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Bohemians come from behind to earn point against Derry City

James Finnerty netted a late equaliser as Bohs remain unbeaten.

James Finnerty celebrates his equaliser.
James Finnerty celebrates his equaliser.

Bohemians 1

Derry City 1

Gavin Cooney reports from Dalymount Park

BOHEMIANS RECOVERED FROM the concession of their first goal of the season along with the absence of Dinny Corcoran to earn a home draw with Derry City. Before a crowd of Mick McCarthy, Stephen Kenny and 2,398 others, Eoghan Stokes gave Derry the lead from the penalty spot early in the second half.  Bohs, however, poured forward henceforth, and eventually equalised through centre-back James Finnerty. 

It was a deserved draw for the home side, who fashioned most of the game’s scoring chances.

The first started when Darragh Leahy’s sliced volley floated over the Derry defence and fell to the feet of Ali Reghba, who was clipped by Derry’s Ciaran Coll as he started toward goal. Amid howls for a red card from the Jodi Stand, the referee called mercy and showed a yellow. 

Peter Cherrie then acrobatically clawed away Keith Ward’s free kick, which was destined for his top right-hand corner. 

Derry kept scrapping but it was Bohs who fashioned the next best chance. Conor Levingstone hoisted a ball to the back post for Luke Wade-Slater, whose first-time volley across the face of the goal narrowly evaded the lunging Danny Mandriou. 

Bohs played fitfully, however, and their other chances came through slack Derry defending. Ward almost capitalised on an ‘after me, no, after you’ moment between Cherrie and Eoin Toal, while Toal then almost skewed a Wade-Slater cross into his own goal.

Derry showed occasional flashes of enterprise through captain Ciaron Harkin – playing further forward in a No.10 role – and left-sided Aidy Delap, whose direct running caused Bohs captain Derek Pender a series of deeply uncomfortable moments. 

Deprived of strikers Mark McCrudden and David Parkhouse, however, they lacked a presence in the penalty area with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe struggling to impose himself physically. It was fitting, then, that their best first-half chance came about by accident: Eoghan Stokes’ free-kick to the left of the penalty area was deflected to the far post, where Delap could only skew the ball high into the empty terrace in front of him. 

 

Mick McCarthy at the game Mick McCarthy at Dalymount tonight. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The visitors began the second half began with their usual vigour, but a series of long balls to Ogedi-Uzokwe bounced back toward them. That he was struggling physically was encapsulated early in the second-half: he went to ground after contact with the Bohs’ centre-backs, and was penalised for handball when he went to retrieve the ball for what he perceived to be a foul. 

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Derry found joy soon after when they passed to his feet. Taking a ball in midfield, he spun to his right and scooped the ball behind the Bohs’ defence for Stokes, who gambolled into the area and was fouled by Pender. 

To ambient boos, Stokes smashed the ball past James Talbot and consigned his former club to the concession of a goal for the first time this season. He celebrated in front of the Des Kelly Stand, which was populated by a couple of hundred Derry fans and a handful of displaced Bohs fans, undercover and displaced from the crowded Jodi Stand. 

Keith Long responded by swapping Wade-Slater and Allardice for Daniel Grant and Robbie McCourt. Bohs’ continued to toil, however, with their best chance coming when the ball broke kindly for Reghba in the box. His first-time shot, however, was superbly parried by Cherrie. 

Bohs’ continued to pour forward, and there were pleas for a penalty as Leahy tangled with Coll as a free-kick sailed over their heads. 

Amid the artillery of long throws and whipped free-kicks, however, Bohs finally equalised through a piece of steady craft. After Derry cleared a free-kick, Keith Ward – until then flitting about the game’s edges – played a clever pass between the right-side of Derry’s defence for loitering centre-back James Finnerty, who prodded the ball smartly beyond the onrushing Cherrie. 

Only Bohs looked like scoring a winner. Penalty area pinball three minutes from time forced Cherrie to block from Grant and then Sam Byrne, while Rob Cornwall skimmed a header narrowly wide from the resulting corner; fans on their feet waiting for the net to bulge. 

In the end it only did twice, although the Irish manager wasn’t here to see them: he left before half-time to make a scheduled appearance on The Late Late Show. 

Bohs threatened one of their own, but Derry held out for a creditable draw. 

BOHEMIANS: James Talbot; Derek Pender (captain), Rob Cornwall, James Finnerty, Darragh Leahy; Conor Levingston, Scott Allardice (Robbie McCourt 55′); Luke Wade-Slater (Daniel Grant 61′), Danny Madriou, Keith Ward; Ali Reghba (Sam Byrne 75′)

DERRY CITY: Peter Cherrie; Conor McDermott, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Ciaran Coll; Gerardo Bruna (Barry McNamee 78′), Darren Cole; Eoghan Stokes (Gianni Seraf 87′) Ciaron Harking, Aidy Delap (Josh Kerr 90′); Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe

Referee: Thomas Connolly 

Attendance: 2940 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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