Premier Division: Managerless Bohemians end Derry's unbeaten start

James Akintunde scores against his former club
James Akintunde scored the decisive goal against his former club

Derry City's unbeaten start to the season was ended at as they fell to a 2-1 defeat by managerless Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

Goals in each half from Dayle Rooney and former Derry striker James Akintunde meant Ronan Boyce's goal was in vain.

It was Derry's first defeat in Phibsborough since September 2020.

They stay second but there is now a five point gap to Shelbourne, who defeated St Patrick's Athletic 2-1.

"It's a really disappointing result for us," said Derry manager Ruaidhri Higgins.

"The two goals that we gave up were really poor goals. There was some really good stuff, particularly in the second half, but when you come away from home and give up the goals in the manner that we did, then the inevitable happens.

"We kept trying, we just lacked that little bit of quality with the final ball into the box. We definitely had the better of it, we just gave up two really poor goals.

"We need to eradicate that if we are to start picking up wins again."

Akintunde haunts former club

The Candystripes visited Dalymount Park to face a beleaguered Bohemians side, who had interim manager Pat Fenlon back in the dugout for the first time since 2011 after the sacking of former Derry City manager Declan Devine after just four games of the new campaign.

They did so without injured talisman Michael Duffy but had the better of a stop-start opening twenty minutes. First Paul McMullan and Adam O'Reilly tested Kacper Chorazka in quick succession before Bohs' Polish keeper was quick off the mark to deny Daniel Kelly after he benefited from defensive indecision.

However, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when a scuffed back pass from Sam Todd was pounced upon by Rooney, who made no mistake.

There was a collective sigh of relief from Derry shortly after when referee Rob Hennessy adjudged that Dylan Connolly took a dive over Brian Maher's outstretched leg in the box.

Maher showed why he was crowned Goalkeeper of the Year last year just after the break with a world-class save to thwart Filip Piszczek before Chorazka again denied Kelly at the other end when he was played in by O'Reilly.

Higgins introduced Patrick McEleney among others from the bench and Paul McMullan looked dangerous throughout but, despite dominating possession and creating more chances, Derry were lacking their usual cutting edge.

The visitors were then caught out against the run of play on 76 minutes and it was former Derry man Akintunde who got the final touch after a goalmouth scramble from Rooney's corner.

This appeared to sting City into life and the two-goal lead didn't last more than two minutes before Boyce drove a sweetly-struck shot from the edge of box through a crowd of bodies into the bottom corner.

However, they could not find another and the Candystripes tasted defeat for the first time in 2024. They welcome Galway United to the Brandywell in their next fixture after the international break.