rob Manley gave the visitors a 38th minute lead, but his goal was cancelled out by Jamie Mullins’ first ever senior goal as Bohs earned a share of the spoils.
Longford went into the game having only ever won once at Dalymount against Bohs in a league game, in 2006, with Town hero Alan Kirby netting the winner on that occasion.
And after Thursday’s heroics against Stjarnan, Bohemians boss Keith Long rang the changes, with Bastien Hery surprisingly leading the line at the start.
Having made several changes, Bohs took a few minutes to get going in the game, and they struggled early doors with Aodh Dervin impressing.
Darragh Nugent and Dean Williams went close for the visitors, but they were unable to suitably trouble James Talbot in his goal.
But the Gypsies would awake from their early slumber, and they went close through Bastien Hery who forced a good save out of Steacy.
The former Shels keeper was called into action yet again shortly after, but he was able to watch both Conor Levingston and James Finnerty head over the bar.
Aaron McNally then went close for Town, but his long-range volley whistled past the post after Dylan Grimes’ corner broke down.
Bohs, however, were starting to get on top, and they ought to have taken the lead, but they were denied by a world-class double save from Steacy.
Rory Feely first saw his header crash off the bar thanks to a Steacy hand, before Finnerty was then denied by the agile Town keeper.
And just moments later, Longford went close themselves through Dervin, but his free-kick was clawed out of the top corner by the hand of Talbot.
Having struggled for spells in the half against a much-changed Bohs team, Longford did take the lead however through Manley.
The former Bohs forward headed home at the near-post from a Shane Elworthy cross to score his third of the season and give the Red and Black of the Midlands a half-time lead.
But that was only after Steacy came to their rescue again, denying Finnerty again with a strong hand, pushing his header onto the post.
Having gone in behind at the break, Bohs boss Keith Long made three big changes, and it yielded its reward early on in the second-half.
Sub Keith Buckley threaded a through ball to Jamie Mullins, with the St Kevin’s Boys youngster firing home past Steacy after dancing around the Longford defence.
It was a deserved leveller for the hosts who subjected the Longford Town defence to serious pressure at the start of the second-half.
Dawson Devoy then went close with a shot at the edge of the penalty area, but he was unable to hit the target.
Longford stayed a threat on the break however, and went close through Grimes with just under 15 to play, but the former Sheriff YC winger tried to pass to Aaron Dobbs rather than shoot.
Andy Lyons then forced the superb Steacy into a save minutes later as Bohs upped the ante at the death once more. But the best chance of the half came in the fifth minute of added time through the delightful Devoy.
The 19-year-old twisted and turned before finding Georgie Kelly free with a cross, but the ex-UCD forward could only head over the bar, with the game ending 1-1.
Bohemians: James Talbot; James Finnerty (Andy Lyons 46), Rory Feely, Rob Cornwall, Anto Breslin; Keith Ward (Tyreke Wilson 67), Ross Tierney, Jamie Mullins (Dawson Devoy 64), Robert Mahon (Keith Buckley 46), Conor Levingston; Bastien Hery (Georgie Kelly 46).
Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Stephen Mallon, Ciaran Kelly, Liam Burt.
Booked: Rory Feely (14).
Longford Town: Lee Steacy (c); Aaron O'Driscoll, Joseph Manley, Patrick Kirk, Shane Elworthy; Darragh Nugent, Aaron McNally (Aaron Dobbs 65), Dylan Grimes, Aodh Dervin; Dean Williams (Callum Warfield 83), Rob Manley (Conor Davis 88).
Subs not used: Dean Zambra, Aaron Robinson, Matthew O'Brien, Michael Kelly, Karl Chambers, Dean Byrne.
Booked: Aodh Dervin (31) ,Dean Williams (43) ,Shane Elworthy (45) ,Joseph Manley (62) Aaron O'Driscoll (82).
Referee: Neil Doyle
extratime.com Player of the Match: Lee Steacy (Longford Town).