Carrick Utd 2; Bohemians 0
Only a five-star performance by the Bohemians goalkeeper Geoff Kelly prevented his side from getting a real hammering in this game. Playing instead of regular netminder, Andrew Halligan, the long-serving Bohs clubman pulled off a string of brilliant saves to keep the champions at bay.
The visitors went into the game on the back of a defeat to Dungarvan the previous week. Carrick on the other hand were superbly confident having won away in Dublin against Trinity Corrinthians in the FAI Junior Cup. The real winners from this game were Waterford Crystal who remain top of the table.
With St Saviour’s also losing, Crystal now hold a one-point advantage over Bohs and they have played a game less. They are five clear of the Saints with the same number of games played.
Interesting to note the return of Daryl Kavanagh to the Carrick team. Last season he played with Waterford United. There is no doubt that he will score a lot of goals for the league champions from here until the end of the season and when Thomas Fitzgerald returns from injury their partnership will give a lot of defenders headaches along the way.
One has to give Bohemians credit for never throwing in the towel and they battled away right to the bitter end and they will hope to get back to winning form against Johnville next Sunday.
The visitors from Ben Wadding Park piled on the pressure in the second half but just couldn’t muster up the opportunities to trouble or to find a way past Carrick United goalkeeper Adrian Walsh, who had very few saves to make.
It was a very slow start to the contest and the opening 20 minutes was limited to little action before Bohemians had the first chance of the game on 22 minutes when Bobby Keoghan tried his luck with a 35-yard free kick that Walsh got down very well to save.
Less than two minutes later they had another half chance when a Keoghan cross from the right was met Gary Keane but the midfielder found the side netting with a decent right-footed effort from inside the penalty area.
It took Carrick a while to get into the match and when they did, chance after chance followed and on 25 minutes, a Wayne Fitzgerald cracking effort from the edge of the area seemed destine for the top corner but Bohemians defender Stephen Walsh was on hand to clear off the line.
Daryl Kavanagh’s inclusion in the Carrick United setup is certainly a major plus from his side’s point of view and he thought that he had broken the deadlock on 30 minutes when picking up a pass from Anthony O’Donnell but Geoff Kelly somehow managed to dive full length to divert the ball around the posts.
Minutes later and Fitzgerald fired narrowly wide of the target before O’Donnell and Barry Murphy combined to set up Kavanagh and he was denied by yet another wonderful save from Geoff Kelly before sixty seconds later, the same player after an O’Donnell pass fired past Kelly but this time, the wide trickled wide.
The home side finally managed to break the deadlock on 35 minutes when a Richie Lawrence corner kick was knocked back to Barry Murphy, who fed Wayne Fitzgerald and he hammered a low 25-yard effort past the helpless Geoff Kelly.
Three minutes later, Anthony Power raced clear after a pass from Wayne Fitzgerald but Kelly did superbly well once again to save at his near post before Daryl Kavanagh was denied by the crossbar on 42 minutes following a Barry Murphy pass.
Bohemians needed to change things at the break and that they did but Carrick were again denied by the upright on 56 minutes when Stephen Hahessy turned provider for Kavanagh but his cracking effort came off the post.
Gerry Connors were denied by an Anthony O’Donnell blocked shortly afterwards as the visitors tried to get back into the clear and a Hahessy effort came crashing back off the uprights on 62 minutes and as Bohemians went in search of an equaliser, Adrian Walsh saved well from Bobby Keoghan shortly afterwards.
With Carrick on the back foot and the visitors going for an equaliser, Liam Maher went close with less than four minutes remaining but he just couldn’t find a way past keeper Walsh before in the final minute, Alan Redmond made sure of victory with a late left-footed strike after doing superbly well on the edge of the area.
Carrick Utd: Adrian Walsh, James Walsh, Brain Barry (Alan Redmond H-T), Anthony O’Donnell, John Walsh, Richie Lawrence, Anthony Power, Wayne Fitzgerald, Stephen Hahessy (Eoin Burke, 75 mins), Daryl Kavanagh (Ian Cleary, 80) and Barry Murphy.
Bohs: Geoff Kelly, Stephen Walsh, John Boland, David Whittle (Kevin Whittle, 80), Leo Jacques, Liam Maher, Robbie O’Keeffe (Morgan Pender, 50), Gary Keane, Stephen McLawrence (Andrew Denn, 65), Gerry Connors and Bobby Keoghan.
Referee: Noel Purcell.