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Resurgent Derry overcome Bohs in 5-goal thriller at Dalymount

The win enabled the Candystripes to keep pace with Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk at the top.

Derry City's Will Patching and Joe Thomson celebrate.
Derry City's Will Patching and Joe Thomson celebrate.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Bohemians 2

Derry City 3

GOALS FROM Joe Thomson and Matty Smith, as well as a Dawson Devoy OG, saw Derry earn a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Bohemians in the Premier Division this evening.

Ali Coote and Devoy were on target for the hosts, with the latter’s late goal ensuring a tense climax.

It was an important win for Derry, as it allowed them to keep pace with their rivals at the top, Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk.

Bohs were coming into this game on the back of a narrow 1-0 loss to Dublin rivals Rovers, while Derry beat UCD by the same scoreline last week. 

The victory in Belfield brought to a halt a seven-game winless run for the Candystripes, who looked capable of launching a title challenge in the early stages of the season but trailed the first-place Hoops by 11 points going into today’s fixtures. Bohs, meanwhile, were behind Ruaidhrí Higgins’ side by the same margin, as they sat in sixth following an inconsistent first half of the season.

There was just one alteration to the Bohs starting XI, with Kris Twardek replacing Liam Burt. 

Derry made two changes, with Danny Lafferty and James Akintunde coming into the team, while Brandon Kavanagh and Jamie McGonigle dropped to the bench.

A lively start from the hosts saw Devoy drag a shot just wide from the edge of the area after a strong individual run from Promise Omochere.

The visitors came more into it as the half progressed and Tadhg Ryan did well to tip away Will Patching’s free-kick from about 30 yards out.

There was a cagey period thereafter, with the goalkeepers rarely tested and hopeful pot shots the best either side could muster.

It livened up, however, with 10 minutes of the half remaining. First, Ryan made a fantastic double save to deny both Danny Lafferty and Thomson

Shortly thereafter, great link-up play between Omochere and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe culminated with the latter’s low shot being saved by the legs of Brian Maher.

Three minutes before half-time, it was the visitors who took the lead — a ball down the right by Caoimhin Porter found Thomson, who executed a deft first-time lob over the stranded Ryan as the ball bounced into the net to silence the home crowd.

It was the former Celtic youngster’s third goal of the season to give his side the advantage going in at the break.

Keith Long’s men started the second half eager to make amends after that setback, and Omochere tested Maher with a header that the goalkeeper saved fairly comfortably.

As the rain began to cascade down, however, Derry could not calm the Bohs storm.

The hosts got their equaliser, as a ball into the area was only half-cleared and Ali Coote smashed it home brilliantly from the edge of the area.

Nevertheless, Higgins’ men hit back almost immediately to restore their advantage.

Porter, who also had a hand in the first goal, was influential again. The young defender’s pinpoint cross was met by Matty Smith, whose first-time finish found the roof of the net.

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As the game approached its dying stages, Jamie McGonigle had a chance seemingly to end the match as a contest, after being slipped through by fellow substitute Brandon Kavanagh, but his shot went all the way across the goal from a difficult angle.

Yet Devoy’s own goal appeared to settle it not long after. Patching’s inswinging free-kick from wide was diverted into the corner of the net by the unlucky youngster.

Bohs did not give up though, and provided the visiting defence with a few nervy moments, before a Devoy wonder-strike from about 30 yards out set up a grandstand finish.

However, the Candystripes defended well in the dying stages and survived the late rally ultimately, to claim all three points.

Next up for Derry is the first leg of their Europa Conference League tie at home to Riga of Latvia on Thursday, while Bohs travel to face UCD in the Premier Division on the same day.

Bohemians: 25. Tadgh Ryan 12. Max Murphy (Kelly 80) 4. Rory Feely 6. Jordan Doherty 21. Jordan Flores 8. Ali Coote 10. Dawson Devoy 14. Conor Levingston (captain) (Wilson 72) 20. Promise Omochere 9. Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe 23. Kris Twardek (Mullins 66).

Subs: 45. Dáithí Folan 3 Tyreke Wilson 5. Ciarán Kelly 11. Liam Burt 13. Alex O’Brien 22. Jamie Mullins 24. Aaron Doran 27. Cian Byrne 28. James McManus

Derry City: 26. Brian Maher 17. Caoimhin Porter (Kavanagh 61) 24. Danny Lafferty (Toal 61) 16. Shane McEleney 17. Cameron McJannet 3. Ciaran Coll 8. Joe Thomson 10. Patrick McEleney 14. Will Patching 12. Matty Smith (McLoughlin 90) 11. James Akintunde (McGonigle 72)

Subs: 1. Nathan Gartside 6. Eoin Toal 9. Jamie McGonigle 20. Brandon Kavanagh 25. Evan McLoughlin 29. Jack Malone 34. Orinn McLoughlin 37, Dáithí McCallion 38. Liam Nullan

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy  / reports from Dalymount Park

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