Home form a concern for Bohemians as drab draw makes it one win from the last five at Dalymount

Bohemians 0 Shelbourne 0

Bohemians' Ali Coote in action against Shelbourne's Jad Hakiki at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

It only took them two-and-a-half years, but Bohemians finally provided their supporters with the unwanted gift of a scoreless draw as their poor run in Dublin derbies goes on.

The Gypsies had to settle for 0-0 at home to Shelbourne, their first such scoreline since October 2020.

Although they had long spells of possession in a game low on quality, they failed to trouble Reds ’keeper Conor Kearns, bar a first-half free-kick that came off the crossbar. For their part, a shot-shy Shels never came close to winning a dull affair.

Bohs now have two wins to show from eight derbies this season, perhaps a relief that they don’t have to face one of their city rivals for another month, with tests against Sligo Rovers, Cork City and Derry City on the way before the mid-season break.

Home form is also approaching a concern, one win from the last five now at Dalymount, though attacking options for the games ahead may be boosted by the return, from injury, of James Akintunde. Dalymount Park was a sell-out for this derby, a healthy crowd of 4,381, but the paying punters were getting poor value for money, especially in a turgid first half, low on tension and entertainment. The second period was little better.

Both sides huffed and puffed in the early stages as both midfields cancelled each other out, David McDaid well off target with the home side’s first half-chance on 14 minutes, while Shels man Tyreke Wilson was also wide of the mark with a free-kick on 28 minutes.

Bohs only found something approaching a stride late in the first half, one threat on 40 minutes when a good move led to a cross from the left by Jordan Flores, and while he did find Jonathan Afolabi, he was blocked by his marker.

The home side came closest to scoring three minutes from the break. A free-kick was awarded after Mark Coyle fouled Adam McDonnell, Ali Coote stepped up for the dead-ball opportunity, but his effort struck the crossbar.

The second half saw more of the same, Bohs dominant in terms of possession as they poked and prodded at Shels but lacked conviction, while the well-drilled visitors soaked up the pressure and tried to find pockets for Jack Moylan to exploit. Yet Shels had only half-chances, easy saves for James Talbot to deny Moylan and Jad Hakiki.

Both managers turned to the bench and asked fit-again forwards to try and lift things, Akintunde on for Bohs after a nine-game absence due to injury while Shels fans got to see Seán Boyd for the first time since February.

But their efforts would not yield a goal, though Krystian Nowak had to be alert to cut out the threat from Boyd at the far post with 10 minutes left.

Bohemians – Talbot; Benn (Horton 91), Nowak, Radkowski, Flores; McManus, McDonnell; Twardek, Coote, McDaid (Clarke 85); Afolabi (Akintunde 55).

Shelbourne – Kearns; Griffin, Molloy, Byrne; JR Wilson, Coyle (Hakiki 57), Lunney, T Wilson (Boyd 70); Smith (Ledwidge 70), Farrell (Cafftrey 46); Moylan (Moylan 90).

Ref – D MacGraith

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