REPORT: Bray 1 – Bohemians 4

Kevin Fagan @ The Carlisle Grounds 

Bohemians saved the best for last in their sixteenth and final away league game of the season, with an impressive 4 – 1 victory over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds. Goals from Mulcahy, Buckley, Mulligan and McEvoy gave Aaron Callaghan’s men their first league win since July against a team other than Shamrock Rovers.

It was a dominant attacking performance from the Gypsies, who capitalized on the first half dismissal of Bray’s David Webster with four second half strikes to lift them above Shelbourne into 7th place in the Airtricity League table.

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While their rivals in the race for 5th also had positive results, a victory in the last game of the season against Drogheda could well see Bohs finishing in that commendable Setanta Cup spot.

The opening ten minutes were cagey, but gradually the Gypsies began to exert their dominance, with wingers Keith Buckley and Andy Mulligan in particularly good form. Mulligan forced Bray keeper Brian Kane into a smart near post save on 16 minutes. From the resulting corner, Buckley fired just wide. Bohs had the ball in the net ten minutes later, but Dinny Corcoran was ruled offside after rounding Kane and slotting the ball home.

The game’s key flashpoints happened within three minutes of each other around the half hour mark. Bray defender David Webster brought down Dinny Corcoran to receive his first yellow card on 29 minutes. Then, just three minutes later, Webster felled Keith Buckley when the Bohs youngster was almost through on goal. Neil Doyle prescribed an early bath for the Bray man, and Bohs could now take control of the game.

Corcoran and Mulligan both had chances to put Bohs ahead before the break. Corcoran’s volley flew just over, and Mulligan slipped at the vital moment allowing Kane to gather. Half time came at a good time for the home side, but the feeling was that Bohs were poised to catch fire in the second period.

Bray almost poured water on that notion just after the break. Kieran Marty Waters to be precise. Set through by Jason Byrne, Waters deliciously lobbed Greg Murray, only to see his effort crash off the underside of the bar. Bohs replied instantly – McEvoy played a lovely through ball to Mulcahy, who kept his composure and clipped the ball past Kane to open the scoring. The modest away crowd had barely sat back down when it was 2. Mulligans delightful back post cross found his opposite winger Buckley, who slid in to double Bohs’ advantage.

On the hour mark, Bray got one back. As is the general way of things, Jason Byrne got on the scoresheet – dispatching a penalty after Michael Barker fouled Waters in the area. The flurry of goals kept on coming – with Bohs restoring their two goal advantage with 20 minutes remaining. A neat interchange of passing between Corcoran and substitute Keith Ward set Andy Mulligan through. Mulligan got the goal his performance deserved by blasting the ball low past Kane to make it 3 – 1.

Callaghan kept his promise of blooding some Under 19 starlets – Dylan Connolly came on for his debut, and almost set up the fourth following a powerful run down the left. Only a goal-line clearance kept Bohs from extending their lead. The game somewhat petered out in the latter stages – but there was a warm reception for Jason Byrne from the Bohs fans as he was replaced near the end. There was time for Ryan McEvoy to wrap up the evening by grabbing Bohs fourth in injury time. It was the first and last time this season that Bohs managed to score more than twice away from home.

Wins for Derry and Cork kept them ahead of Bohs in the table, but the race for 5th place is still very much alive. With Derry finished their league games, a win for Bohs against Drogheda will certainly put them ahead of the Candystripes. A win will seal 5th spot providing St. Pats take points from Cork in the final game.

Bray Wanderers: Brian Kane, Kevin Knight, Danny O’Connor, David Webster, Daire Doyle, Dean Marshall, (Lee Dixon 66) Sean Houston, Kevin O’Connor, John Mulroy (Paul Moffatt 72), Kieran Marty Waters, Jason Byrne (Yani Georgiev 87).

Bohemians: Greg Murray, Owen Heary, Kevin Feely, Evan McMillan, Luke Byrne (Kevin Devaney 74); Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Keith Ward 63), Dave Mulcahy, Andy Mulligan (Dylan Connolly 76), Dinny Corcoran.

Bohs Man of the Match: Andy Mulligan

REPORT: UCD 2 – BOHEMIANS 2

After a horrific start at the Belfield Bowl on Friday night, Bohemians got out of jail as two injury-time goals from supersub Dave Scully salvaged a point, Robert O’Reardon reports.

Down to 10 men and two goals behind after 22 minutes, things appeared ominous for Aaron Callaghan’s faltering young side.

UCD, who had won five of their last six league games, started off brightly with the away side looking a group lacking confidence after winning just twice in the the league since the teams met at Dalymount Park in July.

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And the game looked to be going on recent form as the home side drew first blood early on.

A long ball from the hosts went over the head of Kevin Feely, who looked to have the situation under control before slipping under pressure from Danny Ledwith.

The quick-footed Ledwith stole in to take the ball off Feely’s toes and fell to the ground himself after a clumsy challenge just outside the box from the 20-year-old defender.

Referee Seán Grant adjudged the Kildare man’s foul to have prevented a goal-scoring opportunity and had no hesitation in giving the fuming youngster his marching orders.

To compound Bohs’ misery, Ledwith dispatched the resultant free-kick past Greg Murray in the Bohemian goal to give the hosts an early lead.

Things went from bad to worse for the Gypsies as they went 2-0 behind 14 minutes later.

Paul O’Conor was pulling the strings for the Students in the middle of the field, and it was the 25-year-old who struck the second blow as his speculative effort found the net thanks to a wicked deflection.

The ball bobbled around on the edge of the box before O’Conor struck a low shot, which looked to be heading away from danger until Evan McMillan stuck out his leg to divert it past the flat-footed Murray.

John O’Connor came close to getting Bohs back in the game after 27 minutes. The striker, 20, was well positioned at the back post to meet Karl Moore’s cross but his faint touch saw the ball flash wide.UCD then went looking for the vital third and O’Conor’s midfield partner Barry McCabe nearly put the game to bed with a long-range effort that flashed wide of Murray’s left-hand post.

Moments later, Callaghan opted to shuffle his pack as Derek Pender came on in place of O’Connor.

The change failed to halt the Students’ blitzing of Murray’s goal in the second half, however. O’Conor was dangerous from long range and the inexperienced Murray, 19, did well to keep the scoreline down to 2-0.

Dave Mulcahy, Pender and Scully all went close to getting Bohs back into the game. Yet as the clock ticked ticked towards the full-time whistle, it looked like it was going to be the Students’ night.Callaghan used his final two rolls of the dice on 66 minutes as Moore and Kevin Devaney were sacrificed for Scully and Dinny Corcoran. And it was the former who proved to be the hero of the day.

But as the fourth official signaled there was to be three minutes’ injury-time, ex-Monaghan United man Scully found himself running through on goal after a superb through ball.

He composed himself and fired home past Ger Barron from the edge of the area.

Too little, too late? So it seemed. But a hopeful punt up the field from Bohs skipper Owen Heary saw Michael Leahy nearly head past his own keeper in the dying embers.

But it was supersub Scully again, this time from Ryan McEvoy’s placed ball, who was on hand to head home a late and unlikely leveler.The ball went out for a corner and Murray and his glistening silver jersey joined in on one last Bohemian attack.

Next up for the Gypsies is an away trip to Oriel Park to take on Dundalk on Saturday week.

Originally due to host Monaghan United this Friday, after a busy campaign, the Bohs players can take a breather this weekend due to the Mons’ unfortunate demise.

UCD: Barron; Douglas (Russell, 82), Leahy, O’Connor, Nangle; Clarke (Mulhall, 72), O’Conor, McCabe (Kavanagh, 59), Ledwith; Benson; McMillan.

BOHEMIANS: Murray; Heary, Feely, Lopez; Barker, McEvoy, Mulcahy, O’Connor (Pender, 28), Moore (Scully, 64); McMillan, Devaney (Corcoran, 64).

MAN OF THE MATCH: Dave Scully.

 

Report: Bohemians 1 – Cork City 1

A 1-1 draw against an in-form Cork City was all Bohemians had to show for their second-last outing at Dalymount Park this season, Robert O’Reardon reports.

The Leesiders took the lead through a close-range effort from Davin O’Neill in the first half.

After that, the home side showed their superiority and they got their just rewards when Evan McMillan fired home a magnificent effort from 25 yards much to the delight of the home crowd.

But a late flurry by the home side was not enough to get another much-needed win under their belts.

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With both sides knocked out of all cup competitions and fighting for a fifth-place finish in the league, the early exchanges were understandably slow-paced.

There was very little action in terms of scoring opportunities, so perhaps it came as a surprise when the first chance yielded a goal.

The Bohs defence, which has been one of the positives of Aaron Callaghan’s first season, fell asleep as it allowed Vinny Sullivan surge into the box and superbly volleyed home past Greg Murray.

Most people would have thought that this would shock the Gypsies into action but the problems that were evident in the home defeat by Dundalk were still present and Cork nearly went two goals ahead when another cross by Daryl Horgan was headed onto the post by Sullivan.

The home side were restricted to crosses from Andy Mulligan and Owen Heary, which weren’t causing Tommy Dunne’s side many problems.

On the stroke of half-time, referee Rob Rodgers waved away a Bohs penalty appeal for handball, which on another night could well have been given.

The half-time break saw Callaghan turn to his subs bench to make the difference.

On came Dave Scully for Ken Carr as he partnered the versatile Evan McMillan, who had played at centre-back in the first half. up front.

And straight away the changes began to have an effect. McMillan made a nuisance of himself and chances were being created.

Keith Ward delivered a free-kick, which nearly found its way to McMillan and Scully should have done better from a great cross from Mulligan but headed wide.

It wasn’t long after that the equaliser came, though. Some terrific work from McMillan again led to him getting the ball at his feet 25 yards from goal. The former St Patrick’s Athletic man showed great composure to curl in his sixth goal of the season.

It looked like Bohs would power on to to win but it could have been oh so different two minutes later as Sullivan hit the post for the second time.

McMillan continued to win more aerial duels as the Cork defence just about dealt with the constant aerial bombardment.

Both sides had moments of hope near the end. After a through ball from Stephen Kenny, Horgan found himself 20 yards from goal but he tried a deft chip which sailed over the bar.

Shortly afterwards, Ward ran into the and fell to ground from what looked like a mistimed challenge from Dan Murray.

The referee saw otherwise and booked Ward for simulation, which meant he was sent off having already been shown a yellow card earlier in the second half. This proved to be the last kick of the game as the referee blew for full time.

Next up for Bohs is a short trip out to the Belfield Bowl to face Martin Russell’s UCD.

Man Of The Match: Evan McMillan

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