BRAY WANDERERS 1 BOHEMIANS 3
Life after Aaron Callaghan started for Bohemians with a much-needed victory against Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday evening, writes ROBERT O’REARDON.
A first-half penalty from Ryan McEvoy, celebrating his 23rd birthday, and two late strikes from Dinny Corcoran, making his first start since re-signing from UCD, ended the Gypsies’ run of 11 league games without a win.
Despite Shelbourne’s late win against Limerick, Bohs’ victory reignited confidence and with it, hopes of survival in the Premier Division, among players and fans alike.
Having taken temporary charge on Tuesday, caretaker boss Owen Heary had to be content with watching on from the TV gantry as he served the first of a two-match ban handed down after his red card in last week’s defeat to Dundalk at Oriel Park.
It was left to first-team coach Terry Butler and Heary’s Under-19 assistant manager Graham O’Hanlon to relay the 36-year-old’s instructions from dugout.
The Gypsies started the better but could have fallen behind when former Bohs favourite Jason Byrne forced a great save from Dean Delany.
But the visitors drew first blood on 11 minutes. Keith Buckley surged down the right wing and played the ball into Chris Lyons.
The Bohs frontman flicked it away from Bray defender Shane O’Connor, who then took down Lyons in his bid to regain possession. Referee Tomás Connolly had to point to the spot and birthday boy McEvoy stepped up and buried it into the corner of the net. 1-0 Bohs.
Bray goalkeeper Darren Quigley almost handed Bohs a two-goal cushion close to half-time when he spilled a cross into Corcoran’s path. The Bohs No 24 prodded the ball goalwards but the Seagulls managed to get back and clear their lines.
Izzy Akinade then almost made the former UCD player rue that wasted opportunity but he too fluffed a glorious chance when he mistimed his header from six yards out.
The second half started with the home side beginning to exert some dominance. Pat Devlin’s men had numerous sightings of goal but the Bohs defence kept them at bay.
And, when Adam Mitchell received a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Moore, it looked as though Bohs would kick on to secure a comfortable victory.
But on 67 minutes, Byrne both won and a converted a controversial penalty, after Dave Mulcahy was adjudged to have fouled the 35-year-old.
Memories of April’s trip to Thomond Park came flooding back among the nervy travelling support. On that occasion, Bohs threw away a 1-0 lead to lose late to 10-man Limerick.
And those fears could have been realised when Kieran Marty Walters went close to giving the home side the lead when he tried lob Delany from 30 yards out.
But, with just over 10 minutes remaining, the travelling support got the decisive goal they had craved for so long as Moore put the ball across the box where Corcoran finished neatly from 12 yards out.
Bohs faced into a nervy few minutes, but Corcoran was on hand once more as the clock ticked towards injury-time. Quigley saved from Conor Murphy, but Corcoran was in the right place to put the game beyond the Seagulls’ reach.
BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Hyland (Webster 64), Mitchell, O’Connor, Earley (Knight 82)6; Dempsey 6 (Coombes 69), Zambra; Akinade, Mulroy, Waters; Byrne.
BOHEMIANS: Delany; Pender, Lopes, Byrne, Reynor; Buckley (Devaney 81), McEvoy, Mulcahy, Moore; Lyons (Murphy 69), Corcoran.
REFEREE: T Connolly (Dublin).
Picture, by David Maher of Sportsfile, shows Dinny Corcoran his first and Bohs’ second goal of the night.