Shelbourne held on for a valuable point in a fiery Dublin derby at Tolka Park, despite playing the majority of the game with 10-men.
In a bruising encounter that saw nine yellow cards and one red card, it was Shane Farrell's second half penalty that rescued a point for Damien Duff’s side, who saw JR Wilson red carded in the first half, having already been one down thanks to a delightful Tyreke Wilson free kick.
In a highly emotionally charged evening, as both sides mourned the loss of club stalwarts in recent times, emotions ran high on the field too as both sides came together in a tense and fiery clash.
In a bruising start, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock after just five minutes.
Shels' centre-back Aaron O’Driscoll went flying into Ali Coote on the edge of the area, in a very dangerous position. Up stepped Tyreke Wilson, operating in an unusual position of right back, who proceeded to whip the free kick low into the corner, giving Brendan Clarke no chance.
Minutes later Bohs front man, Ethon Varion, was next in the book for his part in a horrific three-way collision. Ex-Stoke man Varian, O’Driscoll and the onrushing Clarke all collided with the big centre-back O’Driscoll coming off the worst of the three.
After a lengthy delay, the stretcher was called for and the 23-year-old was eventually carried off for further testing.
The hosts responded well to the double setback, Matty Smith began to look a threat. The on-loan Derry striker showed great pace and strength to outmuscle Ciaran Kelly before seeing his low strike agonisingly miss the bottom corner by inches.
Keith Long opted for five changes to the side that went down to 10-man Dundalk last Friday and handed his debut to on-loan Norwich under-21 keeper Jon McCracken who came in for Tadgh Ryan, who’s costly error proved the difference a week ago at Dalymount Park.
The Scottish stopper was called into action just minutes later. That man again, Smith, hit a thunderous strike from 25-yards out which needed the fingertips of the 22-year old at full stretch to touch it behind.
The war of attrition continued with both sides going full steam, and emotions spilled over just before the break when the home side were reduced to 10. John Ross Wilson was dangerously high on Declan McDaid, who looked to be going nowhere inside his own half.
Incredibly, it was the hosts who got themselves back on level terms ten minutes into the second half.
The lively Jack Moylan looked to latch onto a clever Shane Farrell through ball, and looked to run into the back of Ciaran Kelly as they came together in the area, with both stumbling over. Referee Neil Doyle saw enough to point to the spot and Farrell kept his cool to smash home.
As the home side began to sit deep, and soak up pressure, it was actually debutant Jon McCracken who was the busier keeper as Shels hit on the counter attack. The Scottish stopper pulled off one of the saves of the season to deny substitute JJ Lunney, who's left footed rifled effort looked destined for the top corner.
The Reds are still searching for their first league win over the Gypsies, now stretching back to 2013, but that will be the last thing on their mind as Damien Duff’s men bravely held out for an deserved battling point.
For the visitors, and their frustrated travelling support, it's the second successive week in which they failed to break down a side with a man less and will feel like it’s more valuable points dropped. And coupled with St. Patrick’s Athletics win away at UCD, the fourth place finish looks to now be just out of reach.
Shelbourne FC: Brendan Clarke, John Ross Wilson, Aaron O'Driscoll (Kameron Ledwidge, 17’), Luke Byrne (JJ Lunney, 17’), Shane Griffin, Conor Kane (Aodh Dervin,53’), Gavin Molloy, Brian McManus, Shane Farrell, Matty Smith, Jack Moylan (Dan Carr, 83’)
Subs not used: Scott Van Der Sluis, Gavin Hodgins, Jad Hakiki, Josh Giurgi, Lewis Temple
Bohemian FC: Jon McCracken, Tyreke Wilson, Rory Feely, Ciaran Kelly, Ryan Burke (Max Murphy, 58’), James Clarke, Ali Coote (Jamie Mullins, 83’), John O’Sullivan (James McManus, 90+2’), Kris Twardek (Liam Burt, 66’), Declan McDaid, Ethon Varian (Johnny Afolabi, 58’)
Subs not used: Tadhg Ryan, Josh Kerr, Cian Byrne, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe
Referee: Neil Doyle