Ross Tierney stretched ever sinew to poke home a goal that salvaged a 1-1 Europa Conference League draw for Bohemians on their trip to Iceland to face Stjarnan.

After falling behind to an Emil Atlason header on the 25-minute mark, the Gypsies had to wait for some second-half inspiration to set up a tantalising return leg in front of 6,000 fans at Aviva Stadium next week.

The story of Bohs' domestic season has been one of inconsistency, a by-product of Keith Long again building the core of a side from scratch following a winter of change at Dalymount Park.

For every step forward another knockback has followed, leading to an inability to build real momentum.

That didn’t look as if it would be a problem here when Liam Burt struck a stunning early shot from the corner of the box on the left side which smashed off the post.

Bohs looked comfortable, and it felt as if the winter planning of Long and first-team coach Trevor Croly was coming to fruition.

Long admitted in the build-up to this second European campaign of his tenure that he recruited players with a view to being more competitive on the European stage because he was determined to make excursions on the continent a regular occurrence, not just sporadic journeys of enjoyment.

He prioritised technical, more flexible operators to complement pace and power.

The forward line is a case in point.

Talisman Georgie Kelly collected the player of the month award for June this week – he’s already netted 12 times in the Premier Division – but other than a long-range shot which flashed wide after 23 minutes and a header over the bar on the half-hour he made little impact.

His strength up top is invaluable, though, and helps bring Burt and Ali Coote into play as well as getting on the end of their creativity.

Those players needed to step up once Stjarnan took the lead on 25 minutes after Emil Atlason worked space in the box with clever movement between centre backs Ciaran Kelly and Rory Feely to nod the opener.

The Bohs response wasn’t immediate, taking until the 63rd for the equaliser courtesy of a long-range Devoy shot from the left which trickled in at the back post as Tierney stretched for contact.

Bohs struck the blow they needed and the second leg is set up on a knife edge.

Stjarnan: H Bjornsson; Aegisson, Gudjonsson, Hedinsson, E Bjornsson; Ingvarsson (H Bjornsson 66), Anbo, Gudmundsson (Sloth 66); Ragnarsson (Omarsson 86), Atlason (Haurits 66), Halldorsson.

Bohemians: Talbot; Lyons, C Kelly, Feely, Wilson; Buckley (c), Devoy; Coote, Tierney, Burt; G Kelly.

Referee: S Putros (Den).