Bohemians made a triumphant return to action in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division as they narrowly defeated Cork City 1-0 at Turner's Cross on Sunday evening.
A smart finish from the alert Andre Wright at the beginning of the first half proved to be the difference between the two sides as Bohs secure the three points that sees them close the gap to Dundalk in second, while City remain bottom of the table on goal difference.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Neale Fenn’s side were playing their first competitive match in 156 days while for their Dublin rivals, they had to wait just a mere 149 days before they could do the same.
The home side took longer to settle into the match and with just four minutes into the game they conceded what proved to be the only goal thanks to Andre Wright.
A clever piece of skill from Danny Grant, which saw him nutmeg Cian Coleman, allowed him to drive a powerful strike towards goal from all of 30 yards.
Experienced goalkeeper Mark McNulty got down low to his left to make the save but he could only parry it into the path of the onrushing Wright, who coolly slotted the ball into the net via the far left post.
Cork's Deshane Dalling looked lively throughout and he threatened to snatch an equaliser in the 11th minute but netminder Stephen McGuinness was able to stop the attacker’s shot.
Bohs had made a promising start to the season before the aforementioned break, winning three of their first five games, and they ought to have doubled their advantage prior to the first water break.
Former City centre back Dan Casey rose highest to meet a corner but he could only send his header from a good position over the target.
The Leesiders, on the other hand, have started the 2020 campaign badly, recording just one victory and only scoring one goal in the process.
Dalling looked their most dangerous player and he had their final chance before the interval but it was deflected harmlessly away from the goal.
City’s next opportunity came on the hour as Cian Murphy almost scored in sensational circumstances but after he blocked McGuinness’ clearance, he was unfortunate to see the ball drop over the gaping net.
Murphy looped a header just over with 18 remaining as City looked to up the tempo but that came either side of long-range efforts from Bohs pair Wright and Grant.
Cork battled for a leveller until the final minute with Dalling and substitute Cory Galvin going close but it wasn’t to be their day as Bohs sealed a significant win in their first game back.
Cork City: Mark McNulty, Alan Bennett, Henry Ochieng, Dylan McGlade (Daire O’Connor 67), Cian Coleman, Alec Byrne (Cory Galvin 72), Kevin O’Connor, Deshane Dalling, Joseph Olowu, Cian Murphy, Uniss Kargbo.
Bohemians: Stephen McGuinness, Andy Lyons, Anton Breslin, Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, JJ Lunney, Dawson Devoy (Keith Ward 85), Kris Twardek, Kieth Buckley, Andre Wright (Dinny Corcoran 85), Danny Grant.
Referee: Sean Grant.
Subscribe to WatchLOI to stream 55 Airtricity League matches and selected FAI Cup games this season.