Derry City 1-2 Bohemians
- U19s eight-game unbeaten run comes to an end.
- City drop out of the top for.
- Odhran Kennedy fired City in front.
- Devoy and Omochere scored in injury time to seal win.
- Boyce was sent-off with seconds remaining.
Bohemians scored two goals in stoppage time to bring Derry City U19s unbeaten run to an abrupt end.
The young Candy Stripes had established a one-goal lead in a close encounter at Brandywell courtesy of an Odhran Kennedy effort on 34 minutes.
But Shaun Holmes’ men, who were resolute in their defending all afternoon, were undone in the 92nd minute when Dawson Devoy, the league’s top marksman, blasted home a free-kick from the edge of the area to equalise.
Substitute Promise Omochere netted the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
City headed into the game on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run but Bohs presented the Candy Stripes with a different challenge. Craig Sexton’s men, with twelve wins and only one defeat this season, are cruising towards another Northern Elite Division title.
Derry’s plans were disrupted in the warm-up when Caolan McLaughlin, who has made a welcome return to the club following his short stint with Coleraine, sustained a hamstring injury. The home side deployed a 3-5-2 formation with former Buncrana Hearts man Mark McFadden making his competitive debut in midfield.
Dawson Devoy fashioned an early chance but his effort was well dealt with by City keeper Daniel Houghton.
Moments later, Devoy played a clever one-two with his striking partner Brandon Birmingham before firing narrowly over the bar.
With both sides evenly matched and cancelling each other out, there were no real incidents of note until City broke the deadlock on 34 minutes. Odhran Kennedy converting from close range after an excellent cross from Evan McLaughlin.
It was the Gypsies who started the second period with more intent, with Republic of Ireland Under-19 manager, Tom Mohan keeping a keen eye on proceedings from the Mark Farren Stand.
Birmingham nipped in between Houghton and Conor Doherty to fire over before Dominic Dunne tried his luck from long-range but his effort was of little threat to the visitor’s goal.
Substitute Jack Moylan tested Houghton shortly after his introduction with the resulting clearance landing at the feet of Gavin Molloy. His fiercely struck daisy cutter from 30-yards was destined for the bottom corner until Houghton got down superbly to push away for a corner.
Shortly afterwards, Ross Tierney fired a free-kick just over from 20-yards.
Jack O’Donnell and Odhran Kennedy were threatening for City on the break, with the latter delivering an excellent cross into the six-yard box where Aaron McDaid should have done better when challenging the keeper.
Much of Derry’s recent good form has been down to their solid defensive structure and they needed to be in top form as the Gypsies turned up the tempo and began to find their rhythm.
Bohs were controlling proceedings and on 67 minutes Sexton’s men should have drawn level. Promise Omochere brushed off the challenge of City full-back McDermott before presenting the unmarked Birmingham with a free shot at goal but he uncharacteristically blazed his effort over the bar.
At the other end, Jack O’Donnell was unfortunate to see his shot sail over after a clever backheel from Kennedy set him up.
Following a flowing move and a pinpoint through ball, Birmingham was released in behind the City defence but centre-back Kevin McKinney, who was a was a pillar of strength all afternoon, read the play superbly and averted the danger with an expertly timed challenge.
With Derry conceding too much ground in midfield the pressure increased on the backline. City dug in and defended extremely well for the most part with former Swilly Rovers man Ronan Boyce standing tall and looking more like a senior player with each passing game.
Moylan rifled wide from 35-yards before Houghton produced another reaction save to deny the nippy wide man.
On a rare counter-attack, with only five minutes left on the clock, Derry almost doubled their lead. After some superb play down the left, Aaron McDaid teed up Kennedy inside the area. The lively forward nipped in front of the keeper but his goal-bound effort was cleared off the line.
Omochere was the architect of another opportunity for Birmingham but he lacked the composure to find the perfect finish and headed over the bar.
The inevitable equaliser arrived on 92 minutes when Devoy blasted a free-kick from the edge of the area past a static Houghton.
Promise Omochere sealed the victory when he scrambled home the winner from close range in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Derry finished the game with ten men after, Ronan Boyce already booked, went in hard on Tierney, referee Michael Connelly was left with no choice but to show the Ramelton man a second yellow.
City drop down to fifth in the table, one point outside the top four with six games left to play.
Derry City: Daniel Houghton; Ronan Boyce, Kevin McKinney, Conor Doherty; Evan McLaughlin, Jack O’Donnell, Brendan Barr, Mark McFadden, Odhran Kennedy; Dominic Dunne, Jack Coyle.