No bite at Dalymount

Last updated : 18 February 2008 By Simon Doyle
Connaught Street Terrace which housed the Burnley fans

At its height, Dalymount hosted prestigious World Cup qualifiers against England, France and Scotland, but it is unlikely that this poor spectacle will be recorded in its annals.

This was the Clarets' first ever game in the Republic and first on Irish soil since the Northern Ireland tour in 1997.

For many of the 200 visiting fans scattered around the Connaught Street Terrace, this was their second visit to a capital city in the same week, but there would be no repeat in Dublin of the heroics in London.

Andrew Cole was one of a host of players that did not make the side. Kyle Lafferty, Graham Alexander, Robbie Blake and Stanislav Varga were among the others who weren't included.

Owen Coyle, Steve Davis and Sandy Stewart were, therefore, included among the subs.

Coyle chose a 4-5-1 formation with Ade Akinbiyi operating as a lone striker. Joey Gudjonsson slotted in at right back while Clarke Carlisle, making his comeback from injury, started alongside Steven Caldwell in central defence.

Gabor Kiraly got the nod in goal with Brian Jensen attempting to warm the bench.

Beast, in perhaps a tribute to former Irish TV character Fortycoats, who as his name suggests wore forty coats to keep warm, showed the travelling fans just how many layers he was wearing, a lot.

There was also a rare start for former Bohs player Garreth O'Connor, who before the match said he hoped to rejuvenate his career starting with the game at Dalymount.

His performance will not have helped his cause greatly but may have put him in the shop window for a return to the League of Ireland.

Steve Davis
Steve Davis - on as a substitute
There was a lot of movement on the pitch but not a lot of action, owing largely to the bitter cold.

The Clarets dominated possession early but it was the hosts that carved out the first real chance. Killian Brennan's quality free kick was destined for the top corner until Gabor Kiraly touched it onto the post and the rebound was cleared.

Wade Elliott caused problems and after some good work on the wing he set up Stephen Jordan who blasted over.

Bohemians had another chance to take the lead but Kiraly saved comfortably from a Mark Rossiter effort. The Hungarian was forced into action again on the half hour turning a weak shot from Chris Brennan around the post.

Gudjonsson looked slightly exposed at right back, his height a noticeable disadvantage as the Bohs continually played the ball long over his head.

Elliott played well in midfield alongside the accomplished-looking Mark Randall. After some fine hold-up play by Akinbiyi, Elliott unleashed a fierce shot that was blocked down.

The second half was even poorer that the first, with the visitors content to sit back.

Bohs, who are in their pre-season, worked a lot harder, battling for every ball and closing down at every opportunity.

Burnley appeared satisfied with completing the game unscathed. Carlisle was sloppy at times and was booked for a heavy challenge on Turner.

Jon Harley and James O'Connor replaced Gudjonsson and Elliott and then Owen Coyle himself, wearing Lafferty's number 17 shirt, came on for the last 25 minutes.

Within moments of coming on, the 41-year-old Coyle contributed more to the game than Lafferty, the player whose shirt he was wearing, had managed in 90 minutes at Loftus Road.

The manager broke down the right wing and put in a perfect cross, but there were no runners from deep and the ball was cleared to safety.

Coyle, who looked lively, was also frustrated when he was failed to be played in as he waited to spring the Bohs' offside trap.

Sensing victory, the home side heaped on the pressure in the closing stages. Substitute Paddy Madden turned Carlisle but blazed his shot high over the bar when one-on-one with Kiraly.

Bohs had another opportunity to snatch the win; Brennan glancing a header just over the bar from a corner in what was the last action of the game.

In the club bar after the final whistle, a pair of home fans summed up the mood: 'Brutal lads, just brutal.'

Burnley: Kiraly; Gudjonsson (Harley, 60), Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan; Elliott (J. O'Connor 60), Spicer, Randall (Coyle, 64), McCann (Davis, 73), J O'Connor; Akinbiyi.

Bohemians: Murphy; Rossiter, Heary, McGuinness, Powell (Byrne, 85); Cronin, ODonnell (Singh, 60), Hunt (Kelly, 60), Turner (Madden, 81), Brennan; Crowe (Fenn, 73).