GREYSTONES UTD 1 BOHEMIANS 5
Greystones United started like a steam train in this pre-season friendly on a calm Tuesday night at Woodlands, writes ANDY DONLAN.
And as the evening train towards Dublin sped behind Grey Murray’s goal, United’s Paul Molloy darted between the Bohemians defence to finish coolly for an 11th-second lead.
Bohs went on to score five without reply; however this game wasn’t all plain sailing for Aaron Callaghan’s men. Indeed it was two substitutions that made all the difference for Bohs, who lined out in a 4-5-1 formation with Karl Moore at left-back and Dwayne Wilson operating as the lone striker.
This Greystones side did their homework on their opponents as they pressed the Gypsies high up the park, forcing midfielder Dara Reynor to drop even deeper to get his side motoring before the reinforcements were sprung from the bench.
The entrance of Kevin O’Leary after nine minutes for the injured Shane Fitzgerald and Conor O’Brien at half-time for Niall Forrester boosted attacking options. O’Leary’s introduction shifted Wilson out to the right wing and gave Bohs more of a presence up front.
Before Bohemians equalised on 48 minutes, the well-organised Leinster Senior League outfit could have been more than one in front. Saves from Murray denied United on three, 18 and 33 minutes as the home side applied some pressure.
With young O’Brien stationed in midfield from the start of the second half, Bohemians shifted up a gear. It was O’Brien who put O’Leary through for the equaliser on 48 minutes, finishing under pressure into the corner.
And another Bohemians substitute, Santiago Falbo, almost allowed Greystones back into the game just four minutes later as a misplaced pass set a United attacker clean through, however the danger was eventually averted.
The growing threat of Bohs captain Stephen Paisley at set pieces paid dividends on 64 minutes when Wilson’s flag-kick was headed back by Scully for Paisley to finish off to put Bohemians in front.
The increasingly involved Falbo shot wide on 67 minutes, while on 74, he created a chance for substitute Adam Kelly, who opted to shoot instead of heading, when well placed. Reynor’s daisy-cutter from the edge of the box one minute later tested United’s substitute goalkeeper, who expertly tipped the ball around the post.
Falbo then helped set up Bohemians’ third in comical circumstances. His near-perfect through ball was collected by a Greystones player, who passed it back to his keeper. The on-rushing Adam Kelly pressurised keeper Eoghan Smullen’s clearance, which deflected off Kelly and into the back of the net.
Adam Kelly then showed his class with an inch-perfect ball over the top of the home defence to winger Andy Mulligan, who centred to O’Leary to finish for Bohemians’ fourth on 83.
Two minutes from time, right full-back Michael Barker steamed through on goal following a slaloming run from the halfway line, only to be upended by Smullen. Barker picked himself up from the artificial surface and dispatched the penalty, sending Smullen the wrong way from 11 metres.
The end score was harsh on the neat-passing hosts, who took the game to the more illustrious visitors from the off.
But after Sunday’s Leinster Senior Cup defeat to UCD, this 5-1 victory put Bohs’ pre-season back on track and may have given manager Callaghan some food for thought ahead of Friday week’s league opener.
Bohemians: GK Grey Murray, 2 Michael Barker, 11 Dave Scully, 5 Stephen Paisley (capt), 4 Karl Moore, 6 Dara Reynor, 15 Niall Forrester, 17 Shane Fitzgerald, 9 Dwayne Wilson, 8 Shane Murray, 10 Andy Mulligan.
Subs [all used]: 23 Kevin O’Leary, 20 Santiago Falbo, 19 Luke Kelly, 12 Conor O’Brien, 18 Luke Kelly, 16 Adam Kelly, GK Conor Little.