(Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick)
Bohemians kept alive their chances of clinching a Setanta Cup spot with a convincing 4-1 win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night. Goals from Dave Mulcahy, Keith Buckley, Andy Mulligan and Ryan McEvoy clinched the win for Bohs.
There were no real chances of note until the 17th minute when Andy Mulligan managed to get on the end of a through ball that cut open the Bray defence. Mulligan made a decent effort for goal but his shot was parried wide of the post by Brian Kane. Bohs then had a goal ruled out for offside after 27 minutes. Dinny Corcoran found Andy Mulligan who rounded the keeper and stuck it in the net but the linesman had his flag up.
And then, in the space of three minutes, Bohs received a massive boost to their efforts. On 29 minutes David Webster brought down Dinny Corcoran and was booked for his actions. This was followed three minutes later with a cynical foul on Keith Buckley who was through on goal, resulting in a second yellow card for the Bray man and he was off.
The sending off didn’t seem to have an immediate impact on the Seagulls as they pushed forward. Dean Marshall showed good skill as he ran down the right-wing before placing a cross on the head of Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters who had his effort saved well by Greg Murray. The last chance before half-time fell to Dinny Corcoran on 36 minutes but his effort flew harmlessly over the bar.
If the first half was a little bit dull then the second half turned out to be the complete opposite. Straight from the off there were chances, the first of which came from Bray when Jason Byrne was played through one-on-one by Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters. However, Greg Murray was quick off his line to block down the effort on goal at the edge of his box.
Two minutes later and it was Bray who threatened again. A truly superb attempted lob from Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters sailed over Greg Murray only to hit the underside of the crossbar and bounce out. Despite many protests from the Bray players and supporters alike the referee and his linesman did not adjudge it to have gone crossed the line.
If Waters effort had gone in, Bray would certainly have been in the driving seat and the game could have been a lot different. However, in the unpredictable world of football it was Bohs who went ahead just a minute later. Good build-up play led to Dave Mulcahy being played through and he managed to keep his composure to coolly chip over Brian Kane and give the Gypsies the lead.
Unfortunately for Bray they barely even had time to recover before they were picking the ball out of the back of their net for the second time. This time it was Keith Buckley who got the goal for Bohs. A lobbed ball into the back post from Andy Mulligan was met by Buckley on the slide to effectively kill Bray off.
And yet the first 15 minutes of the second half was to get only more hectic as Bray were awarded a penalty just seven minutes later. Waters was brought down in the box by Michael Barker forcing Neil Doyle to point to the spot. The penalty was then duly dispatched by Jason Byrne.
This may have given Bray a glimmer of hope going into the last 20 minutes but that glimmer was put out after 69 minutes when Keith Ward and Dinny Corcoran teamed up to find Andy Mulligan who blasted home from close range.
Bray might yet have still managed to salvage something from the game however. With just ten minutes left Lee Dixon cut inside from the right wing only to see his shot cannon off the upright. An on 92 minutes Bohs rounded off a great performance when a fantastic strike from Ryan McEvoy from 20 yards out flew into the bottom corner to earn Bohs all three points and maintain their chances of finishing fifth.
Bray Wanderers: Brian Kane; Kevin Knight, Danny O’Connor, David Webster, Daire Doyle; Dean Marshall, (Lee Dixon 66) Sean Houston, Kevin O’Connor, John Mulroy (Paul Moffatt 72), Kieran Marty Waters; Jason Byrne (Yani Georgiev 87).
Subs not used: Darren Quigley, Colm Tresson, Patrick Seery.
Booked: Webster (29).
Sent off: Webster (32).
Bohemians: Greg Murray; Michael Barker, Kevin Feely, Evan McMillan, Luke Byrne (Kevin Devaney 74); Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Keith Ward 63), Dave Mulcahy, Andy Mulligan (Dylan Connolly 76); Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Andrew McNulty, David Scully, Peter McMahon, Roberto Lopes.
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Attendance: 900 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Andy Mulligan (Bohemians).