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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 6 July, 2020

Talbot the hero as Bohs beat Longford on penalties to reach FAI Cup quarters

A bad week got worse for the visitors following the departure of manager Neale Fenn.

Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot impressed.
Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot impressed.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Bohemian FC: 1

Longford Town FC: 1

Bohs win 5-4 on penalties

Darryl Geraghty reports from Dalymount Park.

BOHEMIANS NEEDED PENALTIES to decide an epic FAI Cup second-round tie with James Talbot the hero, saving the crucial penalty from opposing number Lee Steacy.

After a dramatic week both on and off the pitch, firstly losing to title rivals Shelbourne at home and the shock exit of boss Neale Fenn, who looks Cork City-bound, Longford Town travelled to Phibsborough with nothing to lose and certainly played like it.

It was all the visitors in the opening exchanges, dominating the ball, while frustrating both home fans and players alike. Dean Byrne had a good chance from the edge of the area, but shot straight at James Talbot.

Bohs, who have had quite a dramatic week of their own, smashing their winning record, putting 10 past UCD, only to be on the end of a subsequent battering up at Oriel Park, eventually grew into the game.

It took until a half hour played for the night’s first real moment of drama, as James Finnerty’s back-post header looked to have crossed the line, before being scrambled behind. Neither official came to a decision as the players celebrated, but the corner was eventually given, as chants of “VAR” rang around Phibsboro.

The Gypsie faithful were then treated to one of the misses of the season. Danny Grant’s low cross was somehow turned wide by the unmarked Danny Mandroiu, as Bohs finished the half strongly. There was still time for Keith Buckley to burst through on goal from Mandroiu’s flick around the corner, but he shot straight at the grateful Lee Steacy.

Just after the break, Lee Steacy pulled off one of the saves of the season, showing incredible reactions to deny Danny Grant, who poked the ball goalwards from Danny Mandroiu’s whipped cross.

The end-to-end encounter somehow remained scoreless, thanks to some outstanding goalkeeping. Firstly, Talbot got down sharply to stop Aaron Dobs’ powerful strike, before Steacy, again, brilliantly denied Andre Wright with a fingertip save from a powerful header back across goal.

With just 15 minutes remaining in normal time, the visitors thought they had snatched the lead. Byrne burst into the box before lifting the ball past the on-rushing Talbot, only for Darragh Leahy to miraculously volley the ball up onto his own cross-bar and away from danger.

The Gypsies took the lead just after the re-start of extra time when Andre Wright expertly turned home with a fine first-time effort from a low cross.

Longford equalised almost immediately through Jack Doherty, who hit the top corner from the edge of the area, and although Talbot got his hand to it, there was no stopping the strike.

Neck and neck all the way through the shootout, up stepped Lee Steacy who struck to the right and an outstreched Talbot pushed the ball wide to send his side through in a game of fine margins.

Bohemian FC: James Talbot, Darragh Leahy, Rob Cornwall (Michael Barker 91’), Danny Mandroiu, Danny Grant (Ross Tierney 79’), Conor Levingston, Andre Wright, Keith Buckley (c) (Keith Ward 75’), Andy Lyons, James Finnerty, Luke Wade-Slater

Subs: Michael Kelly, Aaron Barry, Michael Barker, Keith Ward, Ross Tierney, Derek Pender, Scott Allardice.

Longford Town FC: Lee Steacy, Shane Elworthy, Anto Breslin, Mick McDonnell. Dean Zambra (c) (Karl Chambers 103’), Aaron Dobbs (Jack Doherty 86’), Conor Kenna, Aodh Dervin, Dean Byrne, Dylan Grimes (Peter Hopkins 72’), Sam Verdon

Subs: Peter Hopkins, Jack Doherty, Aaron McCabe, Paul O’Conor, Jack Menton, Karl Chambers, Joe Manley

Referee: Paul Tuite

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