Goals in either half from Christy Fagan and Killian Brennan saw Bohemians earn a comfortable 2-0 win over a depleted and rudderless Galway United at Dalymount Park on Friday night.
Galway arrived to Phibsboro with only three substitutes and on the back of a fifteen game losing streak, so United boss Sean Connor probably knew his charges would be in for a tough encounter at his former club.
Bohemians heaped on the misery early for the Tribesmen, opening the scoring after only 75 seconds. A throw-in from debutant Mark O’Reilly on the right hand side bounced into the path of Christy Fagan who struck a half volley past Conor Wynn, to continue his fine run of recent form.
Bohs certainly did not rest on their laurels after that flying start, with Fagan almost in for a quick-fire double, only to be denied a certain goal by Paul Sinnott, having already round Galway’s ‘keeper. Galway were struggling to deal with wave after wave of Bohemians attack and Fagan and Flood were denied by last-ditch blocks to keep the score-line at 1-0.
Conor Wynn in the United goal was kept busy, stopping Killian Brennan drive, and produced a good save from a flicked header by Anto Flood, following a fine cross by Brennan from the left.
After fifteen minutes of relentless of Bohs pressure Galway finally got a foot-hold in the game, and strung together a few passes in midfield. However, they never threatened Barry Murphy’s goal in the first half.
The home side, still in command, did lift the tempo briefly around the half-hour mark, resulting in three chances in succession. Flood, O’Brien and Brennan all being denied.
The best the visitors could manage offensively in the first half was an over-hit cross from deep by left back Stephen Walsh which forced Murphy to back track to the goal line to collect.
The half-time whistle blew soon after, with Pat Fenlon’s men probably feeling that they should have been more than one goal in front.
The second half did not bring a change of fortune for Galway, as Bohs toyed with their opponents for long periods, creating chances almost at will. Ger O’Brien having the first attempt at goal after 49 minutes, but his drive from outside the box was straight at Wynn in the Galway goal.
After a lull in the match Bohs again created a series of chances, each falling to Christy Fagan, who remarkably hit the post three times in three minutes around the hour mark. Wynn was beaten on each occasion but was rescued by the frame of the goal.
With fifteen minutes remaining in the match, Bohemians finally got a second goal that sealed their fourth victory on the bounce.
Substitute Aidan Downes cut in to the area from the left side but was dragged to the ground by Galway skipper Paul Sinnott, leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty and a yellow card to Sinnott. Killian Brennan stepped up to coolly beat Wynn by sending his spot kick to the roof of the net.
Galway’s best chance of a forgettable night came when Bohs keeper Brian Murphy’s failed clearance almost let Gilmore in, but Aidan Price was there to mop up.
The home side played out time from there in, creating a few half chances on the way, Downes coming closest with his scooped effort that almost lobbed Wynn.
The final whistle probably brought some relief for Galway, who must try to regroup in very testing circumstances, while Bohs can look forward to their Europa League trip to Ljubljana on Thursday on the back of their best spell of form since they last won the league in 2009.
Bohemians: Barry Murphy; Mark O’Reilly (Kevin Feely, 90), Liam Burns, Aidan Price, Ollie Cahill (c); Keith Buckley, Stephen Traynor (Chris Forrester, 66), Ger O’Brien, Killian Brennan; Christy Fagan (Aidan Downes, 66), Anto Flood.
Subs not used: Craig Sexton, Gary Burke, Roberto Lopes, Shane Keely.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Evan Preston Kelly, Paul Sinnott (c), Eric Browne, Stephen Walsh (Rory Gartlan, 92); Bobby Ryan, Gary Kelly, Alan Murphy, Eduardo Dusi; Ronan Cauldwell, Mikey Gilmore (Gerard Cheevers, 84).
Subs not used: Darragh Duggan.
Bookings: Gilmore (16), Sinnott (74).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Attendance: 1,000 (estimate).
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ger O’Brien (Bohemians). Always positive with his use of the ball on the night, creating opportunities and had a few chances himself.