BOHEMIANS 0-0 UCD
Another red card condemned Bohs to more dropped points at home as they battled out a goalless stalemate with UCD at Dalymount on Friday evening, writes CONOR HAYES.
Even allowing for the fact the men in red and black played for nearly an hour with a man disadvantage, they had the better of the play although the Students came closest on the night, hitting the post in the second half.
Bohs made three changes from their last league outing, with Dean Delany back in goals, Dan Byrne slotting in at centre-half and Kevin Devaney replacing the suspended Dinny Corcoran.
In the early stages, Bohs seemed to focus their play down the flanks and found themselves in positions to deliver balls into the danger zone but on each occasion the final ball was lacking accuracy.
The Students looked lacklustre in the opening period and they gifted Bohs the first opportunity on 13 minutes as Devaney won the ball from their defence and it ran into the path of Jason Byrne who fired his effort straight at UCD keeper Conor O’Donnell.
The evergreen striker was also presented with a chance just before the 20-minute mark after Paddy Kavanagh found him from the right-hand side but this time he scuffed his shot into the side netting.
Bohs had the better of it during this period without ever looking like finding the net but the game changed utterly on the half-hour mark as the home side were reduced to 10 men. Uncharacteristically, David Mulcahy lost a battle in midfield which allowed Chris Mulhall to spring a ball over the top for Robbie Benson. The Students skipper then seemed to cut across Lopes and in the ensuing tangle fell over. Referee Paul McLaughlin, who was fully 30 yards from the incident, was not only sure enough to whistle for a foul but also produced a red card for the Gypsies’ centre-half.
UCD, buoyed by their man advantage, then had their best spell of the half. A series of corners ratcheted up the pressure and on the third delivery Hugh Douglas met the ball with a point blank header six yards out which seemed destined for the net only for Delany to claw it away. A stunning save.
The same UCD defender then had a free header from another set piece which he nodded over. A corner from the other end then saw the ten men nearly take the lead just before the half as Mulcahy ghosted in at the back post but could only head it over the upright.
The heavens opened at half-time, reflecting the mood of the Jodi Stand faithful, but Owen Heary’s side enjoyed the vast majority of the possession in the second half. Karl Moore, who looked a danger all evening, tried to break deadlock eight minutes into the second period with a wonderful solo run cutting in from the left wing but his shot from the edge of the area lacked the sufficient power to beat O’Donnell.
Bohs were still in control as the game entered its final quarter but were finding it hard to break down the opposition who, despite the man advantage, seemed happy to concentrate on defence. First Kavanagh had an effort which was deflected wide and then the former Birmingham City man set up substitute Craig Walsh whose shot was blocked by one of the wall defenders clad in white.
Then, completely against the run of play, UCD nearly scored what would have been a stunning opener, after nice play from defence, a lovely one-two between Robbie Creevy and Benson saw the latter curl a beautiful shot past Delany but on to the post.
Craig Walsh’s introduction seemed to give Bohs new attacking impetus and with 15 minutes remaining, he found himself through on goal after being slipped in by Jason Byrne but his near-post effort was denied by O’Donnell.
The Students’ netminder proved himself again against Walsh as he saved an effort from a tight angle after the midfielder had been put through by a Byrne flick-on.
There would be one final chance to secure that long awaited home league win in the 94th minute as good work from Kavanagh found Jason Byrne near the penalty spot but his hooked effort could only find the grateful arms of O’Donnell.
So despite a good display with a man down, another frustrating evening at Dalymount for Bohemians. They travel next Friday to Drogheda hoping for a more fortunate outcome.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Steven Beattie, Roberto Lopes, Daniel Byrne, Derek Pender, Paddy Kavanagh, David Mulcahy (c), Ryan McEvoy, Karl Moore, Kevin Devaney Craig Walsh 62), Jason Byrne. Subs Not Used: Lee Murphy, Anto Murphy, Jake Hyland, Stephen Traynor, Andy Mulligan, Eoin Wearen.
UCD: Conor O’Donnell, Mark Langtry, James Kavanagh, Hugh Douglas, Tomas Boyle, Robbie Creevy, Colm Crowe (Gary Burke 76) , Robbie Benson (c), Cillian Morrison (Thomas O’Halloran 79) , Chris Mulhall, Samir Belhout. Subs Not Used: Mark McGinley, Gareth Matthews,Michael Barker, Dwayne Wilson, Sean Coyne.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.