UCD 1 – 0 BOHEMIANS
Bohemians were given a lesson in frustration as UCD halted the Gypsies good run of form with a single goal victory at the UCD Bowl. Dean Clarke’s 8th minute strike was enough to seal all three points for the Airtricity League’s basement side, who leapfrogged out of the relegation zone with just their second win of the season.
The flat atmosphere in the stands was mirrored on the field as Bohs struggled to create many chances. Boss Aaron Callaghan may point to a possible handball incident mid-way through the second half, but in truth, the Gypsies didn’t deserve anything from this game. The misery was compounded in injury time as Keith Buckley was given a straight red card for dissent to cap off a disappointing night in Belfield, writes KEVIN FAGAN.
Bohs welcomed back captain Owen Heary in the only change from Friday’s battling draw with Drogheda United. The 37 year old started the game in an unfamiliar right wing back role before being shifted to centre half after an uncomfortable opening period. Just like that Drogheda game, Bohs started sluggishly. The pitch at the UCD Bowl is deceptively bobbly, but that didn’t stop the Students from playing the ball around with ease. After just 8 minutes of mostly home possession, David McMillan slipped a cute ball through to Dean Clarke, whose first time shot easily beat Dean Delany for an all-too-easy opening goal.
The home side clearly settled better, and had a succession of corners which troubled Delany and the Bohs defence who struggled to clear their lines on more than one occasion. Some respite came on 17 minutes when Chris Lyons had Bohs’ first shot in anger – but it was fired straight at Conor O’Donnell. Unfortunately for Bohs, that was as good as it got in the opening half. Heary seemed lost on the right flank and was switched to centre back as Callaghan stuck with the 3-5-2. The half time whistle came just as Bohs seemed to be finding some kind of rhythm. Happily, this continued after the break – with the now midfield-lying Dave Mulcahy producing a smart save from O’Donnell after a 25 yard shot.
Perhaps the key moment of the game came on 69 minutes. Andy Mulligan was probably Bohs’ shining light on the left hand side, and when his shot was parried, Chris Lyons looked odds-on to score the rebound. However, his shot was miraculously cleared off the line by Tomás Boyle. Bohs players, staff, and fans all screamed for a handball, but referee Padraig Sutton was having none of it, and waved away the fervent protests. From first glance it seemed inconclusive, and Sutton would have had to have been 100 per cent sure to award a penalty and inevitable red card.
Bohs again felt hard done by ten minutes later when sub Kevin Devaney’s headed effort was ruled out for offside, but the ex-Sligo man did look a yard off. Frustration grew and grew for Bohs both on and off the pitch, and culminated in Keith Buckley’s dismissal with just a minute to go. He must have said something to the linesman on the far side, as he flagged before Sutton produced the straight red. If the red card was indeed for dissent, it was a ridiculous action from Buckley, who was perhaps frustrated most at his own performance, which was littered with misplaced passes and poor control. He will most likely miss the league games against Cork City and Shamrock Rovers, as well as the EA Sports Cup tie with Bray.
UCD easily saw out the 4 minutes of additional time to earn a valuable three points in their fight to avoid the drop. More performances like this, and Bohs will be part of that fight.
UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Hugh Douglas, David O’Connor, Tomas Boyle, Gareth Matthews, Cillian Morrison (James Kavanagh 73), Gary Burke, Robbie Creevy, Robbie Benson, Dean Clarke (Samir Belhout 77), David McMillan (Dinny Corcoran 86).
Subs not used: Mark McGinley, Barry McCabe, Tyrone McNelis, Craig Walsh.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Roberto Lopes, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne; Owen Heary, Derek Pender, Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy (Karl Moore 84), Andy Mulligan, Dwayne Wilson (Dave Scully 59), Chris Lyons (Kevin Devaney 73). Subs not used: Greg Murray, Ciaran Nangle, Shane Fitzgerald, Stephen Traynor.
Bohs Man of the Match: Andy Mulligan