Date: 7:45 p.m. June 2, 2009
Venue: Dalymount Park
Ref: Anthony Buttimer
Oman's goal came against a dogged Galway defence who just failed to do enough to help their side win an audacious point at the home of the double champions. With 71 minutes played, Anto Murphy found Killian Brennan on the right and his cross was smashed off the Galway crossbar by Byrne. From resulting corner, Keegan found his team-mate’s head and Bohemians could sense victory.
Ian Foster's side had actually started the match brighter, with Derek O'Brien finding himself within sight of goal after just three minutes, his weak shot from the left hand side of the area was easily saved by Bohemians goalkeeper Brian Murphy. The home team came into the game more as the half progressed but their final ball always seemed to fall short, Glenn Cronin and Joseph Ndo among those whose crosses flew too close to Barry Ryan in the Galway goal.
Pat Fenlon's charges may have looked out of sorts but came close with the best move of the match just after half an hour; Ndo's cross from the right was chested down perfectly by striker Jason Byrne into the path of the ever dangerous Gary Deegan whose shot was palmed away at the near post. Ndo himself might have done better just five minutes earlier when his flick from a few yards out after Cronin's cross was well saved by Ryan's low dive to his left.
With the Bohemians fans growing more frustrated as the half wore on, Fenlon replaced Ndo with Neale Fenn at half time in an effort to break the deadlock. Galway appeared to be holding firm despite the increase in pressure and almost scored when David Cooke and Declan Edwards combined nicely to play in O'Brien on the left hand side of goal after seven minutes of the restart. His low shot from a tight angle was saved at his near post by Ryan when the Kerry-man might have done better.
Bohemians went in search of a second but in truth the Phibsboro outfit never really had to move out of second gear against a Galway side with plenty of resilience but little inspiration. For all their possession the Gypsies didn’t create as many chances one might have expected against a side who have lost their last three league matches.
Just after the hour mark substitute Graham Carey had thudded the ball across the face of the goal from outside the area on the left flank with Byrne just failing to reach it and with time almost up he received a high ball in a similar position. This time, the midfielder’s excellent first time volley into the area fell to stand in captain Cronin who was sandwiched between Breen and Guthrie close to the penalty spot. Referee Anthony Buttimer pointed to the spot immediately and Jason Byrne made no mistake converting from 12 yards with 90 minutes on the clock. The home fans celebrated wildly and their joy will have been heightened with the news of Cork City’s defeat at the hand of bottom of the table Drogheda.
Fenlon’s side are now three points clear of Paul Doolin’s team and with his team able to grind out professional wins such as this one, as they did so imperiously last year, it would take a brave man to bet against them retaining that position in November even at this early stage of the season.
Bohemian F. C.: 1. B. Murphy, 2. A. Murphy, 3. C. Powell, 4. G. Cronin, 5. B. Shelley, 6. K. Oman, 8. P. Keegan, 9. G. Deegan, (Carey, 63) 10. J. Byrne, 11. K. Brennan (S Byrne, 90), 18. J. Ndo (Fenn, 46) Subs: 25. M. Gregg, 12. M. Hughes, 14. G. Carey, 15. N. Fenn, 16. S. Byrne
Galway United: 1. B. Ryan, 2. S. Conneely, 3. D. Cooke, 5. G. Breen, 6. S. Guthrie, 7. J. O'Shea, 8. J. Russell (McBrien, 80), 11. D. O'Brien (O'Toole, 90), 18. M. McGrath, 19. D. Edwards (Malloy, 69), 21. I. Davoren Subs: M. O'Toole, 12. N. Walsh, 15. P. Sinnott, 17. C. McBrien, 20. J. Malloy
Referee: Anthony Buttimer
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Glen Cronin