Keith Long’s side were well in the game until Graham Cummins’ opener after 18 minutes but when Kieran Sadlier buried his spot-kick three minutes later, there was always only going to be one winner as City increased their lead at the top of the table to four points.
Afterwards, City boss John Caulfield was happy with the three points.
“Our attitude was right from the start against a good strong Bohs side and I felt we took over after the first goal and they will be disappointed with the second goal as it was a very soft goal to give away,” he said.
“Karl Sheppard rounded it off near the end and overall defensively we were very good and it’s an important three points.
“We worked hard overall and maybe at times our energy levels dropped in the second half but we’re very happy with the three points. It was important to bounce back after Friday night’s game in Limerick, where we didn’t deserve to win the game.”
The champions were out of sorts in Limerick and Caulfield made two changes to that side, with Garry Buckley and Jimmy Keohane coming in for Gearoid Morrissey and Karl Sheppard.
Long’s Gypsies side won in Cork last season but have been without a win since the opening night of the season when they defeated rivals Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount.
Having been pegged back twice by Sligo Rovers in Friday night’s 2-2 draw, Long made two changes to that side with Ian Morris, who scored in that game, relegated to the bench along with Paddy Kavanagh. Their places went to Jonathan Lunney and Dylan Watts.
After an uneventful opening with chances at a premium apart from Shane Supple making a smart save early on to deny Sadlier, the game was put out of Bohemians’ reach in the space of three minutes.
Firstly, Barry McNamee got to the byline before pulling the ball back for Keohane, whose right-footed effort from 12 yards took a big deflection off Cummins and wrong-footed Supple, who couldn’t recover in time to stop the ball trickling over the line.
Three minutes later it was 2-0 when Conor McCormack’s cross was nearly caught by Rob Cornwall and referee Tomas Connolly had the simple decision of pointing to the spot, from where Sadlier gave Supple no chance with his penalty kick. It was Sadlier’s third penalty in three games, having netted against Shamrock Rovers and Limerick, and fourth this season overall.
Buckley’s afternoon ended soon afterwards, with the midfielder looking as though he hadn’t recovered from the illness that kept him out of the Limerick game, and he was replaced by Morrissey.
Bohs then lost captain Derek Pender through injury and it was clear the two quick goals had knocked the stuffing out of Long’s side, who looked like they could be in for a long afternoon on Leeside with Sadlier looking dangerous on the left side anytime he received the ball.
City were in cruise control after the goals with the away side devoid of any ides and McNamee went close with a free-kick just before the break.
Cummins shot narrowly wide early in the second half before Sean McLoughlin, who was awarded the Colleges and Universities International player of the year at the FAI awards on Sunday night, made a great block to deny Watts as Bohs looked for some way back into the game.
Sheppard had a chance shortly after coming on for Sadlier but Dan Casey made a great block as City laboured in a dour second half when they didn’t have to come out of first gear.
Bohs struggled to trouble a defence where McLoughlin and Aaron Barry always looked comfortable.
Long introduced Dinny Corcoran and Keith Ward in the second half but they couldn’t make any impact and Sheppard eventually got most of the 4,265 crowd off their feet two minutes from time when he stroked a superb free-kick home from just outside the box.
McNulty; McCarthy, Barry, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack, Buckley (Morrissey 25), Keohane, McNamee, Sadlier (Sheppard 66); Cummins (Horgan 90).
Supple; Pender (Morris 26), Casey, Cornwall, Leahy; Lunney, Brennan, Buckley, Moore; Watts (Corcoran 64); Stokes (Ward 69).
Tomas Connolly (Dublin).