Bohemians produced an encouraging display tonight to defeat Portadown 2-1 in the first leg of their opening round tie in the Setanta Sports Cup.
It was the type of start most were expecting to see in Dalymount Park at this early stage of the season with the home side happy to pass the ball around and try to gel as quickly as possible.
The first chance of the game fell to Bohs and deservedly so with Karl Moore providing a neat chip into the box for Peter McMahon who was just inches away from getting a foot to it.
A youthful Bohs side had the best of the opening exchanges with Owen Heary and Karl Moore combining well down the right hand side for Bohs.
Portadown had a healthy amount of possession themselves but weren’t generating any end product at all leaving Craig Sexton with very little to do in goal.
The first real test for Sexton came after 35 minutes with the lively Ross Redman going solo down the left wing before turning inside Owen Heary and hitting a powerful shot towards goal only to be denied by Sexton who had to be at full stretch to tip the ball clear and out for a corner.
The chance seemed to help the visitors to settle down with Redman acting as provider again with a swift cross into a crowded penalty area before Keith Ward managed to hook the ball clear to ease the pressure once more.
With a quiet first half coming to a close and not much for either set of supporters to shout about the Gypsies took the lead with a cool finish from Dinny Corcoran. Craig Sexton picked up the assist as his quick kick out evaded everyone and bounced through to Corcoran who sharply spotted Miskelly running out from his line and chipped the ball calmly over the advancing keeper and into the empty net.
The Gypsies could have doubled their lead within seconds with Keith Ward hitting a speculative effort from well outside the box after the ball came to him following a scuffed clearance. Wards shot skimmed just past Miskelly's post with the Portadown keeper in two minds on whether to make the save or not.
The second half started just as brightly as the first ended for Bohemians with Danny Joyce ghosting past the defence before shooting close range at goal but Miskelly got down well to save comfortably and keep the score at 1-0.
It wouldn’t stay that way for long though with Bohemians doubling their lead thanks to a wonder strike from Karl Moore. The entire Jodi Stand jumped with delight as Moore came in from the right hand side before unleashing an unstoppable shot crashing past Miskelly and into the top corner of the net.
It had been a fairly even game up to this point but Bohs were far more clinical and took the few chances they got to give themselves a two goal cushion.
Within minutes Portadown were back in the game with their captain getting his name on the score-sheet. A short lapse in concentration by the Bohs defence led to Kevin Braniff rising highest to head the ball past Sexton and set the match up for a tight finish.
The Portadown captain was trying his very best to lead by example and soon has his side back on level terms with a bending free kick from 25 yards out stinging the hands of Craig Sexton who palmed the ball to his left and out for a corner.
The visitors tried desperately for an equaliser with one or two final chances but once again their end product let them down and Bohs held on for an impressive win and a bright start to the season for Aaron Callaghan's youthful side.
Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Owen Heary, Evan McMillan, Kevin Feely, Luke Byrne (Correy Davidson 71); Danny Joyce (Dwayne Wilson 71), Roberto Lopes, Keith Ward (Stephen Traynor 78), Karl Moore; Peter McMahon, Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Ryan McEvoy, John O’Connor, Neil Harney, Adam McNulty.
Portadown: David Miskelly; Andrew Burns, Garry Breen, Richard Clarke, Ross Redman; Brian Gartland, Sean Mackle, Neil McCafferty, James Tomelty; Kevin Braniff, Matthew Tipton (Conor McCloskey 59).
Subs not used: Tuda Murphy, Chris Ramsey, Stephen Acheson, Shane McKinney, Jonathan Lyness.
Referee: Tom Connolly.
Man of the Match: Karl Moore.