Bohemians 2-0 Longford Town 

Former Longford Town midfielder Ayman Ben Mohamed inspired Bohemians to a 2-0 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win against his former club at Dalymount Park this evening.

Two goals just before half-time ensured Bohemians’ second win of the season, with Ben Mohamed prominent in both goals.

In the 42nd minute the winger cut inside from the left flank to slide a through ball to midfielder Keith Buckley, who smartly clipped the ball over Paul Skinner in the Longford goal. The strike came as a great relief to the home support, but more was to come before the break.

In stoppage time a blocked cross from Paddy Kavanagh set up captain Derek Pender to whip in an inviting cross for that man Ben Mohamed, who stuck out a leg and poked home to double the home team’s advantage.

Both sides had entered this evening’s encounter knowing that a positive result would help rejuvenate what has been a lacklustre start to both of their campaigns.

The only points Bohs have picked up this season have come at home and manager Keith Long wanted the Gypsies to start the match with a good tempo despite missing the influential Mark Quigley through injury.

An extra man in midfield, along with a bit more guile and intensity in the attack, ensured Long’s side produced the performance he wanted.

However, the visitors would have been left wondering how they found themselves two goals behind at half-time after spurning a couple of chances of their own in the first period.

Good play from striker David O’Sullivan saw him beat a couple of defenders before having his shot smartly saved by Dean Delany after a scramble in the box.

The chances were starting to flow and the Longford forwards were left looking at each other in the 35th minute. O’Sullivan and Josh O’Hanlon both got in each other’s way as the ball broke free after another save from Delany.

In all the excitement, Bohs stormed up the field and nearly scored a goal of their own when Kavanagh hit the post after a break from Ismahil Akinade and Keith Buckley, but the two goals before the break ensured that miss didn’t matter.

The pace in the second half went up a few notches with further chances coming at either end.

The message at half-time from Long must have been to try and get a third as Bohs showed no sign of trying to kill the game and they very nearly did when an innocuous shot from Paddy Kavanagh nearly slipped through the gloves of Skinner, but the goalkeeper recovered in time to gather the ball.

The frantic nature of the game was epitomised when straight away Longford counter-attacked down the pitch, resulting in Peter McGlynn striking the post.

In the closing stages, the game lacked the intensity of the opening 70 minutes, with stoppages for injuries and substitutions, including a break in play for treatment for Pender who was later replaced. A comeback for Longford never looked likely, although they did trouble Delany with a couple of half-chances late on.

Bohemians, who knocked out Longford in the EA Sports Cup 10 days ago, will now be looking upwards in the table again while Longford will be fearful that they won’t be able to replicate last season’s mid-table finish.

Both teams come up against Dundalk in their next fixture.

Bohemians host Stephen Kenny’s men in the Leinster Senior Cup on Monday night before Longford welcome the league champions next Saturday in the Premier Division.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender (Dylan Hayes 78), Daniel Byrne, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald;Paddy Kavanagh, EoinWearen (Dave Mulcahy 85), Roberto Lopes (Captain), Keith Buckley,Ayman Ben Mohamed; Ismahil Akinade (Kurtis Byrne 64)

Substitutes not used: Lee Steacy, Anto Murphy, Dave Mulcahy, Jake Kelly, Adam Evans

Longford Town: Paul Skinner; Mark Hughes, Noel Haverty, Pat Flynn, James Mulhall; Peter McGlynn (Don Cowan 75), Kealon Dillon (Kaleem Simon ’14),Philip Gannon, Kevin O’Connor (Captain),Josh O’Hanlon, David O’Sullivan

Substitutes not used: Ian Molloy, Daniel O’Reilly, Keith Beirne, Karl Chambers, John McKeown

Referee: Robert Rogers