T wo goals in the first period of extra-time sent a much-changed Bohemians into the last eight of the EA Sports Cup after this second-round tie against Bray Wanderers finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Bohs had earlier thrown away a 2-0 lead in the first half of this topsy-turvy all-Premier Division clash in Dalymount Park.

Boss Aaron Callaghan made eight changes from the team that drew heroically with Shamrock Rovers on Friday.


 Shane Murray, Ciaran Nangle, and captain for the night Luke Byrne were joined by the returning suspended duo Chris Lyons and Roberto Lopes, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

In one of the most open and entertaining games at Dalymount this year, the Gypsies got off to an absolute flyer, and were two up within the opening 15 minutes.

The returning Stephen Traynor got the lead goal, and it was a cracker. He collected a half-hit clearance 25 yards from goal, skipped through two lunging Bray defenders, steadied himself, and let fly with an unstoppable right-footed strike from the edge of the 18-yard box. Sean Homes in the Seagulls’ goal could only watch as the ball flew past him into the net. A great way for Traynor to celebrate his inclusion in the World Student Games squad. He’ll travel to Russia in July along with Andy Mulligan and the rest of the Ireland team.

Just five minutes later, Bohs doubled their advantage. Good interplay between Karl Moore and Nangle down the left fed Lyons just on the edge of the box. The striker squeezed past Peter Thomson, who went to ground, sending Lyons sprawling and the Bohs fans appealing. Referee Paul McLaughlin must have been watching on Friday night, and gave Bohs what looked to be a soft decision. It seemed like Thomson got at least a toe on the ball. Bray were understandably miffed, and Lyons made no mistake from 12 yards – sending Holmes the wrong way.

After a superb opening 20 minutes for the Gypsies, Bray started to get a foothold on the game. Pat Devlin made seven changes from the team that beat Cork impressively in Turner’s Cross on Friday, but they still had some quality on the field – most notably 19-year-old Ishmail Akinade. The powerful Nigerian striker forced a corner on the half-hour mark and with it, Bray got back in the game. The near-post cross was flicked toward the back post where centre-half Danny O’Connor bundled it home. Bohs keeper Greg Murray appealed that the ball hadn’t crossed the line, but the goal stood and the tie was back on.

If Murray, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Monk’, was unhappy with his role in the first goal, he could safely say he had no chance with the Bray equaliser, which came on 38 minutes. Sean Hurley whipped in a beautiful cross from the left wing and Akinade was in the right place to power a header in from eight yards. Luke Byrne, impressive again at centre-back, could do nothing to prevent the towering header from the big man, which squared things up at the break.

After the flurry of first-half goals, it was plain to see that both managers had instructed the teams to tighten up in the second half. Chances were at a premium as both sides seemed wary of making a mistake that could send their team out. As Callaghan said before the game, this is a competition Bohs can win, and it showed in the intensity of their defensive concentration in the second half. Neither side created any clear cut openings, with Murray perhaps being the more active keeper, having to claw away a number of threatening crosses. It was no surprise to see the game finish 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Amazingly, Bohs started extra-time in almost the exact fashion as the regulation 90, with two quickfire goals in the opening 15 minutes. The introduction of Dave Scully was key to this, with the cult hero moving up front and Lyons retreating into a midfield role. Scully’s strike partner Kevin O’Leary forced a corner straight from the kick-off, and Bohs instantly retook the lead. Scully caused mayhem in the box and, after a scramble, the ball was cleared to the now deep-lying Lyons, whose shot deflected into the top corner.

With 97 minutes on the clock, Bohs’ place in the last eight was sealed. Sub Dwayne Wilson fed O’Leary, who turned a Bray defender and fired a crisp shot that wrong-footed keeper Holmes to make it 4-2. The remaining 20 minutes of extra time was the Scully show, with the striker playing to the crowd with a series of slaloming runs, tricks, and flicks. There was even a ‘stand up for Dave Scully’ chant that had most of the small crowd on their feet! Boss Callaghan might be a little concerned at 120 minutes for Man of the Match Byrne with a crucial home game against St Pats on Friday, but Bohs are through to the quarter finals, and that’s the main thing.

Bohemians: Greg Murray, Michael Barker, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne, Ciaran Nangle, Karl Moore, Shane Murray (Darragh Reynor, 77), Stephen Traynor (Dave Scully, 91), Shane Fitzgerald (Dwayne Wilson, 59), Chris Lyons, Kevin O’Leary. Subs not used: Conor Little, Adam Kelly, Michael Scott, Saniago Miguel Falbo.

Bray Wanderers: Sean Holmes, Kevin Knight, Danny O’Connor (Dave Webster, 46), Conor Earley, John Mulroy, Peter Thomas (Kieran “Marty” Waters, 81), Paul Malone, Sean Hurley, Danny Joyce (Dean Zambra, 74), Daire Doyle, Ismahil Akinade. Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Paul Moffatt, Ger Pender, Ed McDonagh.

Bohs Man of the Match: Luke Byrne

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