Rebuilt Bohs hit ground running
NO DOUBT there will be stiffer tests ahead for Bohemians in what's bound to be a very trying season for Aaron Callaghan's new-look side.
But the early signs are very promising from Bohs as they started the new season with a 2-1 win over an experienced Portadown side in the first leg of their Setanta Sports Cup first round tie at Dalymount Park last night.
New boss Callaghan reckons that his side's goals, from debut boys Dinny Corcoran and Karl Moore, were good enough to grace any stage and it's fortunate for the duo that the TV cameras were there to capture the moments, the crucial goal from former Manchester City man Moore on 58 minutes a real moment of magic on a very boggy Dalymount pitch.
"The second goal was out of this world. If you saw that in La Liga you'd be drooling over it, and Karl Moore is capable of doing that," said Callaghan.
For fellow newcomer Corcoran, it was also a night to savour as he marked his debut -- and 23rd birthday -- with a goal.
"It's about as good a start as you could ask for, to win the first competitive game of the season, but I suppose it was even more special for me to score on my birthday, I think you can call that a dream debut," said Corcoran, a close-season signing from Drogheda United.
"I think we surprised ourselves with how good we were. That was our first game of the year and Portadown are in mid-season, but we matched them in every department.
"We were a bit nervous at the start. There are a lot of new players in the team and we still don't know each other that well, but we settled down, played well and I think we'll only get better as time goes on."
As expected with such a new-look side -- Bohs had six debutants in the side's starting XI last night -- it took the Gypsies time to settle, especially at the back where youngsters Kevin Feely and Luke Byrne struggled to get onto the same wavelength as their team-mates.
Bohs grew in confidence as time passed and Corcoran put them in front just before the half-time break, beating keeper David Miskelly with a well-taken lob from long range.
And on 58 minutes local lad Moore, who played for UCD, Galway United and Shamrock Rovers after his exit from Manchester City, put Bohs 2-0 up with a stunning strike.
Kevin Braniff got Portadown back into the game on the hour mark with a header, but Bohs and 'keeper Sexton held on for a win which sets up the Gypsies for next week's away leg in Shamrock Park.
"It was a nice confidence-booster to go anywhere and win your first game, but particularly the way we did it. That was our first real competitive game," added Callaghan, who completed the signing of Adam Martin from Slough Town late last night.