League of Ireland – premier division – Bohemians 3 – Waterford 0
BY dave donnelly
BOHEMIANS charge up the table continues apace as their youngsters spearheaded a comfortable 3-0 win over Waterford, their fourth in the last five games, on Saturday evening.
Keith Long’s side are second in the form table to league leaders Sligo Rovers and, but for a last-minute penalty at St Patrick’s Athletic, would have gone the month of May undefeated.
A 5-1 drubbing of Dundalk at Dalymount Park on Monday was the perfect response to that morale-sapping defeat, and they made short work of a Waterford side teetering on the brink.
Dawson Devoy, Ross Tierney and Andy Lyons were all called up to Jim Crawford’s Ireland Under-21 squad for friendlies with Australia and Denmark, Tierney replacing the injured Devoy.
The trio showed just why they’re the three names on the lips of every Bohemians fan as they patiently dismantled the bottom-placed Blues on a rare sunny evening in Phibsboro.
Indeed, were it not for the heroics of former Bohs keeper Brian Murphy, the Gypsies would have been out of sight long before Lyons netted the clincher 20 minutes from time.
Waterford were by then down to ten men, sub Isaac Tshipamba having seen red for a mistimed tackle on Ciaran Kelly, and the dismissal ended their slim chances of a fightback.
Just as they had against Dundalk five days earlier, the home side took a 2-0 lead into the break but they had to be patient to grind down the stubborn but limited visitors.
Murphy, who was the backbone of the great Bohs team to win back-to-back titles under Pat Fenlon, pulled off a string of fine stops to keep his hometown side in the game.
His denial of Conor Levingston, a Wexford man who would have loved to net against neighbours Waterford, was a save of the season contender as he tipped over a vicious left-footed shot.
Devoy looked determined to answer his manager’s call to score more goals from midfield following his penalty against Pats, twice going close from the edge of the box.
It was third time lucky for the Meathman, however, as great work from Lyons saw the right-back tee up the playmaker to sweep home from 12 yards seven minutes before the break.
Within four minutes, it was 2-0 as, Murphy having brilliantly denied Anto Breslin, Tierney nodded home after Rory Feely had picked him out with a precise header from a corner.
Tshipamba, along with ex-Pats man Cian Kavanagh, were introduced by new Blues coach Marc Bircham at the break but the former spurned a great chance before getting his marching orders.
Lyons, who had been brilliantly denied by Murphy before the break, took advantage of the extra man to fire home his first of the season from a tight angle.
“To go in 2-0 at half time, similar to Dundalk, the message was to get the next goals if we could and we did that. We’re pleased to come away with a win before the mid-season break,” said Long.
“There’s lots to play for when we come back – the business end of the season – and European football as well.
“The boys have a few days off and we’ll come back ready.”