Johnville 1; Bohemians 4
Bohemians got a boost before a ball was kicked in this game because earlier in the day Waterford Crystal had lost to St Saviour’s and a win would have moved them back to the summit of the table.
When Gavin Phelan gave Johnville the lead from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark things looked bleak for Bohemians but when they equalised through Morgan Pender and then scored two goals early in the second half the result was never in any doubt.
Pender scored two goals in this game to bring his league haul for the season to date to a round dozen. A very large crowd turned out to watch this game between two of Waterford’s oldest rivals and they certainly were given plenty to talk about.
Gerry Connors of Bohemians went close after 3 minutes with a curling effort from the left. Gary Kelly then went close for Johnville with a free-kick shortly afterwards. Morgan Pender then sent Connors down the right flank but his angled shot on the run just went wide of Dean Purcell’s far upright.
David Whittle had a chance for Bohemians on 16 minutes when he rose unmarked to meet a free-kick taken from the left by John Boland but he headed over the crossbar. The same player was adjudged to have pushed Gavin Phelan in the back on the half-hour mark and after dusting himself down, Phelan took the penalty kick himself and he gave Andrew Halligan no chance.
Pender got Bohemians back on level terms on 37 minutes when John Butler headed a corner-kick taken by Bobby Keoghan clear but when the ball fell to Pender he made no mistake from just outside the penalty area.
Johnville were hit with two knockout blows during the opening minutes of the second half. On 47 minutes Kevin Whittle played the ball long down the right flank to Gerry Connors and the former Johnville player angled a super shot on the run past the helpless Dean Purcell.
One minute later the visitors scored again. Bobby Keoghan took a free-kick from the right to the near post where Pender was waiting to touch home his second goal of the game.
Those goals knocked the heart out of a Johnville side who had beaten St Saviour’s the previous week. On 55 minutes another Bobby Keoghan free from the left was headed off the crossbar by Gerry Connors.
Robbie O’Keeffe replaced Bobby Keoghan after 78 minutes and 48 seconds later he scored with his first touch of the game. Kenny Purcell got to the endline before cutting the ball back to O’Keeffe who found the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
Bohemians back on top then but Johnville still need points to get away from the lower region of the table. This Sunday they play bottom team Ferrybank. A game which will be the mother of all relegation battles.
Johnville: Dean Pucell, Declan Phelan, John Butler, Shane O’Brien, Liam O’Meara, Michael Heffernan, Peter Cleary, Gary Kelly, Gavin Phelan, John O’Leary, Dermot Atkins. Sub.: Dave Walsh for Kelly (71 mins).
Bohemians: Andrew Halligan, Kevin Whittle, John Boland, David Whittle, Liam Maher, Paul Walsh, Matthew Billingham, Bobby Keoghan, Stephen McLawrence, Morgan Pender, Gerry Connors. Subs.: Kenny Purcell for McLawrence (71 mins), Robbie O’Keefee (78 mins), David Kennedy for Connors (80 mins).
Referee: Jimmy McGrath.