Bohemians miss late penalty as Derry hold on for win
Ronan Curtis’s goal is the difference as visitors take the spoils from Dalymount Park
Derry’s Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring the winner at Dalymount Park. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho
The beast may have failed to deliver quite the winter wonderland that the weather people had been predicting but Derry City boss Kenny Shiels is always a good man to whip up an entertaining storm.
The build up to this, his side’s first visit of the campaign to Dalymount, had been dominated by the northerner’s complaint that Keith Long was crying foul in just the sort of way that he himself often seems to be trying to corner the market.
By the end of the night, there was no contest; Derry had taken the points thanks to a fine Ronan Curtis finish, it was an eighth win in eight for the City boss over Bohemians and it was definitely the Dubliner who had more to complain about.
Not the result, really, though. Bohemians had comfortably enough chances to take a point, maybe more but his side’s defending of the corner from which City had taken the lead was poor and the penalty from Eoghan Stokes that Gary Doherty saved as the home side were chasing the game late on was not all that much better.
The City ‘keeper made a stand out save too, towards the end of the first period, when Paddy Kavanagh had picked out Stokes with a brilliant ball forward but Doherty stood up well to block the striker’s shot. By contrast, only the underside of the crossbar prevented Ben Doherty from doubling his side’s lead with the very last kick of the game.
With his side pointless after their previous two outings, Shiels shook up both his side and his tactics with Eoin Toal brought in to anchor a three man defence and the Derry City boss stuck with that approach despite Bohemians having the better of things early on.
Shiels may have had an issue with Long’s characterisation of his players as part-timers but he could hardly dispute the fact that they put in bit of a shift here. There was a warning for the locals, though, in the fact that City were having their moments throughout, most memorably when Aaron McEniff sent Curtis clear through on Shane Supple with a defence splitting pass midway through the first period. But the goalkeeper handily cut out the striker’s fairly tame attempt to finish handily. In truth, he had little else to do over the course of the opening hour as his team mates made most of the running.
The conditions played their part with the light dusting of snow on the Dalymount surface making things tricky enough to add just a hint of lottery to it all at times. Both sides produced their share of misplaced passes as players struggled to gauge the pace of the ball but what was more remarkable really was the quality of the some of the play, especially late on as the pace picked up and Long’s through everything into the search for a goal.
Having started the second half with a brief spell of pressure that included three corners in quick succession Bohemians still looked to be slightly on top when city won a rare one at the other end. The locals coped poorly with Nicky Low’s lofted ball into the six yard box, though, and by the time it fell to the feet of Curtis, it was too late with the 21 year-old striking first time to steer the ball home.
Try as they might to slow things down from that point on, City had to work hard to keep their noses in front. Conor McDermott looked to have handed Bohemians their get of jail card when he nudged Kevin Devaneny in the back inside the area with just five minutes to play. Not that it matters, of course, but Shiels complained afterwards that it was never a spot kick.
BOHEMIANS: Supple; Pender, Cornwall, Casey, Leahy; Devaney, Buckley, Brennan (Watts, 72 mins), Kavanagh (Moore, 81 mins); Ward (Lunney, 67 mins); Stokes.
DERRY CITY: Doherty; Cole, Toal, Logue; McDonagh (McDermott, 62 mins), Hale, McEneff, Low, Doherty; Patterson, Curtis.
Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).