Battling Bray Wanderers took a big step towards Airtricity League survival with a convincing 3-1 win over a much-changed Bohemians team in the Carlisle Grounds on Monday night. Mick Cooke’s men upped the ante ahead of the FAI Cup meeting between the two with a passionate performance as they came from behind to take all three points. The result continues a worrying trend for Bohemians, who have now lost their last three away games, conceding 11 goals in the process, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Bohs boss Keith Long made five changes to the team that defeated Galway on Friday, with Derek Prendergast, Anto Murphy, Keith Buckley, Dave Mulcahy and Ismahil Akinade all given a rest from the starting line-up with the big Cup game in mind. Bohs new signings Eoin Wearen and Jake Kelly are cup tied for Friday’s game, so both started here.

With five wins from their last 6 games, Bray were understandably in confident form, and started the game much brighter than the visitors. Wanderers captain David Cassidy was the first to threaten, forcing a smart save from Dean Delany, while Peter McGlynn on the opposite wing was in flying form. He terrorized Dylan Hayes, and forced an excellent near-post save from Delany after being played through by Cassidy.

When Bohs took the lead in the 20th minute, it was against the run of play. Ploughing a lone furrow up front, Jason Byrne forced a corner which Lorcan Fitzgerald whipped in. Goalkeeper Peter Cherrie could only punch the ball onto the head of one of hos own defenders, and the ball fell favourably for Robbie Creevy, who had the simple task of nodding into the empty net.

Unfortunately for Bohs, that was as good as it got for the whole evening. Almost from the restart, Bray went up the other end and set about unsettling the Gypsies defence. Chris Lyons nipped onto the ball just inside the box, and was dispossessed by a strong tackle from Eoin Wearen. Bizarrely, referee Robert Harvey pointed to the spot. No Bray players had really appealed for a foul. A truly, truly awful decision, and Bohs were punished when Lyons dusted himself down to convert the spot kick.

The away side were further aggrieved when a dangerous tackle by Hugh Douglas was only punished by a yellow card. Wearen, the recipient, needed stitches in a head wound, but there was confusion as the dressing rooms were locked. Wearen received some treatment in an ambulance, but the process was taking too long and Bohs were forced into a change, with Kealan Dillon coming on. Goalscorer Creevy also seemed to receive a dead leg after an Alan McNally tackle, and was replaced by Dave Mulcahy at half time.

The second half was only three minutes old when Bray grabbed a deserved lead. Roberto Lopes, who endured a thoroughly miserable night, sold Delany short with a terrible back pass. Lyons picked it up and squared to Peter McGlynn, who finished well from 12 yards.

Jason Byrne was also struggling against his old club, and Bohs only really started to look dangerous when Ismahil Akinade came on. The Nigerian powered past McNally with his first contribution, but couldn’t quite square the ball across to Jake Kelly as Cherrie got to him in time to force a corner.

With Bohs piling forward in search of the equaliser, they began to get caught out on the break. Substitute Dave Scully, a familiar face to all at Dalymount, should really have sealed the points with 5 minutes to go, but could only fire into the side netting after rounding Delany. However, Scully had the last laugh when he scored a fine goal in injury time. After receiving a square pass from Gareth McDonagh, he evaded Stephen Best’s challenge and fired into the top corner. Celebrating in front of the Bohs fans left some with a sour taste, but small sections had been giving the former Gypsy some stick.

All eyes now turn to Friday night’s clash at Dalymount Park. Bray will be upbeat after this result, but Bohs have some big hitters to return to the starting line up.

Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie, Hugh Douglas, Alan McNally, Niall Cooney, Michael Barker, John Sullivan, Ryan McEvoy, David Cassidy, Graham Kelly, Peter McGlynn (Dave Scully, 70), Chris Lyons (Gareth McDonagh, 85). Subs not used: Sean Fogarty, Luke Fitzpatrick, Daniel O’Reilly, Adam Wixted, Adam Mitchell.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Dylan Hayes,  Roberto Lopes, Stephen Best, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Paddy Kavanagh, Eoin Wearen (Kealan Dillon, 33), James O’Brien, Robbie Creevy (Dave Mulcahy 46), Jake Kelly, Jason Byrne (Ismahil Akinade, 60). Subs not used: Lee Stacey, Keith Buckley, Adam Evans, Jason Caffrey. Man of the Match: Dean Delany

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