herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Byrne's own goal sees Bohs suffer

Bohemians 1 Limerick 2

Bohs manager Keith Long
Bohs manager Keith Long

Bohemians remain unable to put distance between themselves and the relegation zone after an own goal inflicted another defeat on the Phibsboro club last night.

Bohs defender Dan Byrne is a life-long supporter of the club but his intervention nine minutes from time proved to be the pivotal moment in this 2-1 win for Limerick away to the Gypsies.

Plans for a top six/bottom six split in the league have been mooted, again, but the 2017 season is playing out that way already, with a gap now emerging between Limerick - safely in sixth position in the table - and the teams below them.

Danger

With seven defeats in the last nine, Bohs are close to the bottom three, and the danger is that seventh-placed Bohs and the teams beneath them will battle on in that relegation fight for the next few months.

Having come from behind, Bohs had looked like they'd done enough to salvage a draw, while never looking like winning the game, only for that own goal to do the damage.

Bohs have put their supporters through some misery in a season with more downs than ups to date and, early in the first half, it looked like this would be another night of misery for the home side.

With the first real chance of the game, Limerick took the lead on 16 minutes, thanks to Brazilian import Rodrigo Tosi. Bastien Hery floated in a free kick, Robbie Williams got a touch onto the ball which fell perfectly for Tosi and he headed past Shane Supple, his seventh goal of the season.

Bohs, who had to reshape their defence when captain and right full Derek Pender suffered an injury in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Dylan Hayes, looked all at sea at times, sloppy in possession and lacking any real threat.

But on 31 minutes the home side were level. Georgie Poynton has struggled for goals - as have all Bohs players bar Dinny Corcoran - since he moved on a season-long loan deal from Dundalk.

Yet Poynton did well to pick up on a good cross from the lively Keith Ward and the U19 cap came up with an impressive finish.

That sparked Bohs into life, Ward and Oscar Brennan on the attack and posing a threat to Freddy Hall's goal.

But Bohs lacked that spark in the second half, unable to make Hall - in for the suspended Brendan Clarke - worry too much, though Hall was needed to make a save a point-blank range from Paddy Kavanagh on 68 minutes.

Limerick were the side more likely to score but they got their winner from a Bohs man. Centre half Byrne was trying to guide a headed effort from Chiedozie Ogbene out to safety but instead he managed to shuffle it into the net.

There was worse to come for Bohs as defender Hayes was sent off for a challenge on the impressive Ogebene in added time and a last-gasp free from Poynton was blocked by the Limerick wall, Bohs now aiming to lift spirit for Friday's trip to play Galway.

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