Goals from Christy Fagan and Keith Buckley proved enough to earn Bohemians a comfortable 2-0 victory over UCD at Dalymount Park on Saturday night.
In what was a cagey opening to proceedings, neither side could really get a foothold in the game. Missed passes were common place in a clash between two of the form sides in the Airtricity League.
The home side had the first real chance on 10 minutes. Fagan collected the ball on the edge of the UCD penalty area, but his shot drifted just wide of Mark McGinley’s right-hand post.
The game sprung to life in the 18th minute when Bohs had a goal chalked off by the officials. A corner whipped in by Ryan McEvoy was met by the head of Liam Burns who saw his header deflect off a group of both UCD and Bohs players and into the net. However, the referee’s assistant had her flag raised.
The opening goal of the game came with 23 minutes on the clock. Keith Buckley’s tackle inside UCD’s final third saw the ball fall into the path of team-mate Fagan, and much to delight of the Bohs faithful, the former Manchester United man made no mistake from 18-yards out to put his side ahead.
Bohs could have doubled their lead just three minutes later when Gary Burke, who was given a rare start due to an injury to Killian Brennan, unleashed a powerful effort on the volley from all of 25-yards. McGinley in the UCD goal did well to get solid hands on the effort to deny the hosts.
A superb goal-line clearance from UCD’s Michael Leahy on the 34th minute prevented Fagan from doubling his and the home side’s tally on the night. A surging run from the veteran Ollie Cahill ended with a neat cut-back which fell to Fagan who looked certain to put the ball in the back of the net, but Leahy was in the right place at the right time.
Paul Corry had the visitors first and only chance of the half. However, his deflected free-kick on the stroke of half-time failed to really test Barry Murphy in the Bohs goal and so it remained 1-0 at the break.
Bohs had to wait until the 57th minute for their first chance of the second half. Stephen Traynor did well to get his shot away on the edge of the UCD area, but luckily for Martin Russell’s men, McGinley did enough to keep the ball out.
Another opportunity fell to Traynor just ten minutes later. A perfectly weighted ball by Buckley was taken down by Traynor expertly, but after doing all the hard work, his effort was deflected high over UCD’s crossbar and out for a corner which came to nothing.
It was all Bohs at this stage and once again they went close to doubling their advantage in the 70th minute. Ger O’Brien’s shot come cross fell to the feet of substitute Chris Forrester, who struck a powerful effort at McGinley, who was once again up to the challenge of keeping Bohs at bay.
The impressive Fagan was just inches away from getting the second goal which had eluded Pat Fenlon’s men for so long soon after. Buckley found Fagan with a pin-point ball on the edge of the UCD area. He then turned and saw his curling effort just miss McGinley’s left-hand post.
A superb turn allowed the man of the match on the night, Ryan McEvoy, to get a shot in on the UCD goal and his strike bounced off the frame of the goal and out of play for a goal kick. Bohs finally added the all important second goal with 90 minutes on the clock. A magnificent through ball by Forrester set Buckley clean through on goal and this time, McGinley failed to keep the ball from rolling into his net.
Substitute Anto Flood wasted the chance to make it 3-0 on the stroke of full-time, when he ballooned a penalty high over the bar, which ensured the game finished 2-0 to the men in red and black.
The worry for Bohs was that they would be made to pay for all their missed chances, but thankfully for them, UCD were never at the races and struggled to muster up any real goal scoring chances. All in all, a routine win for Bohs, but considering their recent run of form, UCD will no doubt be very disappointed with their own performance.
Bohemians; B.Murphy, G. O’Brien, O.Heary, L.Burns, O.Cahill, K.Buckley, G.Cronin (S.Hurley 72’), R.McEvoy, S.Traynor, G.Burke (C.Forrester 47’), C.Fagan (A.Flood 82’).
Subs not used; L.Dixon, R.Lopes, K.Feely, L.Dixon.
UCD; M.McGinley, H.Douglas (C.Nangle 45’), D.O’Connor, D.Ledwith, M.Leahy, P.Corry, D.Marshall, P.O’Connor, D.Meenan, G.Rusk, R.Benson (S.Belmout 45’).
Subs not used; G.Barron, T.Boyle, M.Langtry, C.Mooney, S.Doyle.
Referee: Graham Kelly.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ryan McEvoy.