UCD 0-0 BOHEMIANS
Bohemians endured a frustrating Friday night in Belfield, as despite a large amount of possession and a host of chances, they could only secure a 0-0 stalemate with UCD, writes CONOR HAYES.
Their control of this fixture was set in motion from the opening whistle but the visitors will be disappointed with the final pass which so often deserted them on a evening where they owned the ball.
Bohs made five changes from the disappointing League Cup semi on Monday starting with the team which had secured excellent home results against St Pat’s and Cork. They began by pressurising the Students in their own half and the away side created numerous early chances.
First a UCD kick out was cleared right into the path of Dinny Corcoran but he couldn’t find the ball to Steven Beattie who was waiting unmarked in the box.
With just over ten minutes gone, Eoin Wearen, making a trademark late run into the box, latched on to Kavangh’s pass but struggled to get the ball out of his feet and the UCD defence eventually cleared.
It seemed at this point that a Bohs goal was a certainty as Pender spurned their best chance of the half. Wearen released the Bohs skipper marauding from full back but his shot was half stopped by Students’ net minder Niall Corbett before Gareth Matthews mopped up on the line and completed the job.
Next, an Anto Murphy long throw found it’s way to Roberto Lopes at the edge of the area but he fired over. Devaney, who looked a constant danger throughout, then found Wearen inside the area, who had Corbett stretching, but it crept just wide.
The game then entered a lull as UCD seemed to have dealt with the early Bohs barrage. But just as half time approached a scuffed shot deflected wide for a Bohs corner. From the delivery, Murphy jumped at the back post but his header was pushed wide. The defender seemed to suffer a nasty fall and was stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle.
The second period began just as the first, with Bohs in the ascendancy. Devaney, ever a menace to the UCD defence, robbed possession just outside of the danger zone, he cut inside and found Kavanagh who slotted it wide from eight yards. In truth, it was a sitter.
The former Sligo man was involved again as his low driven cross found Lopes, now playing at right back, but his shot deflected wide. Subsitute Dave Mulcahy then nodded wide from a Kavanagh corner. Lopes was still willing to attack despite his position change and won the ball high up the pitch but UCD again got a blocker just in time to divert it away from goal.
Devaney then took centre stage once more. He collected the ball inside his own half on the right-hand side, drove past four of the home side’s defenders and into the area but when it came time to shoot his effort lacked the necessary conviction and it was cleared away before the ‘keeper even had to intervene.
Bohs defenders were constantly trying to involve themselves in the effort to break the deadlock and it was Price this time whose headed effort from a wonderful Kavanagh cross forced a great save from Corbett.
As we entered the last twenty minutes, UCD must have expected another onslaught to begin but instead the men in red and black seemed to lose their initiative at a crucial moment. Just though, as it seemed that the game would peter out for a draw, UCD would have a chance to win it in injury time and Bohs would have no fewer than three as the clock ran past ninety.
In what would have been the smash and grab of the season Chris Mulhall had a glorious chance ten yards from goal but shot directly at Dean Delaney after a mix-up in the Bohs defence. Up the other end, Wearen’s pass from the right was just behind substitute Karl Moore who hooked it over the bar.
There was still time for the best chance of the half. A long punt from Price found Mulcahy whose lovely cushioned header fell right into the path of Corcoran, some Bohs fans were already celebrating, but they didn’t count on Ian Ryan, who produced a superb block just as Dinny got his shot away. Beattie, acting now as a winger, then found Wearen but his shot deflected into the wrong side of the netting.
There would be no time for the corner and Bohs will be cursing a game where they dominated but lacked a killer instinct against a determined UCD side who defended stoutly.
The Gypsies will try get back to winning ways against Drogheda at Dalymount on Friday night.
UCD: Niall Corbett; Gareth Matthews, Hugh Douglas, James Kavanagh, Ian Ryan, Tom O’Halloran (Aymen Ben Mohamed 67), Colm Crowe, Robbie Benson, Robbie Creevy, Timmy Molloy (Samir Belhout 70), Conor Cannon (Chris Mulhall 84). Subs Not Used: Conor O’Donnell (GK), Gregory Sloggett, Gary Burke, Sean Coyne.
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Aidan Price, Dan Byrne,Anto Murphy (Dave Mulcahy 45+1), Patrick Kavanagh (Karl Moore 70), Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen, Kevin Devaney (Jason Byrne 79), Dinny Corcoran, Stephen Beattie. Subs Not Used: Jack Memery, Keith Buckley, Craig Walsh, Aaron Shanahan (GK).
Referee: Kevin O’Regan
Man of the match: Kevin Devaney.