Date Time League Season
29 October 2021 7:45 pm Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Irish 21’s star Boyce secures draw in Derry

Derry City needed a stoppage-time equaliser from Ireland U21 international Ronan Boyce to gratefully avoid defeat in a frenetic 1-1 Premier Division draw with Bohemians at Brandywell tonight.

With better finishing or simply more composure in the final third, they would've had a three-goal cushion to protect at half-time.

Such was their early dominance, Jamie McGonigle had multiple sights of goal in the first-half while wingers James Akintunde and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe were frequently dangerous.

Instead, Keith Long's men went into the interval happier with their work and punished their hosts' profligacy without hesitation. On a night where in-form goalscorer Georgie Kelly was a notable absentee for the visitors, Promise Omochere proved a worthy replacement in attack.

His problematic pressing helped them break the deadlock out of seemingly nothing, four minutes after the restart. He shrugged off a challenge from one defender, ghosted past another and fired low into the bottom corner beyond goalkeeper Nathan Gartside.

Despite the initial shock of conceding, Derry didn't let their heads go down. Instead, they were more urgent in their play and the increasing pressure eventually told despite Bohemians winding down the clock in what soon became a stop-start affair littered with cynical fouls.

Ogedi-Uzokwe showed great flexibility and somehow hit the woodwork in the area with a defender all over him, before Cameron McJannett had a genuine penalty claim waved away by referee Damien MacGraith after being pushed as he lurked intently towards the far post.

An equaliser felt ominous and duly arrived in stoppage-time with Boyce's scrappy close-range finish which James Talbot couldn't stop.

However, the hosts had Eoin Toal to thank for keeping the score 1-0 with brave defending on the line as Gartside's miskick almost proved costly.

His spatial awareness seemed off all night long and the 23-year-old was caught out in possession on a handful of occasions, leaving manager Ruaidhri Higgins and the home fans holding their breath at times.

Ultimately, they'll go home thankful their unbeaten home run has been extended to six, despite losing ground on Sligo Rovers in the European race after results didn't go their way elsewhere tonight.

  • 95'

    FULL-TIME! You could sense this encounter would feature ample action from the opening minutes, but the drama that has unfolded in the dying embers? A nightmare for reporters but a welcome sight for the hosts.

  • 95'

    It has been coming all game and they've finally managed it, messy but a goal all the same! Talbot is fuming at his backline, who let a teasing cross come in unchallenged... then the ball fortuitously fell into his path for a free shot from close-range. He couldn't miss!

  • 94'

    GOAL! Boyce at the death! Derry have equalised, deep into second-half stoppage-time!

  • 92'

    Omochere comes off, Levingston replaces him

  • 91'

    A silly booking is brandished Devoy's way, who tries to waste time with gamesmanship at a Derry corner.

  • 90'

    Five minutes of stoppage-time to be played, as Derry crank up the pressure another few notches...

  • 89'

    More expert game management by the visiting 'keeper, who launches a long kick upfield after a big block by one of his defenders from the resulting free-kick.

  • 88'

    Feely commits a sloppy challenge in a dangerous position, and the fullback is rightly booked for his troubles.

  • 86'

    Another substitution as time is running out... Ferry on for Harkin. Will it stay 1-0? Can Derry find a way back into this?

  • 82'

    Another change, this time defensive for the visitors... Finnerty replaces Coote.

  • 80'

    Another change, as McLaughlin replaces Coll in an attacking change for the hosts.

  • 78'

    OFF THE BAR! Junior somehow manages to swing a leg across his marker and hits goalwards, Talbot watches the strike cannon back off the upright and another chance flashes narrowly wide seconds later.

  • 75'

    OFF THE LINE! Eoin Toal produces a brave bit of defending on the line, right on hand to bail out Gartside after he miskicks a loose ball and almost gifts Bohemians a second goal!

  • 74'

    Derry win a cheap free-kick, 20 yards out... Thomson hits an inswinging delivery and McJannett goes to ground, penalty shouts waved away by the referee though.

  • 73'

    Although the home supporters don't like it - understandably - Talbot is biding his time carefully whenever the ball comes near him, as this has become an increasingly stop-start affair.

  • 69'

    Wilson is booked and in fairness, he's fortunately to still be on the pitch after some needless off-the-ball aggro.

  • 67'

    The evening's first change comes midway through the second-half: William Fitzgerald comes on, replacing Lafferty

  • 65'

    Big sliding block by Harkin as Bohemians look to force the issue in-and-around the area...

  • 64'

    Burt accelerates towards the byline but is emphatically stopped in his tracks, albeit out for a corner. Nothing comes of it though, before Omochere's problematic pressing returns and he's almost in for his second!

  • 62'

    No substitutions yet for either side, though I'm hearing word of some subs warming up intensely on the far side in preparation... Meanwhile, Derry win a corner which Thomson curls into the box but Talbot confidently claims.

  • 57'

    The game's first booking is brandished to Harkin, somewhat harshly, as he abruptly stops play with a cynical block in midfield as Bohemians looked to play forward.

  • 56'

    Omochere pressing intently from the front as Derry aren't getting much opportunity to dictate the game's tempo on the ball, finding themselves frequently swamped by dark blue shirts.

  • 53'

    Tempers beginning to flare ever so slightly. Derry feeling hard done by with officiating decisions now, as two firm challenges go unpunished.

  • 50'

    Not long after the restart... Thomson tries his luck with an audacious snapshot on the half-volley, but watches it fly past Talbot's far post.

  • 49'

    GOAL! Omochere breaks the deadlock for Bohemians! He shrugs off one defender, ghosts past another and fires a right-footed effort into the bottom corner, a well-struck finish!

  • 48'

    Burt applies the finishing touch to a well-worked team move by the visitors, though his cross is comfortably caught.

  • 46'

    Second-half is now underway, no changes for either side at the break.

  • 45'

    In amongst all of the carnage after Talbot's double save, Omochere had a toe-poke effort at the other end blocked by the feet of Gartside - so it could easily be 2-2 right now. That said, the visitors will be happier that it's still 0-0.

  • 45'

    After a minute of first-half stoppage time, referee Damien MacGraith calls a halt to the action thus far. Still goalless, but it really shouldn't be...

  • 43'

    But that one did! Talbot spreads himself like a starfish at his near post, thwarting Akintunde's close-range header with his outstretched right arm as the ball was creeping into the top corner.

  • 42'

    Junior tries his luck on the edge of the area, but Talbot is equal to it. I'd have to see it again, but not entirely convinced the chance (and subsequent save) really justified such fanfare.

  • 40'

    Then, right on cue, McJannett makes a perfectly-timed interception to stop a Bohemians counter in its tracks as Lafferty's loose touch almost gifts the visitors a free opportunity on goal.

  • 39'

    Predictably, the game has gone into a bit of a lull over these last few minutes despite Derry's best efforts to build up play patiently from the back. McJannett calling for players to make a move for him rather speaks volumes.

  • 35'

    Breslin wins a Bohemians corner after charging forward on an overlapping run. From the set-piece, Burt jumps highest to meet an inswinging delivery but his headed flick-on trickles well wide.

  • 32'

    Coll with a great first-time ball towards Ogedi-Uzokwe, but the winger can't latch onto it as Bohemians get brief respite. They've been under the kosh a lot so far this half. Will the hosts live to rue these missed chances?

  • 30'

    Remember how Coote had that facial injury 20 minutes ago? Well, he's off the pitch again, this time looking very unhappy on the touchline as he needs more attention to stop the bleeding.

  • 28'

    The volume level has increased, as the fans can sense a goal is on the horizon... some needless, sloppy fouls being committed by both teams too, making this a frenetic affair and quite difficult to commentate! McGonigle has another effort at goal, this time high and wide.

  • 26'

    This game is really scrappy now, with both sides having opportunities to do damage. Derry defend well, dangerously close to their goalline, before Akintunde is punished for indecision as Talbot charges out at him up the other end!

  • 23'

    Big save! From the resulting free-kick, deep in the Bohemians area, Feely hits a brilliant crossfield pass to Burt. He tries his luck, forcing an important save from close-range by Gartside.

  • 22'

    Messy sequence for the visitors and somehow it's still goalless. Ogedi-Uzokwe is, in his opinion, harshly penalised for an overzealous challenge after his teammates had two or three opportunities to capitalise as Talbot charged out of his area, then watched the ball only sliced away!

  • 18'

    From the resulting corner, Derry counter with numbers in support but the danger is once more averted by another disappointing final ball - this time it's Joe Thomson who should've done better.

  • 17'

    Bohemians midfielder Devoy fires an ambitious long-range drive, which Gartside unconvincingly parries out for a corner...

  • 15'

    Make that two in two minutes! McGonigle, again, doesn't get enough power on his effort after Akintunde leaves his marker for dead down the flank and crosses into the area for the striker. That's a let off for Bohemians.

  • 13'

    Another half-chance for the hosts goes begging. Jamie McGonigle does the hard part well, turning his man inside out, but then his shot leaves a bit to be desired as Talbot gladly gobbles up the shot.

  • 11'

    After a lengthy medical assessment on the far side, play resumes and Cameron McJannett makes an important block away - brief bit of defending given how commanding the hosts have been so far.

  • 9'

    Free-kick to the visitors, as Coote goes down and appears to have suffered a head or facial injury near the touchline.

  • 7'

    Bohemians are struggling to deal with Derry's long balls played forward, as one resulted in a dangerous free-kick being fizzed across the face of goal and another almost let Danny Laferty through on-goal just now.

  • 4'

    Akintunde shows a good turn of pace and beats his man before whipping a promising pass into the area, though Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot cuts out the danger. Moments later, Joe Thomson lets fly from distance after Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe picks a defender's pocket... promising start from the hosts.

  • 2'

    Almost a nervy moment for Gartside in possession as he miscontrols a backpass and Promise Omochere lurks dangerously, but thankfully for the hosts, the danger is soon averted.

  • KICK-OFF! Bohemians get us underway.

  • Tonight's referee is Damien MacGraith and kick-off will be upon us shortly. As I outlined in my preview, a sellout crowd was expected and it looks nearly full with both sets of supporters rising to their feet, welcoming the players to the Brandywell pitch.

  • Meanwhile, Bohemians make a whopping six changes including recalls for Alistair Coote and Ross Tierney in midfield.

  • Team news for the hosts is now in, as Derry head coach Ruaidhri Higgins makes just one change to the starting XI beaten 1-0 by Drogheda last week - Danny Lafferty returns to the fold.

  • Derry City sit two points behind Sligo Rovers, who are at home to bottom side Longford Town and occupy the final European place. Bohemians will leapfrog them into fourth if they win tonight though, in a clash both will be keen to edge after suffering slender defeats last time out.

  • While we await the official team line-ups for both sides, let me set the scene ahead of a battle between fourth and fifth with a Europa Conference League berth still up for grabs this term.

  • Good evening and welcome to commentary ahead of tonight's intriguing clash between European hopefuls as Derry City host Bohemians. My name's Mosope Ominiyi and I'll be taking you through the night's events from Brandywell.

Derry City

1Nathan Gartside Goalkeeper
3Ciaran Coll 25 Defender
4Ciaron Harkin 31 Midfielder 57'
6Eoin Toal Defender
8Joe Thomson Midfielder
10Jamie McGonigle Forward
11James Akintunde Forward
11Ronan Boyce Defender 93'
20Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe Forward
21Cameron McJannet Defender
24Danny Lafferty 7 Defender
30Jack Lemoignan Goalkeeper
7Will Fitzgerald 24 Midfielder
17Gerard Storey Midfielder
20Darren Cole Defender
24Mark McChrystal Defender
25Evan McLaughlin 3 Defender
31Patrick Ferry 4 Forward
32Caolan McLaughlin Forward
33Michael Harris Midfielder


1James Talbot Goalkeeper
2Andy Lyons Defender
3Anto Breslin Defender
4Rory Feely Defender
6Ciaran Kelly Defender
8Ali Coote 18 Midfielder
11Liam Burt Midfielder
12Georgie Kelly Forward
19Tyreke Wilson Defender 69'
20Promise Omochere 14 Midfielder 49'
28Dawson Devoy Midfielder
25Stephen McGuinness Goalkeeper
9Cole Kiernan
10Keith Ward Midfielder
14Conor Levingston 20 Midfielder
15Roland Idowu
18James Finnerty 8 Defender
22Jamie Mullins Midfielder
23Sean McManus

Past Meetings

(Series 26)
3 - 3
Premier Division
Dalymount Park

Bohemian FC v Derry City

(Series 15)
1 - 1
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Bohemian FC

4 - 5
eLOI Group A
Online Event

Derry City v Bohemian FC

(Series 8)
1 - 2
Premier Division
Dalymount Park

Bohemian FC v Derry City

(Series 13)
2 - 1
Premier Division
Dalymount Park

Bohemian FC v Derry City

(Series 4)
2 - 0
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Bohemian FC


The Brandywell
Ryan McBride Brandywell, Derry, Northern Ireland, BT48 6NP, United Kingdom