Bohemians' attacker, Keith Ward. Oisin Keniry/INPHO
Cup magic

'Wins like that don't come around too often' - Ward revels in derby-day victory over Shels

The Bohemians attacker helped his side pull off a dramatic comeback win in the FAI Cup.

WHEN SHANE FARRELL found the top corner to put Shelbourne 2-0 up at Dalymount Park on Friday night, all hope seemed lost.

The clock ticked into the final 10 minutes and, with the Bohemians defence at sea for both goals, an early exit from the FAI Cup beckoned for Keith Long’s men.

Chance after chance was squandered as the home side had pushed for an equalising goal following substitute Ciaran Kilduff’s opener just past the hour mark. It wasn’t until Keith Buckley’s composed finish on 85 minutes that the Gypsies really sparked to life.

What followed was a Bohs onslaught. Wave after wave of red and black attack swept through the visitors midfield and defence. In the 88th minute, talisman Danny Mandroiu found the equaliser.

Three minutes later, he produced the winner.

“Jesus yeah, I wasn’t expecting that when I came on at 1-0,” Bohs’ attacking midfielder Keith Ward told The42 after Friday’s game. “We’re delighted. It doesn’t matter how we get there. It’s a great win.

Going 2-0 down and against your rivals, a team lower than us. Not that that matters much, but I thought we showed a lot of character. We’ve got a lot of young lads still learning their trade here. Great young players.

“We haven’t been great since the break so the last few weeks have bee been disappointing for us. Especially losing at Harps last week. It’s great to send the fans away with a night like that – especially against your neighbours across the road.

“You see the supporters going wild. Wins like that don’t come around too often.”

Many Reds fans will argue that Mandroiu should not have been on the pitch following his lunging tackle on Lorcan Fitzgerald in the second half. Add to this the crucial dismissal of Jaze Kabia for a second yellow card in the dying minutes of the game which swung the momentum in favour of the home side, frustration for the visitors was palpable.

Daniel Mandroiu celebrates scoring his side's third goal with his teammates Daniel Mandroiu celebrates after scoring the winner against Shelbourne last Friday night. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

“We were actually playing all right, we just got caught on the counter attack with both goals. Shels set up like that so we knew that would be the case. It’s just disappointing seeing the goals and the way we conceded them.

Seeing the man get sent off and Shels drop off us, I knew that if we were able to get one we’d get another. Now, I didn’t think we’d get all three. But I was just thinking get one and at least we can ask the question.

“You’re in their head in the last 10 minutes against 10 men and you’re just pumping ball in. It’s tough. They looked a bit tired toward the end.”

The victory was an important one for the Premier Division side following their disappointing run of results in recent weeks.

Defeats against UCD and Finn Harps, two teams occupying the relegation places in the table, coupled with draws against Derry City, Cork City and Sligo Rovers saw them pick up just six points from a possible 18 since the start of July. Their lack of form also saw them slip behind Derry in the race for European football.

“Hopefully we can kick on. We’ve been poor the last few weeks but since I’ve been here we’ve finished seasons well.”

Bohemians welcome UCD to Dalymount Park this Friday night before a trip to rivals Shamrock Rovers at the end of the month.

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