Bohemians continued their good run of form with a comfortable victory over basement club Galway United at a rain soaked Terryland Park. A brace from Christy Fagan followed a sublime Killian Brennan free kick as the Gypsies kept the pressure on the teams above them in the Airtricity League Premier Division. The game was still in the balance when referee Rob Rogers gave Galway’s Stephen Walsh his marching orders just before the hour. Within a minute Bohs doubled their advantage and the game was over as a contest.
The much maligned home side started the game brightly. New manager John “Jumbo” Brennan had his men fired up and they won the first few 50-50 challenges. But the early good work was undone on nine minutes by a piece of brilliance from Bohs’ talisman Killian Brennan. Keith Buckley was fouled 30 yards from goal and Brennan smashed the free kick into the top corner. Galway keeper Conor Winn tried to get near it but had no chance of stopping the thunderbolt. Just two minutes later Stephen Walsh lunged in on Liam Burns, injuring the big Bohs centre half. Burns tried to play on but was replaced by Ollie Cahill. Bohs manager Pat Fenlon will be sweating over Burns’ fitness with crucial league games and an FAI Cup semi-final coming up.
Galway’s best moment came on 16 minutes. Right back Paul Sinnott ventured forward, played a one-two with Oscar Sibanda and unleashed a cracking shot. Bohs’ keeper Barry Murphy reacted brilliantly to push the ball onto the crossbar. Unfortunately for Galway, it was the only time in the 90 minutes that Murphy was tested. Bohs controlled most of the first half possession, with Christy Fagan dangerous in behind the Galway defence. The slippy surface denied him on two occasions, however. Half time came with Bohs a little frustrated, and Jumbo Brennan would definitely have been the happier manager. His side look a lot more organised than they did under Sean Connor.
Fagan again threatened early in the second half, but his control let him down at the vital time as he bore down on goal. Then came the game’s big talking point. Stephen Walsh fouled Killian Brennan, and as the Bohs winger attempted to take a quick free, Walsh blocked the ball. A silly act of petulance which referee Rogers rewarded with a second yellow card. Less than a minute later, Fagan received the ball in the box from Buckley and was hauled down by Laurence Gaughan. The former Man Utd striker took the penalty himself, sending Winn the wrong way and effectively ending the contest.
Bohs noticeably took their foot off the gas after that. Anto Flood came on for Buckley and had some joy down the right flank. With three minutes remaining he cut inside and saw his initial shot blocked by Winn. He poked the rebound towards Fagan, who got the slightest of touches to round off a convincing win. Indeed the victory is Bohs’ best in the league this season, the first time they have won by three clear goals. For Galway its 24 defeats in 25, and likely they will be officially relegated next week. Bohs go to face UCD on Monday with the teams above them well and truly in their sights.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Laurence Gaughan, Paul Sinnott, Yob Son, Eduardo Dusi (Eric Browne 81); Bobby Ryan (Sean Kelly 70), Stephen Walsh, Gary Kelly, Oscar Sibanda; Alan Murphy, Ronan Cauldwell (Mikey Gilmore 61).
Unused Subs: John Egan, Jin Gu Kim, Rory Gartlan, Willie Enubele.
Bookings: Walsh (11).
Sent Off: Walsh (56).
Bohemians: Barry Murphy; Ger O’Brien, Aidan Price, Liam Burns (Ollie Cahill 36), Mark Rossiter; Keith Buckley (Anto Flood 59), Stephen Hurley, Glenn Cronin, Stephen Traynor, Killian Brennan (Robert Bayly 73); Christy Fagan.
Unused Subs: Craig Sexton, Aidan Downes, Kevin Feely, Lee Dixon.
Bookings: Traynor (32), Buckley (37).
Referee: Rob Rogers.
Extratime Man of the Match: Christy Fagan: a constant threat and he took his goals well.