Bohemians slipped to their third home defeat of the season after a late Keith Ward free-kick proved only a consolation, with Derry City claiming all three points at Dalymount Park.
The Candystripes scored two second half goals to punish a Bohs side that rarely threatened Ger Doherty in the Derry goal.
The Gypsies were left to rue what they perceived as a poor performance from referee Rob Rogers, who gave an innocuous penalty to Derry with the game still poised at 1-0 to the visitors. Patrick McEleney tucked away the spot kick, much to the chagrin of the home fans. Bohs boss Aaron Callaghan had already been sent to the stands for protesting against the decision which led to Derry’s first goal, a Stephen McLaughlin header from a well worked set-piece.
President Michael D Higgins was in the stand, but he couldn’t have been impressed with a first half which barely saw a shot on target from either side. Bohs had perhaps the better of it, but lone striker John O’Connor, not much taller than the President himself, found it difficult to influence the game.
Also in attendance were Poland-bound duo Keith Fahey and James McClean. The former Derry man would have been impressed with his old side’s second half performance, which was clinical.
Bohs huffed and puffed for periods in the game but could never really create a clear-cut chance. Their best opening came just before the hour mark when a loose ball across the box fell to Keith Ward, but his shot was stopped by the legs of Doherty.
Gypsies manager Callaghan was incensed with the decision that led to the opener on 66 minutes. Debutant Philip McCabe fouled Derry’s David McDaid right in the corner. It looked soft but the free was given and the delivery was exquisite. Dermot McCaffrey’s wicked in-swinger was flicked in at the near post by Stephen McLaughlin. Craig Sexton would be a little disappointed in the Bohs goal, the ball flew past him but seemed to go through him.
It was another sloppy set-piece goal conceded by the Gypsies – that’s three out of the last four from set plays. Aaron Callaghan was sent to join An tÚachtaráin in the stands after the goal. His protests were too much for referee Rob Rogers and he saw red for the second time this season.
Rogers didn’t endear himself any further to the Bohs faithful when he awarded a penalty eleven minutes later. He penalized Evan McMillan for what was presumably a tug or a push and Patrick McEleney didn’t hang around to ask questions – he fired the penalty low past Sexton into the bottom corner.
Bohs did mount some pressure in the final minutes of the game and got a deserved goal in the 94th minute when Keith Ward curled a sublime 25-yard free kick past Doherty. As usual, it was a peach of a goal for Bohs, but unfortunately for them – it was too little, too late.
Declan Devine will be delighted with his Derry side, who have bounced back from their Setanta Cup heartache with two excellent away wins. They take on Bray Wanderers on Monday with another three points in mind. Bohs now face a daunting run of fixtures. They travel to Shelbourne on Monday before league games against Sligo, St Pats and Shamrock Rovers. With Monaghan winning tonight, Callaghan will be looking anxiously at the table.
Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Derek Pender, Evan McMillan, Philip McCabe (Michael Barker, 70), Kevin Feely; Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy, Keith Buckley, Keith Ward, Karl Moore (Dwayne Wilson, 64); John O'Connor (Dave Scully, 77).
Subs not used: Greg Murray, Peter McMahon, Adam Martin, Stephen Traynor.
Bookings: Moore (19), E McMillan (76).
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney, Dermot McCaffrey; Patrick McEleney, Ruaidhri Higgins, Stephen McLaughlin, Owen Morrison (Michael Barr, 83); David McDaid, Rory Patterson (Ryan Curran, 46).
Subs not used: Caoimhinn Bonner, Matthew Crossan, Eugene Ferry, Eddie McCallion, Brian McGroary.
Bookings: McDaid (46), R McBride (90+3).
Referee: Rob Rogers.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match - Patrick McEleney