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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Cup run is over for Bohemians

Bohemians 0-2 Derry City

Derry City's Nathan Boyle and Bohs' Derek Prendergast race for possession in last night's FAI Cup Third Round tie at Dalymount Park Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Derry City's Nathan Boyle and Bohs' Derek Prendergast race for possession in last night's FAI Cup Third Round tie at Dalymount Park Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Their younger supporters are still on their school holidays but the season is, effectively, already over for Bohemians after they limped out of the FAI Cup last night.

Derry City march on into the last-eight thanks to a 2-0 win in Dalymount Park with a goal in each half from Harry Monaghan and Nathan Boyle.

How Bohs found themselves 1-0 down at the break, having dominated the first half, was a mystery but over the 90 minutes the home side didn't do enough to merit a place in the quarter-finals, their defensive frailties evident in the concession of two soft goals.

Trouble

The Gypsies had overturned a 2-0 deficit at home to a side from the north-west earlier this week, beating Sligo Rovers 3-2, but there was no such comeback here, Bohs badly missing their attacking outlets Ismahil Akinade and Ayman Ben Mohamed as, once they'd gone 2-0 down, a tired-looking side failed to trouble Derry keeper Ger Doherty.

Well clear of the relegation zone but way off the pace in the hunt for a European spot, it's a diet of mid-table action for the next few months.

And it was a disastrous first half for the home side, Bohs losing two players to injury in the opening period as well as that goal from Monaghan.

The departure of right back Derek Pender on 33 minutes was a blow to the side but the loss of centre half Stephen Best just before the half-time whistle was cruel on a personal level.

The 19-year-old had impressed in the Bohs defence in recent weeks and this game was a chance to impress the watching Ireland U21 team boss Noel King, as he plans to pick his squad for a Euro qualifier against Slovenia next month.

Best had expressed his ambition to work his way into the U21 squad and he, and his club, and only now hope that his injury is short-term.

Bohs were defensively all at sea when Monaghan put Derry in front on 38 minutes. Derry had opted to make a change of their own, Spanish defender Cristian Cassels taken off after a difficult time on a debut which saw him earn a booking after only eight minutes.

Second after after that change was made, City went in front. Bohs failed to clear a free kick in by Conor McCormack, and Monaghan was left free to tap home a flick from Niclas Vemmelund for his first goal in four months, the Scottish player only recently available again after injury.

The home side, desperate for a Cup run to keep their season alive, had been on top for long spells in the first half.

Best should really have done better with a free header on five minutes, while on 21 minutes ex-Derry player Mark Quigley struck the crossbar from close range after he connected with Pender's cross, and on the half-hour mark another former Derry player in the Bohs side, Paddy Kavanagh, found himself in space but his effort was well wide.

Bohs keeper Dean Delany had been having a quiet night, bar a good save from Ronan Curtis in the 18th minute, but Delany was unable to keep out Monaghan's effort.

Any hope of a revival for the home side after the break ended just two minutes into the second half when Nathan Boyle profited from more slack defending to fire past Delany, his second goal in three games.

Keith Buckley wasted an opportunity on the break on 55 minutes, Lorcan Fitzgerald and Dan Byrne went close, and sub Dean O'Halloran showed some signs of life, while on 87 minutes a Kavanagh shot came off the post.

Sub Rory Patterson was wasteful for City late on, but this exotic City side, featuring a Dane, a Spaniard and an Austrian, deserved their win.

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