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Junior and Devoy goals see Bohs past Sligo

Adam McDonnell’s fine late strike set up a tense finale.

Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

Bohemians 2

Sligo 1

A MUCH-IMPROVED second-half performance saw Bohemians past Sligo Rovers with a 2-1 win tonight, leapfrogging their opponents in the Premier Division table as a result.

After a lacklustre opening period, the hosts picked up the pace after the break and were rewarded in the form of clinical finishes by Dawson Devoy and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.

Adam McDonnell’s fine late strike set up a tense finale, but the Dublin club held out to secure all three points.

Just two points had separated the teams going into this game, with Liam Buckley’s side one spot ahead of Keith Long’s men in fifth.

The hosts’ starting lineup saw two new faces from the 3-1 defeat to Dundalk — Liam Burt and Ali Coote dropped to the bench, while Jordan Flores and Kris Twardek came into the team.

Sligo also made two changes from last week’s draw with St Patrick’s Athletic, with Colm Horgan and Robbie McCourt replacing Lewis Banks and Paddy Kirk in the starting XI. 

While it was a fairly tight opening with chances at a premium, Bohs looked the slightly more threatening team early on and almost took the lead when Jordan Flores’ corner was met by Ciaran Kelly, whose bullet header came back of the crossbar.

The hosts were then dealt a blow midway through the first half when Twardek went down injured after picking up a knock. They were consequently forced into a change, with Scottish winger Coote coming on for the Canada international.

The Dublin side continued to probe thereafter but were getting little joy against their stubborn and well-organised opponents.

Just after the half-mark, Long’s side suffered more bad luck, as Brighton loanee Sam Packham pulled up and hobbled off, with Max Murphy taking his place at full-back.

The substitute threatened to make an instant impact, as his low cross from the right picked out Devoy, but the Ireland U21 international couldn’t generate the necessary power into his volley, leaving Ed McGinty to make a comfortable save.

Sligo had offered little in attack, but gave their rivals a scare on the brink of half-time, as Will Fitzgerald’s inswinging corner was punched away by an underworked James Talbot, as it threatened to creep in.

Almost immediately down the other end, the ball broke for Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, who shrugged off the attentions of his marker and found himself through on goal but scuffed his finish to the home crowd’s audible frustration.

It was undoubtedly the game’s best chance up to that point, as a fairly uneventful opening 45 overall ended in a lively fashion.

kris-twardek-and-robert-mccourt-challenge-for-the-ball Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

Bohs had a strong start to the second half — Flores’ cross-field pass set up Coote, whose low shot went just wide.

With the hosts having struggled to make an impact in the final third, a key tactical switch saw Promise Omochere move into the centre forward role and Ogedi-Uzokwe shift out to the left — a change that would subsequently pay dividends for the home side.

Shortly thereafter, Garry Buckley got his head to a Greg Bolger free-kick out wide, but could not direct his attempt on target under pressure from his marker.

Nine minutes after the break, Devoy had a golden opportunity as he got on the end Murphy’s cross, but could not find the target with his volley.

The Gypsies had noticeably upped the pressure and their increased dominance finally told in the 61st minute.

Flores made a bursting run into the area and his cross caused panic. Omochere did well to win the loose ball, before setting up Devoy, whose superb finish evaded a couple of bodies and found the roof of the net. 

Sligo threatened to respond immediately — McCourt curled a shot a few inches over as the visitors started to commit more bodies forward.

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Yet another injury-enforced change — this time for the Bit O’Red — then saw New Zealand international Nando Pijnaker enter the fray after Shane Blaney ultimately failed to recover from a knock he picked up in the first half.

As the game entered its dying stages, a triple Sligo change saw Banks, Jordan Hamilton and McDonnell introduced, but the home side remained in the ascendancy.

Yet Bohs then almost sealed the win — Coote produced a dangerous cross and Ogedi-Uzokwe leapt impressively, but McGinty got down well to make the save.

The former Derry striker’s frustration did not last long, as Omochere set him up for a clipped finish that seemingly ended the game as a contest moments later.

However, on 87 minutes, Sligo set up a nervy finish, thanks to substitute McDonnell’s first goal of the season — the ball broke to the former Ipswich youngster and his low, sweetly struck from the edge of the area found the corner of the net.

It was a rare positive moment in attack for Buckley’s side, who couldn’t create a chance to equalise in the five minutes of stoppage time, as Bohs picked up a deserved three points.

Bohemians: 1. James Talbot 19. Sam Packham (Murphy 31, Finnerty 83) 6. Jordan Doherty 5. Ciaran Kelly 3. Tyreke Wilson 10. Dawson Devoy 14. Conor Levingston 21. Jordan Flores 23. Kris Twardek (Coote 21) 20. Promise Omochere 7. Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.

Subs: 25. Tadhg Ryan 4. Rory Feely 8. Ali Coote 11. Liam Burt 12. Max Murphy 17. Ryan Cassidy 18. James Finnerty 22. Jamie Mullins 28. James McManus

Sligo Rovers: 1. Ed McGinty 3. Colm Horgan 4. Shane Blaney (Pijnaker) 26. Garry Buckley 5. Robbie McCourt 6. Greg Bolger 8. Niall Morahan (McDonnell 74) 7. Will Fitzgerald (Banks 74) 14. Karl O’Sullivan (Hamilton 74) 22. David Cawley 9. Aidan Keena (Heaney 83)

Subs: 30. Richard Brush 2. Lewis Banks 10. Jordan Hamilton 11. Seamas Keogh 12. Mark Byrne 17. Adam McDonnell 19. Paddy Kirk 25. Cillian Heaney 28.Nando Pijnaker.

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Limerick).

About the author:

Paul Fennessy  / reports from Dalymount Park

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