- U19 Euros G10
- U19 Euros G10
- NL D Grp 1
- NL D Grp 4
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- NL C Grp 3
- NL B Grp 1
- NL D Grp 1
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Bohemians ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against amateur outfit Drogheda Town to book their place in the fourth round of the FAI Ford Cup at Dalymount Park. First half goals from John Paul Kelly and substitute Jason Byrne put the Gypsies on their way, before Byrne grabbed his second in the dying minutes.
Bohs really should have scored several more, but a combination of a man-of-the-match performance from Drogheda Town goalkeeper Gabrielle Sava and some lacklustre finishing ensured the scoreline remained respectable.
Premier League leaders Bohs went into the game on the back of a 13 game unbeaten run. Nevertheless, manager Pat Fenlon showed just how seriously he was taking the game by naming a virtually full strength side. He made just two changes form the side which defeated Sligo Rovers last weekend with Jason McGuinness replacing Ken Oman in defence and Stephen O'Donnell returning to the starting lineup in place of Jason Byrne having served his one match suspension. For Drogheda, Sean Brennan lined out on the right side of midfield directly opposite older brother Killian.
Drogheda forced a brace of corners in the opening two minutes, but it was to be as close as they were to come to threatening the Bohs rearguard in an opening half which saw Pat Fenlon's men play some of their best football of the season so far. Glenn Cronin was first to threaten for the home side with a header from ten yards on six minutes. Kelly then went even closer for the home side when he burst in behind the Drogheda defence before clipping the top of the crossbar with a fierce strike from the edge of the box.
The warning signs were there for the away side, but they failed to heed notice as Bohs grabbed a deserved opener on 12 minutes. In truth, there was little the Town defence could have done about it as a sublime move from Bohemians involving no less than five one touch passes ended with Kelly slamming the ball past Town keeper Gabrielle Sava from 18-yards.
Kelly had the ball in the net again ten minutes later but referee Derek Tomney had already blown his whistle for a foul on Kelly on the edge of the box. The home fans were incensed, not only that advantage hadn't been played but also because the foul looked to have taken place inside the box. Brennan curled the resulting free-kick narrowly wide.
Drogheda were failing to pick up Kelly's maurauding runs from midfield. The former Liverpool youngster got in behind again the Town defence just before the half hour when he latched on to Fenn's ball before dragging the ball around Sabbatini inside the six yard box and with the goal at his mercy he somehow contrived to shoot straight into the arms of the Italian who had scrambled back.
Kelly then turned provider on 38 minutes when his cross from the right found Fenn in acres of space whose looping header forced Sava into a fine save.
Bohs weren't to be denied a second for too much longer though. On 39 minutes, Byrne, on just moments earlier for the injured Liam Burns, latched on to a long ball before coolly blasting a swerving shot into the corner of the net.
The one way traffic continued and bar for the heroics of Sava in the Drogheda goal, Bohs would have gone in at half-time out of sight. In the closing minutes of the half he pulled off two fine stops, first to deny the lively Killian Brennan and then Byrne.
Bohs continued to dominate after the break with Cronin firing over before the inspired Sava again came to his side's rescue, throwing himself at the feet of Byrne to deny the striker his second of the night from close range. The 21-year old bricklayer was showing exactly why he was once on the books of Serie A giants Lazio. Glen Crowe and Fenn then both went close before McGuinness had a header cleared off the line.
It took Drogheda until just after the hour mark to create their first chance of note. Sean Brennan was pulled back by his brother on the edge of the Bohs area and the resulting free-kick from Paul Matondo took a wicked deflection off a Bohs defender before spinning narrowly wide.
Normal service resumed soon after though with Crowe, Byrne, Kelly and subsitute Harpal Singh all going close. Just as the Bohs players looked to have lost all hope of adding to their tally, Byrne broke in behind the Drogheda defence on 87 minutes before flicking the ball over the head of the out-rushing Sava and into the vacant net. Singh struck a post in the dying seconds, but Bohs had to make do with just three goals on a night when they could quite easily have hit double figures.
Bohemians: Brian Murphy; Owen Heary, Liam Burns (Jason Byrne 33), Jason McGuinness, Mark Rossiter; John Paul Kelly, Glenn Cronin, Stephen O'Donnell, Killian Brennan (Harpal Singh 80); Glen Crowe, Neale Fenn (Darren Mansaram 67).
Subs not used: Chris Konopka, Chris Turner, Michael McGinley, Thomas Heary.
Booked: K Brennan.
Drogheda Town: Gabriel Sava; Martin Fitzpatrick, John Downey, Alan Connor (Danny Gartland 89), Kevin Farrell; Sean Brennan, Paul Fitzpatrick, Brian Kerins (Rodney Craig 89), Paddy Murtagh (Trevor Harding 79), Paul Matondo; Andrew Tinley.
Subs not used: Kenneth Shevlin, Kevin Walsh, Tony King.
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Man of the match: Gabriel Sava (Drogheda Town).