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Dublin: 12°C Saturday 8 May 2021
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Longford complete improbable comeback to earn point at Bohemians

The newly-promoted side came from 2-0 down at Dalymount Park this afternoon.

Joe Gorman of Longford (left) battles with Ross Tierney of Bohs.
Joe Gorman of Longford (left) battles with Ross Tierney of Bohs.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Bohemians 2

Longford Town 2

Darryl Geraghty reports from Dalymount Park

THE EPITOME OF a game of two halves was played out at a chilly Dalymount Park, as Bohs blew a two goal lead to newly-promoted Longford Town.

The Gypsies led 2-0 at the break and were cruising thanks to goals from Georgie Kelly and Ross Tierney, but thanks to a second half brace from super-sub Conor Davis it was Daire Doyle and his troops leaving Phibsborough much the happier with the point.

Keith Long opted for one change from the disappointing opening night defeat on the road to Ollie Horgan’s now table-topping Finn Harps, with Keith Ward coming in for Ciaran Kelly, and in doing so reverting to his more familiar 4-2-3-1.

These sides’ last competitive meeting saw Bohs edge a hugely entertaining contest in the quarter final of the 2019 FAI Cup: James Talbot proved the hero that night, brilliantly denying opposite number Lee Steacy’s decisive penalty as the home side went through 5-4, after a 1-1 stalemate. 

Just like that evening there was little to choose between the sides in the opening exchanges.

The hosts then just started to lift the tempo slightly, moving the ball quicker to pin the visitors back, resulting in the breakthrough with 20 minutes played.

Liam Burt’s low cross was almost behind front man Georgie Kelly, but the talismanic striker showed his class to turn on a six-pence, control and finish with his left foot all in the one move under the helpless Steacy.

Just a minute later the home side thought they had doubled their lead, only to be met with an incredible double save from the busy Lee Steacy. Ross Tierney burst through the Longford defensive line and smashed his shot low to the left, and just as Liam Burt looked to follow up and tap home, he was met with the cat-like reflexes of Steacy to bravely block yet again.

The Gypsies were beginning to find their groove now, and got the second goal their pressure deserved as the diminutive Tierney sharply turned on the edge of the area and volleyed home superbly just before the half hour mark.

Last season’s runners-up sensed blood now and missed yet another glorious double chance to extend their lead as Georgie Kelly’s side foot strike was sharply saved, with Keith Buckley volleying over the rebound

Daire Doyle’s newly promoted visitors came flying out of the traps with a fantastic 2-0 home win against Derry City last week, and showed that they carried a threat with Joe Gorman looking dangerous from set pieces and the exciting Dean Byrne causing trouble down the left wing, having a good chance well saved by Talbot just before the break.

De Town were much improved in the second half and showed again just why they won’t be any pushovers this season with a much more spirited effort, and halved the deficit with 15 minutes remaining.

Bohs, a defender temporarily down due to a James Finnerty head injury and possibly showing signs of complacency with the two-goal cushion, were punished when a very casual Bastien Hery was dispossessed close to the edge of his own area by a tenacious Longford midfield. The ball spilled to substitute Conor Davis, who went on a fantastic dribble through the entire Bohs rearguard all by himself before smashing the ball low across James Talbot.

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Longford completed an incredible comeback that didn’t look likely based on their first-half performance when Davis snuck in at the back post to tap home to get his second. A tantalising low cross by Callum Warfiled was left by everyone in the Bohs defence but man of the moment Davis had another idea, gambling that it would come through and getting his rewards by tapping home.

A bitterly frustrating first home home for The Gypsies who will have to improve
greatly on the second half showing, but De Town showed a spirit and resolution that will no doubt serve as a threat to the rest of the division as the season progresses.

Bohemian FC: James Talbot, Anto Breslin, Rory Feely, Rob Cornwall, Ali Coote (Bastien Hery, 64’), Keith Ward (Thomas Oluwa, 76’), Liam Burt (Dawson Devoy, 76’), Georgie Kelly, Keith Buckley (c) , James Finnerty, Ross Tierney

Longford Town: Lee Steacy, Paddy Kirk, Dean Zambra (c) , Dylan Grimes, Sam Verdon (Callum Warfield, 59’), Aaron O’Driscoll, Aaron Bolger (Aaron Dobbs, 77’), Aodh Dervin, Karl Chambers (Aaron McNally, 77’), Dean Byrne (Conor Davis, 69’), Joe Gorman

Referee: Ben Connelly

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