Bohemians took a step back from their League of Ireland duties on Saturday afternoon as they played host to English League 2 side Portsmouth, in an entertaining friendly fixture at Dalymount Park.
First-hald Goals from Danny Rose and Conor Chaplin gave Portsmouth a deserved 2-0 victory as Paul Cooke’s side dominated the majority of proceedings.
It was Cooke’s first visit to Dalymount since 2012 as the man who led Sligo Rovers to two consecutive FAI Cup wins in 2010 and 2011 continued Pompey’s preparations for their upcoming 2016/17 season against his former foes.
With Bohemians having played only one night previously against Bray Wanderers, Keith Long named a very much experimental lineup with Paddy Kavanagh the only man to save his starting place from the stalemate against Bray Wanderers.
One name which stood out in the Portsmouth starting 11 was former Shamrock Rovers star Enda Stevens who began at left back for the Blues.
Inside five minutes Drew Talbot floated a hazardous ball into the Bohs box which found its way to the feet of Carl Baker whose quick-fire shot was well-saved by the feet of Shane Supple.
Cooke’s henches continued to control the majority of the play as the half progressed with Kyle Bennett looking particularly impressive in the hole behind their forward line.
Their next chance fell on the 20th minute mark when Milan Lalkovic displayed excellent feet to skip by the challenge of Warren O’Hora before arrowing a shot low, however, Supple again did well to make the solid stop.
Four minutes later, Portsmouth should have been one nil to the good after Chaplin broke away from Stephen Best to have a clear path on goal. After taking the ball by Supple, he squared it across to Baker, however, his shot was superbly blocked off the line by Dave Mulcahy.
There was cause for concern for the Bohemian bench as midway through the first-half Best took a heavy challenge before falling awkwardly forcing the young defender to be stretchered off the field.
On 33 minutes Portsmouth found their opener. Lalkovic disposed the newly introduced Roberto Lopes high up the pitch before nicking it wide to an oncoming Rose. Rose then rather cunningly dinked the ball over Supple and into the back of the net from an acute angle.
Five minutes before the break Pompey were inches from doubling their advantage. Chaplin cut inside before curling his shot towards the far post only for Supple to get an outstretched hand to the ball to tip it away to safety.
Inside first-half stoppage time Chaplin ensured that the Blues would indeed take a two nil lead into the break after he capitalized on a poor pass from Mulcahy back to Supple to round the ‘keeper before passing it into an empty net.
Straight from tip-off Chaplin almost added a third, however, he blazed the ball over from close-range.
The Gypsies began the second-half on a brighter note with Aymen Ben Mohamed forcing a decent save from Michael Crowe following some excellent buildup play from Ian Morris inside the Portsmouth D.
Minutes later Mohamed found space down the middle of the pitch before dinking a delightful ball onto the foot of Mark Quigley whose first-time volley was well-saved by Crowe.
The pace of the game began to slow as the half progressed with Pompey happy to go through the motions as they enjoyed a large chunk of the possession.
However, Long’s men were seeing a lot more of the ball than in the opening period with Quigley dropping into the midfield and doing well to link-up neat passages of play.
Chances were on the periphery of the game as both sides made numerous substitutions which hampered the flow of the game.
Six minutes from the end, a rare opportunity fell to Brandon Haunstrup whose pacey shot tested Supple’s ball-handling ability with the ‘keeper doing well to take it deep into his grasp.
On 87 minutes, a long ball from Christian Burgess found Ben Tollitt who fired a shot towards the bottom corner, however, Supple did well to push it away.
From the corner Tollitt found Gary Roberts whose shot narrowly flung above the mark as Pompey enjoyed a late string of chances.
This would prove to be the final act of the half as the final whistle was blown to give the visitors the win to take back across the Irish Sea.
Home team: Shane Supple, Stephen Best (Roberto Lopes 31), Jason Caffrey (Cian Flynn 81), Warren O’Hora (Jamie Hollywood 77), Lorcan Fitzgerald (Jake Kelly 15 (Ismahil Akinade 77)), Ayman Ben Mohamed (Ryan Graydon 74), Dave Mulcahy, Paddy Kavanagh (Keith Buckley 46), James Kavanagh, Ian Morris, Mark Quigley
Subs not used: Luca Gratzer, Kurtis Byrne,
Portsmouth: Michael Crowe (Alex Bass 69), Drew Talbot (Christopher Sessengion 72), Christian Burgess, Adam Barton (Jack Whatmough 69),Enda Stevens, Danny Rose, Michael Doyle, Milan Lalkovic (Brandon Haunstrup 69), Carl Baker (Adam May 77), Kyle Bennett (Gary Roberts 57), Conor Chaplin (Ben Tollitt, 60)
Subs not used: Eyze Borris
Attendance: 100 (Estimate)
Extratime Man of the Match: Conor Chaplin (Portsmouth)