BOHEMIANS 5 – 1 BRAY WANDERERS
Bohemians got their competitive season off to a scintillating start with a comprehensive thrashing of Bray Wanderers in the Leinster Senior Cup at Dalymount Park.
A brace from Dinny Corcoran alongside goals from Andy Mulligan, Steven Beattie and Jason Byrne booked a quarter-final tie against arch-rivals Shamrock Rovers. Manager Owen Heary couldn’t have written a better script as the home side disembowelled Bray in a performance full of attacking promise.
There were competitive debuts for Jack Memery, Craig Walsh, Paddy Kavanagh and Beattie in a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation that provided the perfect tonic for next Friday’s league opener against UCD, writes KEVIN FAGAN.
Bohs immediately signalled their attacking threat with a whipped corner from Andy Mulligan that was narrowly headed wide by Beattie. Derek Pender looks to have formed a potent alliance with Beattie on the right flank and these combined for Bohs best opening of the first 20 minutes. Pender’s eventual cross was just inches over Mulligan’s head.
All of the attacking threat was coming from the right side and it was no surprise when this area became the avenue for Bohs’ opening goal in the 28th minute. Bray full-back Jamie McGlynn dwelt a fraction too long on the ball in the corner and his eventual clearance was blocked down by Kavanagh, who rushed on to the spinning ball and did well to keep it in play. His accurate pull-back found Dinny Cororan, who toe-poked a shot goalwards. Shane Redmond could only parry Corcoran’s shot into the path of Andy Mulligan, who had the simple task of scoring the Gypsies’ first competitive goal of the season.
Kavanagh was excellent in the hole behind Corcoran and was unsurprisingly involved again in the build-up to the second goal, just three minutes later. He had the vision to pick out a perfect through ball to the galloping Dave Mulcahy – again on the Bohs right side. In a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment, Mulcahy’s low drilled cross was superbly tucked into the top corner of the net by Corcoran, who made an intelligent strikers’ run to the near post.
Bray’s defence was completely on the ropes and a boxing match would have been stopped by the time Bohs got a third in the 38th minute. After more neat play from Kavanagh, Corcoran found himself in acres of space, this time in the left channel. His chipped cross should really have been finished by Mulligan, but the winger fluffed his attempt across the six-yard line. Luckily for him, Beattie was on hand to slide the ball into the empty net.
3-0 wouldn’t have flattered the Gypsies at half-time, but there was another piece of action before the break. On a rare foray into the Bohs half, David Webster attempted an outside-of-the-boot cross. The ball struck Roberto Lopes on the upper arm, but the awarding of a penalty seemed extremely harsh. Lopes’ left arm was in a perfectly natural position by his side and he didn’t move towards the ball. Nevertheless, referee Simon Rogers pointed to the spot and Jake Kelly buried the penalty. Dean Delany guessed right, but had no chance of stopping it.
A Bray half-time substitute came in the familiar form of Dave Scully, who was roundly welcomed by the small home crowd. However, the former Bohs cult hero saw the game put to bed just five minutes after the restart. A Mulligan corner was cleared all the way out to Jack Memery, who fired a pass from the halfway line. The ball was brilliantly controlled by the chest of a retreating Corcoran, who promptly rounded Bray keeper Redmond, who clearly brought the striker down. Perhaps because Bohs were already 3-1 up, perhaps because it was a Leinster Senior Cup game – but referee Rogers decided not to send Redmond off. In a league game, there would have been uproar – Corcoran was definitely denied a clear goalscoring opportunity. Either way, Dinny picked himself up and grabbed his second of the night by sending Redmond the wrong way from the spot. Former Bray man Jason Byrne replaced Corcoran soon after. Almost certainly the most difficult decision facing Heary next week is who to start up front, if he opts for a lone striker.
As soon as Byrne appeared, you felt that he would round off the scoring against his old club. As usual, he didn’t disappoint. In the final minute of normal time, Beattie went on one last slaloming run. Beating four Bray defenders and edging closer to goal, he selflessly cut the ball back into the path of Byrne, whose left-footed shot completed the rout.
Performance pluses for Bohs included Walsh, who was neat and bustling in midfield, Kavanagh, who provided a touch of creative class, and Aidan Price, who was solid and composed at the back. Things are looking good for next week’s opener at the Belfield Bowl.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Jack Memery, Craig Walsh, Dave Mulcahy (Ryan McEvoy, 77), Andy Mulligan, Paddy Kavanagh (Stephen Traynor, 70), Steven Beattie, Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne, 65). Subs not used: Lee Murphy, Kevin Devaney, Keith Buckley, Philly McCabe.
Bray Wanderers: Shane Redmond, Niall Cooney, Danny O’Connor (Shane O’Connor, 39), Shane Byrne (Graham Kelly, 68), Jamie McGlynn, Dean Zambra, David Cassidy, Adam Hanlon, David Webster, Jake Kelly, Ciaran Byrne (Dave Scully, 46). Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Philip Nolan, Robert Moloney, Gary Curran.