Bohemians very unlucky to still be pointless after second game of the season following a 2-0 loss to Shelbourne on Friday night
From 1999-2009; Bohemians and Shelbourne won nine out of 11 Premier Division League Titles (the bonus season came from the advent of summer soccer in 2003). Those days seem a long way off now.
A side who is down on their luck will say that “If it wasn’t for bad luck we’d have no luck.” Bohemians definitely fit into that category with player/coach and Under-19’s Coach Owen Heary even washing the kit at the club; such are the financial restrictions at Dalymount Park! Having had two gilt edged opportunities in the opening quarter; Bohs were somehow a goal down on 23 minutes when they should have been two up.
To say the goal came against the run of play would be to put it mildly. Shels’ Paddy Kavanagh blocked down Evan McMillan’s attempted clearance, cut back inside, and hit a sweet strike inside Sexton’s right post. It was in fact Shels first run into the Bohs’ penalty area.
For the remainder of the half; Bohs peppered the Shels goal but couldn’t force one into the net. A combination of last ditch tackling (particularly one flying lunge from Shels’ Gareth Matthews to deny Dwayne Wilson who seemed certain to score) and ‘keeper Delaney saving well from a header six yards out combined with a 20 yard free-kick fizzing a fraction wide on the stroke of half-time, left everybody in Dalymount wondering: “How are Bohs losing this game?”
The second-half was less open with Bohs throwing caution to the wind 20 minutes after the break in search of the equaliser by bringing on attacking midfielder and striker Dave Mulcahy and Davie Byrne for midfielder and defender Ryan McEvoy and Luke Byrne respectively.
Bohs’ ambition proved to be their undoing as Shels counter attacked in numbers on 70 minutes. Home ‘keeper Sexton could only parry Kavanagh’s 20 yard drive and poacher supreme Philip Hughes was on hand to tap home from eight yards out.
That was that and the life was sucked out of the game with the netting of Shel’s second goal. The final whistle blows and despite having been on the back foot for three quarters of the game, Shelbourne have their first win of the season. Bohs are now one of three clubs to have recorded no points after the opening two games of the season.
Playing and dominating games yet still losing is a sign of a side that’s going to be in trouble at the wrong end of the league table. When Bohs hit a sticky patch in form, they are unlikely to have the buffer required to have them sitting clear of the Airtricity League Premier Division’s drop zone. If Bohs don’t get relegated this season, they won’t be far off it.
Bohemians: Sexton, Heary (c), Pender, McMillan, Byrne, Lopes, Joyce, Moore, McEvoy, Wilson, Corcoran.
Shelbourne: Delaney, Mathews, Fitzgerald, Boyle, Cronin (c), Byrne, Hughes, McGill, Hurley, Kavanagh