Sligo Rovers: 0
Stephen Doyle at Dalymount Park
Bohemians had to roll their sleeves up tonight after taking a lead and losing a man to a red card inside the space of four minutes in the first-half.
A first goal for striker Ismanil Akinade was enough for the home team, who had Anto Murphy sent off in controversial circumstances, to claim all three points and avoid a third straight defeat.
The Gypsies got off to a better start but early efforts from Akinade and Paddy Kavanagh were way off target in the first twenty minutes.
The goal just after the half-hour mark had training ground move written all over it; Murphy's throw-in was picked up by Kavanagh tight on the right touchline and the winger fired the ball into the box.
A wonderfully deft touch from Keith Buckley teed the ball up for Akinade and the striker made no mistake in firing the ball low and into the right corner.
The mood amongst the home support switched from joy to anger when referee Paul McLoughlin dished out a red card to Murphy for a challenge on midfielder David Cawley.
David Cawley, who had earlier avoided any card for flooring Stephen Best with a two-footed tackle, went down under a challenge from the full-back which was hardly as dangerous as his own before,
It was backs to the wall stuff for Long's men who survived the final onslaught of the half unscathed but were clearly under no illusions that it would get any easier after the break.
They made the first meaningful assault on the opposition goal after the restart with Kavanagh again involved down the right side passing the ball into the path of Akinade to his left.
The striker's first touch took it into the box where he fired a great effort with his right foot just wide of the far post.
The extra man began to make more of a difference as the game wore on and at the same time the away side were starting to find their creative touch.
Sander Puri was the main threat out left in a rejigged 4-2-4 system against Roberto Lopes who had dropped back to fill Murphy's shoes.
With an hour played Cawley picked up the ball from a corner outside the area and spread the play wide to Regan Donelan and the defender lobbed in a great cross were a stationary Alan Keane directed it with his head inches past the far post.
Minutes later another Bohemians set-piece caused trouble with Buckley picking up the ball after a half-clearance and finding Kavanagh in space where he fired one just past the top corner and that proved to be their last clear cut chance.
In the 67th minute Rovers has their best chance to level the game when Rafael Cretaro hit a dangerous ball into the box which Delany had to dive to palm away but into the path of Puri who looked odds on to score into an open goal but somehow Lopes blocked it on the line.
By this point, Rovers had set up shop at the Cabra end of the ground and for their next chance at an open goal just five minutes later, there was no defender to block it but still they could not find the net.
A long ball into the box was collected just wide of the goal by Corcoran who hit a strong, short cross into the box and all substitute Morten Nielsen had to do was hit it straight ahead of him but somehow he managed to knock it wide.
After that piece of good luck there was a sense it was going to be one of those nights for the home team who had to show a lot of grit and determination to close the game out to claim all three points against a relentless Rovers side.
Bohemians: Delany; Murphy, Prendergast, Mulcahy, Best; Kavanagh, Dillon (Creevy 65), Lopes, Evans (Byrne 76); Buckley; Akinade. Substitutes: Moore, Ashe, O'Brien, Caffrey, Steacy.
Sligo Rovers: Brush, Cretaro, Keane, Dykes, Donelon, Boylan, Cawley, Puri, Ward (Keating 65), Armstrong (Nielsen 46), Corcoran. Substitutes: Coulter, Taheny, McManus.