Bohemians 5; Athea United (Limerick) 1
The only game that survived the on-going wet weather produced very little in the way of excitement. No fault could be aimed at the talented Bohemians team because they were by far the superior side all through the 90 minutes of play.
The outfit from Limerick had to play second fiddle to the Waterford side all through. All games were called off on Friday but Ozier Park was made available for Bohemians as they would have to travel to Limerick had the game not taken place.
This was a strange game in many ways. Bohemians scored three goals within the space of three minutes early in the first half and needless to say the game was well and truly over at that stage. Such was the frustration of the visitors, one of their players was then sent off following a nasty tangle with a Bohemians player.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Bohemians are a very tasty side, something they displayed against Tramore in the FAI Youth Cup some weeks ago but they will not run away with themselves following this latest victory.
Athea United were pretty poor but having said that all they can do is beat was is put in front of them and they certainly did the business in style.
A word of praise is required from the Ozier Park groundsman, Tom Murphy. Despite the terrible week of rain, he had the venue in pristine condition and the playing surface held up superbly. Hopefully the weather will dry up during the week and a full fixture list will be able to take place for the first time since Christmas.
Bohemians took up the running from the opening whistle and they camped inside the Athea United penalty area. After 5 minutes Kenny Purcell knocked the ball down to Paul Gahan who in turn passed the ball to Gary Keane but his right-footed shot came crashing back off the Athea upright.
It was a sign of things to come. Five minutes later David Kennedy swung over a corner kick which was met by Leo Jacques but his header went narrowly over the crossbar. A goal just had to come and it did arrive on 12 minutes and then the flood gates opened.
Paul Gahan got some space on the right and picked out Kenny Purcell who ran in front of a very slow defence and powered a header past the visiting goalkeeper Thomas Quinn. Straight from the re-start, Bohemians went back on the attack and they scored again.
David Kennedy was the player who created goal No 2 by firing the ball deep into the Athea penalty area from the left. Left full back Tom Greeney tried to head the ball clear under severe pressure but all he succeeded in doing was heading the ball into the back of Thomas Quinn’s net.
One minute later it went completely pear shaped for the boy’s from Limerick. Kenny Purcell cracked in a rasping drive which was parried by the goalkeeper Thomas Quinn but when the ball ran loose, Gary Keane was in the right place and he fired home the rebound.
It was all too muck for Athea and they then had Paul Matthews sent off after he got involved in a tangle with Paul Gahan. It was sheer frustration by Matthews but referee John Purcell had to option but to show him a red card.
The three goals and the red card were all produced inside the opening 15 minutes. It was hard to fathom out just what would happen next.
Time after time Bohemians pressed forward and they scored their 4th goal just before the half-time break. David Kennedy sent over a flag kick and defender Clive Prendergast powered a header into the roof of Thomas Quinn’s net.
More of the same
The second period followed the same pattern as the first with the Waterford side moving forward at every opportunity and they made it 5-0 on 53 minutes. Right full back Brian Nolan went down the right flank before crossing to Kenny Purcell and the in-form striker found the net with a powerful header from 8 yards.
Athea United did get their name on the scoresheet in fine style on the hour mark. Darren Murphy played a lovely one-two with Padraig Horgan before rounding Leo Jacques and placing the ball past the Bohemians goalkeeper Josh Byrne.
In many ways it was perhaps the best goal of the game but then the usual pattern continued with the home side camping inside the Athea penalty box. Kenny Purcell, Gary Keane, Paul Gahan and just about every other Bohs player had chances to score but missed chances and some great saves by Thomas Quinn meant that Bohemians had to be happy with just five goals.
As already said this was a very easy victory for the talents Red and Blacks and many more tricky contests are in store for the side in this competition.
Bohemians: Josh Byrne, Brian Nolan, Thomas Moore, Leo Jacques, Clive Prendergast, Eddie Barrett, Aaron Butler, Gary Keane, Paul Gahan, David Kennedy, Kenny Purcell. Subs (all second half): Shane Nolan for Purcell, Paul O’Brien for Gahan, Patrick Kennedy for Prendergast.
Athea United: Thomas Quinn, Chris Hayes, Tom Greeney, Sean McGrath, Conor McGrath, Colm Mullane, Padraig Horgan, Paul Matthews, Killian O’Carroll, Darren Murphy, Stephen McEnery. Subs (all second half): James Flavin for McEnery, Jason Quill for O’Carroll.
Referee: John Purcell.