Bohemians 2-2 Longford Town
Bohs: Kelly ('20), Tierney ('26)
Longford: Davis ('76, '86)
Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town fought back from two-nil down to snatch a two-all draw away to Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Saturday evening, courtesy of two goals from super sub Conor Davies. The result means that the ‘Red & Black’ remain unbeaten after two matches of this seasons’ Premier Division campaign.
The visitors made one change from the side that defeated Derry City with Sam Verdon replacing Rob Manley who picked up a knock in training on Thursday night.
The home side were the superior side for the opening thirty-five minutes of the contest and could have been more than two goals ahead at the interval.
Bohemians deservedly took the lead on twenty minutes when Liam Burt gained possession of the ball on the right from an Ali Coote pass & Burt’s superb low cross picked out Georgie Kelly inside the Town box, the striker brilliantly created space for himself with a brilliant back-heel drag back that left Town centre-back Aaron O’Driscoll on the floor, before firing home a low curling shot beyond the despairing dive of Town keeper Lee Steacy.
Two minutes later, keeper Steacy came to the Town’s rescue with a magnificent double save. Firstly, he got down low to his right to keep out a strike from Bohs striker Ross Tierney, and then recovered in time to brilliantly save Burt’s rebound effort.
Bohs doubled their lead on twenty-six minutes when Coote’s cross from the left was skillfully chested down by Keith Ward into the path of striker Tierney and he blasted home Bohemians second goal of the contest.
The first real chance for Longford came on the half-hour mark when Joe Gorman headed over a Dylan Grimes cross.
Bohemians were again thwarted by Town keeper Steacy in the thirty-seventh minute when Kelly’s shot from an Anto Breslin cross was brilliantly parried by the Town stopper, with Keith Buckley blazing the rebound over the bar.
Four minutes from half-time, Longford almost pulled a goal back when a superb pass from Aaron Bolger released Dean Byrne, he ran into the Bohs box and with the outside of his right foot, fired a low shot towards the bottom right corner of the net that was somehow clawed away by the cat like dive of home keeper James Talbot.
Longford were a vastly improved side in the second-half and the impact of substitutes Callum Warfield, Aaron Dobbs, Aaron McNally, and especially that of striker Conor Davies were hugely galvanizing.
The Town took the game to Bohemians throughout the second forty-five minutes, however, they had a very lucky escape before they got back into the contest, as striker Kelly saw his brilliant shot from the edge of the Town box come crashing back off the post, with Town keeper Steacy beaten all ends-up. That would have made it three-nil and surely killed off the Midlanders.
Longford took advantage of that narrow escape, as they pulled a goal back on seventy-five-minute mark. Bastien Hery was dispossessed by Town sub striker Davies thirty yards out from goal, he ran at the Bohemians defense, weaving his way past three defenders before firing a low diagonal shot into the bottom left corner of the home side’s net.
Suddenly, the Town were buzzing with belief and got their just reward in the eighty-sixth minute with a flowing five man move that produced the equalizer.
A long ball out from the back by O’Driscoll was brilliantly controlled by substitute Aaron McNally, he played the ball into the path of Grimes who switched the ball out right to another substitute, Callum Warfield, and Warfield whipped in a dangerous delivery into the Bohs six-yard box that was missed by two Bohemians defenders and a Longford Town player, however, substitute striker Davies was lurking at the back post to tap in the equalizer from a very tight angle.
In the closing stages, it was the visitors that looked the most likely to snatch a winner as they put the Bohs rearguard under serious pressure winning several corners, but the home side remained resilient until the final whistle, as both sides settled for a share of the spoils.
Next up for Longford Town is a home game against Sligo Rovers next Friday evening at Bishopsgate with a 5.45pm kick-off.
Bohemians (4-4-2): Talbot, Feely, Cornwall, Finnerty, Breslin, Burt, Coote, Buckley, Ward, Tierney, Kelly.
Substitutes: Hery for Coote (65 minutes), Oluwa for Ward and Devoy for Burt (both 77 minutes).
Longford Town (4-3-2-1): Steacy, Chambers, O’Driscoll, Gorman, Kirk, Zambra, Dervin, Bolger, Grimes, Byrne, Verdon.
Substitutes: Warfield for Verdon (60 minutes), Davies for Byrne (68 minutes), Dobbs for Bolger and McNally for Chambers (both 77 minutes).
Referee: Ben Conley (Dublin)
Picture by Ken Keenan