Anto Murphy grabs two as Bohemians keep up fine start
Young Galway side easily picked apart at Dalymount Park
Anto Murphy scored both of Bohemians’ goals in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Galway United at Dalymount Park. Photograph: Inpho
Bohemians 2 Galway United 0
If simply staying up is the first target for Keith Long and his young side then they’ll have been encouraged by a start that has yielded six points and early evidence that there are at least two significantly weaker teams in this division.
Galway might well rise to the challenge over the course of the campaign to come but here they lay down rather softly and the ease with which Bohemians centre half Anto Murphy was allowed to get his two goals from set pieces suggested a level of naivety that is likely to be punished on a regular basis by the league’s better sides if it is not quickly addressed.
Drogheda head to the west next week and Tommy Dunne will want to see signs of serious improvement in that game given that a trip to Cork follows quickly afterwards.
The Dubliners were in front within six minutes as Murphy was left almost unchallenged to head home a nicely curling free from Lorcan Fitzgerald. Dean Kelly came close to doubling the lead not long afterwards when the hosts broke quickly out of defence but Kealan Dillon’s cross asked a tiny bit too much of the striker.
United needed to steady themselves then start posing a bit of a threat themselves but Dunne’s young side struggled to do either with the visitors displaying an inability through the first half at least to get the ball into the danger at one end or, on a few occasions, clear it effectively at the other.
Alex Byrne, Paul Sinnott and Stephen Walsh were all guilty of presenting half chances to opponents with badly misplaced passes from positions where there was little room for error and Long must have been concerned that nobody seemed capable of punishing all the sloppiness.
Certainly the locals should have been two up just before the break when Derek Prendergast was allowed time and space to pick his spot with a header as Fitzgerald’s corner floated towards him, but the centre back proved less adept than his defensive partner at finishing and made life very easy for goalkeeper Conor Gleeson.
A two goal lead wouldn’t have flattered Bohemians in the slightest at that stage. They were a little more eager in everything they did. United’s moves forward repeatedly broke down because players were guilty of waiting for the ball to come to them and they were edged out physically by a side that probably wouldn’t frighten too many sides in that department.
Galway started the second half a little more brightly but still seemed incapable of dragging Dean Delany into the proceedings. Their opponents worked hard when not in possession and the visitors struggled with the close attention.
The hosts were also a good deal more purposeful when pushing forward and continued to create chances. Kelly might have done better from close range but fired wide while Robbie Creevy clattered the woodwork with a header a little over midway through the half. It was a little while after that when United got their first corner, which came to very little, and Gleeson did well enough to stop a shot from Mark Griffin shortly after the former Dundalk striker had replaced Kelly up front for Bohemians.
His corner a few minutes later led to Murphy’s second with the defender shaking off a fairly lacklustre attempt to contain him to meet the ball with a firm strike from the middle of the area.
Late on, United finally created a couple of chances with Delany doing well to prevent Gary Shanahan lobbing him when the striker was sent racing clear of the entire Bohemians back four and Walsh missing the target with a close range header of his own.
The hosts, though, will be well satisfied with a second win that, for the moment at least, leaves them sitting pretty at the top end of the table.
BOHEMIANS: Delany; Pender, Prendergast, Murphy, Fitzgerald; Lopes; Kavanagh, Buckley, Evans (Moore, 90 mins), Dillon (Creevy, 60 mins); Kelly (Griffin, 75 mins).
GALWAY UNITED: Gleeson; Horgan, Oji (Cunningham, 75 mins), Walsh, Ludden; Shanahan, Sinnott, Byrne (O’Connell, 90 mins), Molloy; Curran (Keegan, 69 mins), Connolly.
Referee: R Mathews (Westmeath).