Akintunde the hero as Derry remain top of the Premier Division

Stoppage-time winner was the difference as Candystripes go three points clear

Bohemians 1 Derry City 2
Burt 26. Boyce 60; Akintunde 90+3

A stoppage-time winner from James Akintunde was the difference as Derry City went three points clear in the SSE Airtricity League on Friday night.

Liam Burt gave Bohemians an early lead, with a move worthy of goal of the season. Ronan Boyce's header levelled matters on the hour mark before Derry went up a gear in search of a winner. It came with the last kick of the game, as James Akintunde's header gave Ruaidhrí Higgins' side their fifth win of the season.

Bohemians came into the game sixth in the table, after a slow start to the season. Keith Long’s side haven’t won since February and were held to draws against newly promoted Shelbourne and UCD just before the international break.


Derry on the other hand, have enjoyed a stellar start to 2022, with four wins and two draws putting them top of the table coming into the game. Derry won the first league meeting between the sides last year, before the following three ended in draws.

Keith Long made four changes to the side that drew with UCD a fortnight ago. Stephen Mallon, James Finnerty and Ryan Cassidy were all out injured, while Ireland under-16 international Nickson Okosun was promoted to the first team. Rory Feely returned from suspension to start.

Ruaidhrí Higgins made just one change to the side that beat St Patrick's Athletic before the international break. Brandon Kavanagh came in for James Akintunde, while Michael Duffy and Ciaron Harkin both missed out through injury. Patrick McEleney and Matty Smith both returned from knocks to make the bench.

Brian Maher was called into action early on, days after his excellent display for the Ireland under-21 side, who beat Sweden 2-0 on Saturday. Maher punched a corner clear into the path of Grant Horton, who's driving effort was spectacular tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper.

The visitors had two early chances to take the lead. Jamie McGonigle saw his curling effort saved by James Talbot, who was called up by Stephen Kenny last week. Brandon Kavanagh sent dangerous ball across the face of Talbot's goal two minutes after, but McGonigle was a second too late to it.

The two Derry men were involved again on 20 minutes, as McGonigle’s effort was put out for a corner. The ball dropped to Kavanagh on the edge of the box, who’s snapshot was inches wide of the target.

The hosts took the lead just before the half-hour mark with a goal of the season worthy move. Ali Coote picked the ball up and played one-two's with Jordan Flores, Promise Omochere and Liam Burt, before Burt spun past two Derry defenders and slotted the ball past Maher.

Bohemians went close minutes later, as Maher scrambled to save Flores’ powerful 30-yard strike. Just before the break, McGonigle’s strike looked destined for the bottom corner before Talbot produced a first-class save to keep Bohemians in front.

New signing Matty Smith was introduced on 55 minutes, which seemed to breathe new life into Derry. After sustained pressure, the visitors equalised just before the hour mark. Cameron McJannett's looping cross found wing-back Ronan Boyce, who headed past Talbot to level the game.

Patrick McEleney’s free kick stung the palms of Talbot, who did well to prevent his side going behind on 60 minutes. Derry were inches away from taking the lead with fifteen minutes to go, as Rory Feely’s sliced clearance almost looped over Talbot and into the net. Talbot cleared just in time as Derry ramped up the pressure. Akintunde was the hero in the end, with his 93rd minute header winning it at the death for the visitors. The away end lit up with red flares in celebration, as Derry remain unbeaten in the league.

Bohemians: Talbot; Kelly, Horton, Feely, Wilson (c); Levingston, Flores, Coote (Devoy 73); Twardek, Omochere (Junior 73), Burt (McKiernan 86).

Derry City: Maher; Lafferty, Boyce, McEleney, McJannett, Toal (c); Kavanagh (Akintunde 79), Dummigan, Patching (McEleney 46), Thomson (Matty Smith 55); McGonigle.

Referee: Adriano Reale (Kildare)