Details

Date Time League Season
21 October 2022 7:45 pm LOI Men's Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Bohs strike late to dent Harps relegation survival

Declan McDaid's controversial 89th-minute equaliser saw Bohemians recover to snatch a share of the spoils against relegation-threatened Finn Harps at Dalymount Park.

The result, coupled with UCD's 2-1 comeback win over Drogheda elsewhere on MD34, has confined Finn Harps to rock bottom of the Premier Division with two matches remaining.

Two goals in three second-half minutes from Ethan Boyle and Filip Mihaljevic had Ollie Horgan ready to celebrate a vital return to winning ways, yet there was still an unwanted late surprise in store.

Bohs substitute Jamie Mullins' incisive over-the-top pass sent the visitors' backline into a frenzy, as they all simultaneously appealed for offside on the far side.

McDaid couldn't believe his luck, watching goalkeeper James McKeown charge off his line to clear - yet missing the ball completely.

The mistake gave the midfielder free reign to slot home a stunning leveller, the latest twist in an uncomfortable rollercoaster ride for new manager Declan Devine watching from the technical area.

Former Derry City boss Devine knows his new side could've easily lost here, and it would have been all of their own doing despite what was a decent start to a slow affair in rainy Dublin conditions.

They almost scored early on from a sloppy backpass, while Jordan Flores and Kris Twardek were their most threatening outlets during a scrappy opening without many clear-cut chances.

Ethan Boyle avoided punishment after a cynical bodycheck to halt Bohemians' well-worked passing sequence as they edged towards the area, before defensive teammate Conor Tourish made a last-ditch sliding block to deny Ethon Varian lurking minutes later.

Ryan Connolly limped off midway through the first-half with a recurrence of the knock he suffered early on, with Ryan Rainey - his replacement - among multiple players also needing medical treatment for niggling injuries.

That made for a stop-start affair with neither side able to truly settle into rhythm, though the first-half quickly turned from drab to dramatic in the final stages as Bohemians were lax at the back.

A disastrous pass by goalkeeper Tadhg Ryan gifted Barry McNamee a chance he should've buried, but instead the shot was parried to safety. A minute later, defender Rory Feely needlessly dived in late on Filip Mihaljevic as he cut inside the area and shaped to shoot.  

Ryan bailed him out for what was an indefensible piece of defending by guessing the right way and thwarting the Croatian from the spot moments later, keeping the scores goalless at the break.

The second-half was much the opposite early on. Bohs were sluggish out of the blocks, with Robert Jones heading over the crossbar from a rare corner - one created by Josh Kerr's sloppy play in possession.  

Jordan Flores made an important defensive intervention, sliding in to block a dangerous attack in its tracks as the visitors were growing in confidence, fashioning half-chances without much effort.

James Clarke looked like a man possessed, creating three opportunities in quick succession as he probed to find the all-important opener.

His third was the best, displaying close-control dribbling to advance unchallenged before curling another strike goalwards -- watching it whistle narrowly wide of the far post.

Then eight minutes later, Feely atoned for his earlier error by turning creator for Bohs' opener. His forward forays would not go unrewarded as the 25-year-old drilled a low cross into the box - Varian fortuitously latching onto it, flicking into the far corner for his first goal since departing Stoke in July.

The celebrations didn't last long though, as McNamee's corner delivery was poorly defended and Boyle leaped highest to head home Harps' equaliser 13 minutes later.

Without warning, it went from bad to worse for the hosts as Ciaran Kelly hesitated when trying to control a lofted ball headed towards him.

Mihaljevic was sharp this time around, sensing his indecision and pounced before beating Kelly to make it 2-1. A three-minute sequence and suddenly, Bohemians were teetering on the ropes. 

McDaid had the last laugh with his late equaliser, though he did look offside on first viewing. 2-2 it finished, a display reinforcing the belief Devine has plenty of development to oversee before 2023.

As for Finn Harps, they dropped two points here and as the battle to avoid automatic relegation intensifies, their fate now rests in the hands of two teams with nothing to play for.

  • As always, thanks for joining me tonight. Stay tuned for the full match report, as well as keeping up-to-date with results across the grounds elsewhere in the country's top-two divisions with some significant results including Cork City's celebration at home to Bray Wanderers and a 3-3 draw in Dundalk. Until next time, goodnight!

  • 95'

    FT: Bohemians 2-2 Finn Harps - This was a manic end to a slow-burning match. Four goals in the second-half, making up for a dramatic finish to the first-half, a result confining Finn Harps to the Premier Division's bottom spot after fellow relegation-threatened UCD won 2-1 at home against Drogheda elsewhere tonight.

  • 90'

    Mullins' over-the-top ball has Finn Harps defenders scrambling, they all have their hands up signalling for offside - yet Declan McDaid can't believe his luck as goalkeeper James McKeown misses the ball completely and slots into an empty net. 2-2!

  • 89'

    GOAL! BOHS MAKE IT 2-2, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

  • 86'

    I'm not sure what's happened, there's an off-the-ball incident and multiple people are unhappy. Time is ticking by...

  • 80'

    Varian, who was struggling with a knock after Finn Harps' equaliser, is replaced by Jamie Mullins. Can Bohs bounce back and respond immediately?

  • 79'

    Bohs defender Ciaran Kelly hesitates as he tries to control a lofted ball headed back towards goal, Mihaljevic senses his indecision and dutifully pounces. Having missed the spot-kick earlier, the Croatian is sharp and leaves Ryan in his rearview mirror to snatch what could be the winner! Crazy five minute spell.

  • 78'

    GOAL!!! FINN HARPS MAKE IT 2-1, WOW!

  • 77'

    McNamee produces a well-struck corner delivery from the far side, it's not defended well at all and Ethan Boyle pounces to head home - with goalkeeper Ryan in no man's land.

  • 76'

    GOAL! 1-1, FINN HARPS EQUALISE!

  • 72'

    McWoods - who did get booked and just came on - limps off with a muscle injury. He's replaced by Jaime Siaj, while Regan Donelon comes off. Harry Nicolson replacing him in a like-for-like substitution.

  • 69'

    The referee reaches into his pocket and brandishes a booking for dissent as a Finn Harps player angrily remonstrates with a decision, arguing on the far side with the linesman. I think that's been given to McWoods.

  • 66'

    Things have gone from bad to worse for Finn Harps after conceding that goal: Dara Keane has just made it 2-1 for UCD in their home clash with Drogheda.

  • 65'

    Immediately after that goal... Dylan Duncan off, Eric McWoods on in Finn Harps' second change of the evening.

  • 65'

    Immediately after that goal... Dylan Duncan off, Eric McWoods on in Finn Harps' second change of the evening.

  • 64'

    Feely, who gave away that first-half penalty, galloped down the flank again and drilled a low cross into the box - Ethon Varian gets a bit of fortune to latch onto it, but won't mind as he flicks it into the far corner. That's his first goal for Bohs since joining in July!

  • 63'

    GOAL! BOHEMIANS 1-0 UP!

  • 57'

    McNamee creates a yard of space and strikes goalwards, but scuffs the effort - moments after Boyle's well-drilled cross is missed by Mihaljevic in the box.

  • 56'

    Boyle puts his body on the line and gets a whack for his troubles, after some brave but necessary defending as McDaid threatened a volley inside the area.

  • 55'

    Close! Clarke's close-control dribbling helps him advance forward, he curls an effort goalwards but as Harps goalkeeper James McKeown scrambles across, the strike whistles narrowly wide.

  • 52'

    "Wake up," is the cry from the Bohs technical area as Robert Jones fires a well-struck effort narrowly over Ryan's crossbar. Right on cue then, Clarke heads narrowly wide of the near post from a looping cross.

  • 50'

    James Clarke drives at the Finn Harps defence but blazes over the bar - perhaps releasing the trigger a touch or two earlier than he needed to.

  • 48'

    Flores makes an important defensive intervention, sliding in to block as Finn Harps go on the attack again. They'll be growing in confidence, fashioning half-chances like this without much effort.

  • 47'

    OVER THE BAR! Robert Jones heads over the crossbar from a rare Finn Harps corner, the danger is eventually averted but had he steered the attempt on target... that's surely 1-0 to the visitors!

  • 46'

    Second-half underway, no changes at the break! 0-0, something tells me it won't stay this way though.

  • 48'

    HT: Bohemians 0-0 Finn Harps. The hosts had a corner late in stoppage-time, but it came to nothing in the end. Goalless at the break and it really shouldn't be, as far as either side is concerned.

  • 45'

    Three minutes of stoppage-time to be added on, in a half that has quickly turned from drab to dramatic.

  • 41'

    That whole sequence just shows how quickly things can turn. Finn Harps could be 2-0 heading into the break, after two mistakes, yet Bohs goalkeeper Tadhg Ryan stands tall for now.

  • 40'

    SAVED! Mihaljevic was gift-wrapped the penalty, stutters as he shoots and Ryan guesses the right way - diving to his left, thwarting the Croatian with his outstretched legs before gobbling up Ethan Boyle's follow-up from distance.

  • 39'

    PENALTY TO FINN HARPS! Rory Feely dives in on Filip Mihaljevic, poor defending and wow.

  • 38'

    SAVE! McNamee has the visitors' best chance of the evening so far, from seemingly nowhere. A disastrous pass by Tadhg Ryan, who does well to atone for his error moments later - staying upright as long as he could to parry away.

  • 37'

    Flores unleashes another ambitious strike from a difficult angle, again misses the target. Jack Keaney meanwhile, has levelled for UCD in the Drogheda clash.

  • 35'

    I didn't see it, but Rainey - who just came on - is now receiving treatment for a knock. He's okay to continue though.

  • 34'

    Bohs score, but it's immediately wiped away! Varian is penalised for a foul in the build-up, as he attempted to screen a defender to give Conor Levingston a free shot on goal.

  • 32'

    Kerr whips a great ball into the area for an overlapping McDaid, who stretches on the overlap but can't latch onto the pass as it trickles out of play. Encouraging signs again from the hosts there.

  • 30'

    It's been a stop-start affair in this uneventful first-half, Josh Kerr the latest to pick up a knock. He gets the all-clear to continue though, as Bohs continue their patient passing play in the middle third.

  • 26'

    My pictures are back! The game is paused as Connolly is down injured again, a recurrence of that issue from the first minute. He receives medical treatment and limps off, Ryan Rainey replacing him.

  • 22'

    Bohs look increasingly dangerous, and right as I say that, there's a temporary loss of pictures here. Bare with...

  • 20'

    As far as this match is concerned, they need to retain possession better and get players 20 yards further upfield - inviting pressure onto themselves and it won't be long before they're punished if it continues like this.

  • 17'

    Some good news for Finn Harps: UCD remain bottom as it stands. Their relegation rivals are 1-0 down at home against Drogheda United after Darragh Nugent's cool finish, four minutes into their clash at the UCD Bowl.

  • 16'

    Bohs free-kick from deep is taken short and quickly, McDaid floats a cross into the area but it's headed clear. Varian lurks, Connolly hoofs partially clear and Bohs retaining possession well here.

  • 12'

    Tourish makes a last-ditch sliding block in the area to thwart Varian as Bohs probe, searching for an opener with more vigour now.

  • 10'

    Bohemians execute a well-worked passing sequence, one stopped in its tracks on the edge of the area by a cynical Boyle bodycheck. Surprisingly, the referee waved play on though and the danger is averted!

  • 7'

    After Bohs charge down the left, the ball is partially cleared but only as far as Jordan Flores outside the area. He has a pop on the volley from distance, and well, the less said about that shot the better.

  • 4'

    Rainfall at Dalymount Park is fairly heavy now, after initially appearing to be a little bit of drizzle during the warm-up and before both sides came out. Bohs look threatening with their on-ball pressure in the early stages.

  • 1'

    And we're off! Bohemians vs. Finn Harps, Ryan Connolly goes down injured momentarily in midfield but play resumes and Bohs almost score from a sloppy backpass. It feels like it's going to be that sort of evening.

  • After a brief delay, the two teams are now out onto the pitch and kick-off is just moments away now.

  • Now for Bohs: Canadian winger Kris Twardek, a Millwall academy graduate, makes his ninth consecutive start tonight - he created an assist during their 2-0 win in the reverse fixture last month. Academy prospect and teenage midfielder Jake McCormack is promoted to the matchday squad here too.

  • Team news for Harps first: Jones, Boyle and Filip Mihaljevic are recalled to the starting eleven in place of Rainey, Siaj and N'Zeyi. McWoods passed a late fitness test, so is among the substitutes' bench tonight.

  • As I wait for team news to filter through, some pre-match details. Bohs' pie van is closed due to a power issue, one that has hungry fans unhappy on social media. Second, I've just seen that tonight's game will be broadcast using a tracking camera - reducing production quality - and it's available to watch for €5. Interesting.

  • Bohemians by contrast, have nothing besides pride to play for. They can finish as high as fifth, or as low as eighth, depending on how other mid-table clubs fare elsewhere in the coming weeks. Impressing new manager Declan Devine though, will be a key motivating tool for Bohs in a contest they should win easily, on paper.

  • As I detailed in my match preview - you can read that in the article tab - tonight's visitors sit 9th, only above UCD on goal difference. While the 10th-placed team automatically drops into the second-tier, whoever finishes 9th enters a relegation play-off vs. the First Division play-off final winners in the second week of November.

  • My name's Mosope Ominiyi and I'll be guiding you through the night's action as it unfolds from Dalymount Park, with Finn Harps looking to snap their six-match winless run with the possibility of relegation intensifying.

  • Good evening everyone, and welcome to tonight's live minute-by-minute commentary from the Irish Premier Division, as mid-table side Bohemians host second-bottom Finn Harps in a must-win clash for the visitors.

Bohemians

25Tadhg Ryan Goalkeeper
2Josh Kerr Defender
4Rory Feely Defender
6Ciaran Kelly Defender
6Jordan Flores Midfielder
7Declan McDaid Midfielder 89'
11Kris Twardek Midfielder
14Conor Levingston Midfielder
22James Clarke Midfielder
24Max Murphy 6 Midfielder
18Ethon Varian 22 Forward 63'
27Reece Byrne Goalkeeper
27Cian Byrne Defender
32Derin Adewale Defender
6Jordan Doherty 24 Midfielder
8Ali Coote Midfielder
22Jamie Mullins 18 Midfielder
24Aaron Doran Midfielder
28James McManus Midfielder
33Jake McCormack Midfielder

Finn Harps

25James McKeown Goalkeeper
2Conor Tourish Defender
4Rob Slevin Defender 34'
7Gary Boylan Defender
19Regan Donelon 16 Defender
24Ethan Boyle Defender 76'
6Ryan Connolly 22 Midfielder
11Barry McNamee Midfielder
56Dylan Duncan 8 Midfielder
18Robert Jones Forward
33Filip Mihaljevic Forward 79'
89'
99Gavin Mulreany Goalkeeper
15Jose Carrillo Defender
16Harry Nicolson 19 Defender
23Liam McGing Defender
10Mark Timlin Midfielder
22Ryan Rainey 6 Midfielder 91'
8Eric McWoods 32 Forward 69'
12Luke Rudden Forward
32Jaime Siaj 8 Forward

Past Meetings

(Round 19)
0 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Bohemian FC

(1st Round)
1 - 3
FAI Cup
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Bohemian FC

(Round 10)
2 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Dalymount Park

Bohemian FC v Finn Harps

(Round 4)
1 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Bohemian FC

(Series 28)
1 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Dalymount Park

Bohemian FC v Finn Harps

(Series 22)
1 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Bohemian FC

(Series 10)
4 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Dalymount Park

Bohemian FC v Finn Harps

(Series 1)
1 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Bohemian FC

(Series 17)
0 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Dalymount Park

Bohemian FC v Finn Harps

(Series 8)
0 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Bohemian FC

Ground

Dalymount Park
Dalymount Park, Connaught Street, Phibsborough, Cabra East A ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, D07 XH2D, Ireland

Mosope Ominiyi is a freelance sports journalist and sub-editor with over a decade's worth of experience, having graduated in 2020 with a BA Hons degree at Staffordshire University. His work has appeared in The Times, MailOnline and Sportskeeda, among other platforms.