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Friday 15 December 2017

Why Adam Evans is heaven sent for surprise leaders Bohs

Adam Evans, Bohemians, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game
Adam Evans, Bohemians, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game

BOHEMIANS boss Keith Long says he's delighted with the progress of young forward Adam Evans this season as the Gypsies have progressed to the top of the league table.

Dundalk's manager Stephen Kenny takes his side back to his old stomping ground of Dalymount Park tonight, a welcoming venue for Kenny since his move to Dundalk as his side taken seven points from a possible nine in Dublin 7 over the last two seasons.

Bohs and Dundalk are the form sides of 2015, both with maximum points and three clean sheets from three league games, and few of the Bohs faithful expected their second home game of the season to be a top of the table clash.

Youngster Evans, back in Dublin after spells in England and Scotland, has played a big part after being a fringe figure last term, scoring two goals so far including the only goal of the game away to Bray last Saturday, and boss Long is full of praise for the ex-Burnley man.

"I'm really happy for Adam. He is unproven in the League of Ireland. I knew him as a school-boy player with Belvedere, when he was highly thought of," said Long.

"He has always had lightning pace. He's a young man and he will mature and adapt to the pace and physicality of League of Ireland football.

"He is seeing the benefits of the pre-season with the team, and now he has the greater confidence that comes from scoring goals."

After some poor pre-season for, Bohs have emerged with a tight defence, no goals conceded in three league and two cup games so far, and defensive options will increase for Long when injured defenders Dan Byrne and Dave Mulcahy return.

But champions Dundalk are also very stingy at the back, their latest shut-out (as the Americans call it) in last Friday's 3-0 dismissal of St Patrick's Athletic.

"Three wins, three clean sheets and we're all happy with that," said Dundalk skipper Andy Boyle ahead of the trip to face Bohs.

"I think we deserved the win last week, to score three and keep the clean sheet, it was a good night for us. We have got goals all around the team, you can see that.

"It's a big week for us. We said that before the game the other night and to get three points first off was a good start for us. We have Bohemians up next and they have had a great start as well so we know that will be another difficult game, tough match but we're looking forward to it," added Boyle.

St Pats boss Liam Buckley has called on his side to come up with an instant response to that loss last week, the FAI Cup holders at home to Derry City tonight.

"We were all very disappointed about the loss to Dundalk on Friday," Buckley said.

"We've got to bounce back though and we can do that starting tonight by going out and getting a result. We know Derry are a very good side and they've a lot of local players who are very talented. But we've to concentrate on ourselves, and if we do things right, we'll hopefully get a result."

Also tonight, former comrades Owen Heary and Pet Fenlon will compete when Shamrock Rovers head for the Showgrounds.

Sligo's start to the season has been underwhelming but Heary expects his side to click.

"The results will start to come and people will start to see the difference, the team is new but they are doing things properly and I keep saying it will turn for us," says the Sligo boss.

"From the start of the season to the end of this week will have played four of the top teams that will be up there so it's a challenge."

It's also a challenge for Kenny to take on his old mentor Fenlon. "Pat, to me, is the best manager in the country and that is what I want to go and achieve over the next couple of years," added Heary.

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