It may have taken 23 league games for John Caulfield’s side to finally taste defeat this season but they could have no arguments last night and they simply didn’t do enough to warrant a win against a very well organised and efficient Bohemians side.
A draw may have been a fair result overall but credit to Keith Long’s side, who took their chance and some great defending coupled with poor finishing from the home side, saw the famous Dublin outfit follow up Friday’s superb victory over Shamrock Rovers with another very impressive win on the road.
Of course the result shouldn’t do much to affect the destiny of the league title with City still 17 points clear of nearest rivals Dundalk and City manager John Caulfield won’t be too disheartened with all talk of going through the season unbeaten now confined to the scrapheap.
After the superb win over Rovers, Bohemians were without the injured Derek Pender and Patrick Kavanagh for this one. And the home side would have been pleasantly surprised to see top scorer Dinny Corcoran on the bench also as Long made five changes.
Caulfield gave Conor McCarthy a chance to impress partnering Ryan Delaney at the back, while Achille Campion got a rare start up front as the City boss made four changes to the side that beatGalway United last Friday.
The league leaders were almost gifted an opener inside three minutes when defender Dean Casey failed to clear Karl Sheppard’s cross but Jimmy Keohane wanted too much time and his shot from eight yards out was blocked.
Greg Bolger was back in the side and he played a lovely pass with the outside of his boot to Sheppard, who took the ball in his stride but Bohs keeper Shane Supple got down well to save. Before that, the away side were dealt a blow when Warren O’Hora was forced off after taking a Keohane shot full in the face.
But Long’s side looked quite dangerous going forward and Ciaran O’Connor had a great chance to put them in front on the half hour mark, dispossessing McCarthy but he shot straight at Mark McNulty.
Watching Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh would have been impressed with Supple’s save three minutes later when the Bohs number one kept out Delaney’s header from Griffin’s corner kick.
Former Ipswich netminder Supple made another good save low down to deny Sheppard before Akinade burst forward but McNulty got down well to deny the big striker, who scored a cracker against Rovers on Friday.
New Cork signing from Limerick Robbie Williams came on for Delaney at the break and City almost went in front seconds in when Bolger picked out Campion but the French striker headed wide from the penalty spot.
Poynton miskicked when in a good position before Keith Ward’s free-kick was inches too high shortly afterwards.
The City defence looked troubled with the pace of Akinade and McCarthy clumsily upended the striker in the 62nd minute. Referee Robert Rogers had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, where Poynton gave McNulty no chance with resultant spot-kick in front of the small band of travelling supporters.
O’Connor almost made it 2-0 late on but his shot flashed narrowly wide of McNulty’s post.
- Waterford last night completed the signing of 19-year-old striker Aaron Drinan on a permanent deal from Cork City until the end of next season.
McNulty, Beattie, Delaney (Williams 45), McCarthy, Griffin, Sheppard, Bolger, Buckley, Keohane (Sadlier 68), Dooley (Ellis 76), Campion.
Supple, Casey (Hayes 70), Cornwall, O’Hora (Byrne 11), Morris, Poynton, Sule, Brennan, Ward, O’Connor, Akinade (Corcoran 67).
R Rogers (Dublin)