Longford Town were beaten again in the Premier Division as Bohemians came out on top at Dalymount Park on Friday night last and the midlanders have managed to win just a solitary league game so far this season away to Wexford Youths in what is developing into a fierce struggle.
Former player Ayman Ben Mohamed came back to torment the Town in the latest setback and losing such a rising young star was a major blow for manager Tony Cousins who is facing a big battle to keep the club in the top flight.
Longford will look back at this game and rue not taking the chances they created. Bohs, on the other hand, took the opportunities that came their way in collecting all three valuable points.
The home side made the better start and Ben Mohamed’s crosses in the early exchanges were causing problems. But In the 5th minute the Town had a chance; Pat Flynn’s free-kick found Josh O’Hanlon who in in turn played the ball into Kealan Dillon but the former Bohs player couldn’t get a decent connection and his effort went wide.
Philip Gannon’s corner minutes later was deflected wide while David O’Sullivan was denied from taking a shot at goal after a timely tackle by Bohs defender Derek Pender.
Town defender Pat Flynn then did well to stop Ismahil Akinade in the 12th minute while Lorcan Fitzgerald should have done better with his shot in the 16th minute.
Longford almost took the lead in the 20th minute when Josh O’Hanlon had a shot well saved by Bohs keeper Dean Delany and in the subsequent scramble David O’Sullivan saw his effort hit the sidenetting.
Longford went close again in the 31st minute when Kaleem Simon, who had replaced the injured Kealon Dillon after 15 minutes, fired a low shot across the box that drifted just inches wide.
Both sides were endeavouring to create chances and it was end-to-end stuff as the game remained scoreless. But as half-time approached Bohemians broke the deadlock following a brilliant move. Ben Mohamed cut inside and played the perfect pass through to Keith Buckley who chipped the ball over Town keeper Paul Skinner in the 42nd minute.
Then in first half stoppage time Bohs doubled their advantage and it was the always dangerous Ayman Ben Mohamed that got the second goal. Paddy Kavanagh set Derek Pender up and his cross was finished to the net by Ben Mohamed. Those two goals were tough on the Town who were fighting a real uphill battle in the second half.
Longford tried hard to get back into the game with Kevin O’Connor testing Bohs netminder Delany while Kaleem Simon had a cross blocked in the 69th minute. Paddy Kavanagh then had a chance for Bohs soon after but he blasted his shot wide.
Don Cowan returned from a long injury absence when he was brought on in the 75th minute and there was a chance for the Town in the 79th minute when Delany dropped Kaleem Simon’s free-kick but recovered to gather the ball ahead of Josh O’Hanlon who was poised to pounce.
Cowan had a header near the end that was caught by Delany and that was as good as it got for Longford Town who now face two difficult home games in a row against Dundalk (on Saturday night next) and Derry City.
BOHEMIANS: Dean Delany; Daniel Byrne, Derek Pender, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Paddy Kavanagh, Keith Buckley, Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen, Aymen Ben Mohamed; Ismahil Akinade.
Subs:- Kurtis Byrne for Akinade (64 mins); Dylan Hayes for Pender (78 mins); Dave Mulcahy for Wearen (85 mins).
LONGFORD TOWN: Paul Skinner; Jamie Mulhall, Noel Haverty, Pat Flynn, Mark Hughes; Kevin O’Connor, Peter McGlynn, Philip Gannon, Kealan Dillon; David O’Sullivan, Josh O’Hanlon.
Subs:- Kaleem Simon for Dillon (injured, 15 mins); Don Cowan for McGlynn (75 mins).
Referee: Rob Rogers (Dublin).