Bohemians suffered another night of misery at Dalymount Park as they were totally out played particularly in the first half by an impressive Crusaders side. This two-nil loss now means Bohemians have lost their first three league games while also crashing out of the Leinster Senior Cup and now the Setanta Cup.
“The Hatchetmen” from North of the border did not take long to get their noses in front in this game. After only four minutes they had taken the lead after a howler from Bohemians defender Kevin Feely. His misjudgement allowed Declan Caddell in on goal and despite getting a hand to the shot, Bohemians keeper Craig Sexton could not keep the effort out.
Crusaders were almost in again on 10 minutes when Chris Morrow failed to connect with an excellent corner from Stuart Dallas. All the noise was coming from the Crusaders fans as they could see their team was in the ascendancy.
Bohs threatened the Crusaders goal occasionally in the first half, the best of these efforts being a wild shot from Dave Scully and a header from Evan McMilian. However, Crusaders were the only team creating clear cut chances. Jordan Owens went close on 33 minutes before David McMaster made it 2-nil on 36 minutes. Declan Caddell was involved again and it was excellent pass which found McMaster in the box. He finished expertly and gave the travelling supporters further reason to cheer.
Bohemians needed to change things to get back into this game and at half time they made a double substitute. Dwayne Wilson and Dave Mulcahy came on as Dave Scully and Keith Buckley made way. This lead to an overhaul of the team as Kevin Feely was pushed from central defence into a striker’s role. The Gypsies ploy was to use his height to play a more direct brand of football.
There was no doubt this change of tactic brought Bohs back into the game as they began to control possession in the second half and force Crusaders back.
Crusaders seemed happy to defend their two goal lead and attempt to hit Bohemians on the break. Chances for Caddell and Owens early in second half showed that Crusaders continued to pose a threat. .
As Bohemians continued to exert pressure in the second half they gained a number of corner kicks and free kicks in dangerous positions. It was from one such cross in the 76thminute that Bohemians almost got a goal back. Dwayne Wilson’s back post header went narrowly wide. Defender turned striker, Kevin Feely had a good chance on 83 minutes but Sean O’Neill palmed his shot from the edge of the box around the post.
To make matters worse Bohemians ended the game with ten men when Derek Pender got a second yellow card in injury time. He was harshly adjudged to have had his feet two high when attempting a spectacular volley. Crusaders progress to the semi final stage of the Setanta Cup for the first time where they will face Sligo Rovers. For Bohemians there season has yet to ignite, maybe a Dublin derby against St. Pats on Sunday will give them the motivation they need.
Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Derek Pender, Evan McMilan, Kevin Feely, Ryan McEvoy (Dan Mahon '79); Neil Harney, Keith Buckley (Dave Mulcahy '46), Peter McMahon, Adam Martin; Dave Scully (Dwyane Wilson '46), John O’Connor.
Subs not used: Andy McNulty (GK), Karl Moore , Michael Barker, Dinny Corcoran.
Bookings: Derek Pender (33), John O’Connor (52), Neil Harney (78), Derek Pender (91).
Sendings Off: Derek Pender (91)
Crusaders: Sean O’Neill; Paul Leeman (Matthew Snoddy '67), David Magowan, Colin Coates, Chris Morrow; Ciaran Gargan, Declan Caddell, Stuart Dallas, David McMaster; Aiden Watson (Gareth McKeon '45), Jordan Owens.
Subs not used: David Gibson (GK), Ryan McCann, David Rainey, Michael Halliday, Matt Hazley.
Bookings: Colin Coates (67), Chris Morrow (71).
Referee: Rob Rogers
Attendance: 1,000 (Estimate)
Extratime.ie man of the match: Declan Caddall