Bohemians' Keith Ward (file photo) Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO
Teenage Kicks

Bohemians held to draw by Longford as 16-year-old Mullins marks first start with goal

Keith Long’s side had to come from behind at Dalymount Park.

Bohemian FC 1

Longford Town 1

Darryl Geraghty reports from the Dalymount Park

BOHS CRASHED BACK down to earth with a bang, but came from behind to grab a 1-1 draw against a very spirited Longford Town side, who more than earned a point in a hugely entertaining contest in the Phibsborough sunshine.

A mixture of wholesale changes from one side and a team fighting for their Premier Division lives served up a breathtaking clash that could have been much more high scoring based on the chances created for both teams.

Following Thursday’s heroic 3-0 win against Stjarnan at the Aviva Stadium, it was back to league action for the Gypsies against bottom side Longford, who were looking for just their second win of the season.

With such a quick turnaround, Keith Long rang the changes as expected. James Talbot, Ross Tierney and Rory Feely, the three who retained their places as 16-year old Jamie Mullins made his first start.

The visitors showed real character and fighting spirit to come from behind to grab a draw against a high flying Drogheda United, and their position might not be a fair reflection on some of the performances this season, and in the scorching Sunday heat had the first real chance of the game, on-loan Shamrock Rovers youngster Dean Williams seeing his deflated strike sail past James Talbot’s far post.

This sparked the much changed Bohs into life and really should have taken the lead moments later with Conor Levingston, firstly stinging the palms of skipper Lee Steacy from 30 yards, and from the resulting corner somehow missing the target form just five yards out with his header.

Just before the water break in the first half, the lively Williams had a shout for a penalty trying to turn Rob Cornwall in the area but looked a bit soft.

The 200-strong home fans thought they took the lead after a crazy bit of pinball in the area. Firstly, James Finnerty somehow guided his header onto the crossbar from point blank range, and with the rebound falling invitingly to Levingston who looked to head home with the goal at his mercy, up popped Steacy out of nowhere to get a strong hand and palm away just before the ball crossed the line.

The end-to-end encounter continued with chances flowing at both ends, Aodh Dervan cracked the post with a superb free kick from all of 30-yards, before the breakthrough finally came.

Shane Elworthy’s powerful driving run down the right wing ended with a delightful low cross that was met with a diving header from Rob Manley who guided home to give the visitors the lead.

Long made a triple substitute at the half-time break in a bid to claw a way back into the game. Bohs came out for the second period like a team possessed, getting themselves back on terms within 10 minutes of the restart.

Substitute Keith Buckley fizzed a ball into the feet of Jamie Mullins, who turned on a sixpence ghosting past defenders as if they weren’t there. And once getting to the edge of the area, smashed a low drive across Steacy to make it 1-1.

Dawson Devoy replaced goalscorer Mullins and really should have put his side in the lead with his first touch. Keith Ward was released down the left wing, and just as he got to the end line put it on a plate for Devoy, who somehow skyed his side footed shot over the Des Kelly stand.

As the hosts pushed for the winner, they were almost undone on the break. Steacy found Dylan Grimes over the top and found himself with a clear route to goal but just as he entered the area seemed a bit more worried about possible contact from behind, and could only scuff his shot past Talbot but not on goal.

With the game drawing to a close in the sweltering heat, both sets of players fought resolutely with Longford holding firm and earning their point, whereas Bohs will see it as two points dropped with the number of chances spurned in the first half alone.

Bohemian FC: James Talbot, Rory Feely, Rob Cornwall, James Finnerty (Andy
Lyons, 45’), Anto Breslin, Ross Tierney, Conor Levington, Jamie Mullins (Dawson
Devoy, 74’), Robbie Mahon (Keith Buckley, 45’), Keith Ward (Tyreke Wilson, 76’),
Bastien Hery (Georgie Kelly, 45’)
Subs: Stephen McGuinness, Tyreke Wilson, Ciaran Kelly, Stephen

Longford Town: Lee Steacy, Shane Elworthy, Paddy Kirk, Dylan Grimes, Rob
Manley (Conor Davis, 88’), Aaron O’Driscoll, Darragh Nugent, Dean Williams
(Callum Warfield, 83’), Aodh Dervin, Aaron McNally (Aaron Dobbs, 74’), Joe
Subs: Mick Kelly, Aaron Robinson, Dean Zambra, Matthew O’Brien,
Karl Chambers, Dean Byrne

Referee: Neil Doyle

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