Tuesday 25 October 2016

Aymen to that as Bohs boss town

Bohemians 2 Longford Ttown 0

Bohs’ Keith Buckley celebrates his goal
Bohs’ Keith Buckley celebrates his goal

It has taken them a few weeks but Bohemians may finally be finding their feet in the 2016 season as a 2-0 win at home to Longford Town last night could be a sign of life from the Phibsboro club.

Four points from the first five games of the campaign was, clearly, not the sort of form which would help Keith Long's side achieve their aim of bettering last year's top-five finish but last night's victory in front of 1,340 supporters - a win inspired by Aymen Ben Mohammed - will at least lift Bohemian spirits ahead of their next big test, at home to Shamrock Rovers in a fortnight.


Both wins from the Gypsies this season have come against teams from below them in the table, and their success last season was built on their ability to take on sides like Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers, Bohs the only side to beat Dundalk on their way to the 2015 title.

After next week's trip to Bray, the rest of April sees the Gypsies take on the top three of Dundalk, Rovers and Derry City, so bigger tests await, but they will draw confidence from this win, though manager Long can only hope that the injury sustained by captain Derek Pender 12 minutes from time is not a serious one as his absence for more than half of last season was badly felt.

Bohs started slowly at home to Longford and the away side looked comfortable, though the loss of ex-Bohs man Keelan Dillon to injury after only 15 minutes will have harmed Longford's game plan.

But it was Longford who looked more likely to score. Bohs needed a big save from keeper Dean Delany to deny Josh O'Hanlon on 21 minutes and two defensive errors in quick succession should have seen Bohs fall behind. On 31 minutes, Eoin Wearen lost possession, the ball came to sub Kaleem Simon but his effort was just wide.

Four minutes later it was the turn of defender Dan Byrne to lose concentration and gift the ball to the away side and while O'Hanlon did well to dispossess Byrne, he was not on the same wavelength as strike partner David O'Sullivan and the danger passed. Bohs had an instant response as Paddy Kavanagh struck the upright in a swift counter-attack.

But two goals just before the break put Bohs in control. On 42 minutes, Aymen Ben Mohammed's superb pass was the opening that Keith Buckley needed, and the long-serving Buckley chipped the ball over goalkeeper Paul Skinner.

And in first-half injury-time Bohs had the game wrapped up with a second goal, Derek Pender the creator with a well-placed cross which was met at the far post by the unmarked Ben Mohammed.

The goals knocked Longford off course and with Kurtis Byrne on as a sub to buttress their attack, the home side looked strong and in control, though the Pender injury will be a worry ahead of that testing month.

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