Date: 7:45 p.m. July 23, 2010
Venue: Carlisle Grounds
Friday night offered Bray Wanderers boss Eddie Gormley a rare chance to commiserate with an opposing manager as Pat Fenlon brought his Bohemians players to the Carlisle Grounds for their first league outing since the Gypsies’ Champions League humiliation at the hands of New Saints (TNS).
But if they needed a shot in the arm the visitors need only have thought back to the final game of last season when this ground saw them crowned as league champions. And it was in this latter frame of mind that they entered this game.
They were in charge from the first whistle and went ahead in the ninth minute when Owen Heary headed down a Killian Brennan cross for Paddy Madden to drive in the loose ball at the second attempt. Kane was furious having blocked the striker’s first effort but from then on Bohemians turned the screw.
Looking bigger, fitter and stronger they controlled the bulk of the play and in the 13th minute Gareth McGlynn played a delicate through ball to Aaron Green and he in turn fed Madden who, despite calls for off-side, steadied himself and drove a shot to the right of Kane and into the bray net.
Bohs should have added a third on 32 minutes when Glenn Cronin split the Bray defence and sent Greene clean through on goal. But the young striker attempted to round Kane who managed to collect the ball with his feet and save his side from what would surely have been an insurmountable deficit.
Bray had free kicks from Jake Kelly and Shane O’Neill that flew harmlessly over the bar and O’Neill might have done better when he was closed down inside the Bohemians’ box in the 43rd minute but it was a half that left no doubt as to which team was chasing the title and which is more concerned with avoiding relegation.
Five minutes into the second half and Bohemians bagged their third. Brennan worked a corner with Paul Keegan and drove a shot across goal and in off the far post. Bray had their insurmountable deficit after all and in the following minutes their opponents might have instigated a rout.
Two Keegan corners in quick succession saw Daire Doyle head out from under his own crossbar and Ken Oman flick a header inches over. Bray weathered that particular storm and in truth goalmouth incident was thin on the ground, but there was no disguising Bohemians dominance in every other quarter of the pitch.
Brennan made way for Mark Quigley midway through the half and only a poor first touch and an alert Derek Prendergast prevented him adding a fourth. And it was Prendergast again who denied Paul Keegan moments later with a perfectly timed interception.
There were moments when the home side pressed forwards but Barry Murphy in the Bohemians goal was never troubled and the final ten minutes was nothing but a tip of the hat to professional obligation.
Bohemians may have gone some way to repairing the damage inflicted on Tuesday night but Bray have done nothing to ease their fears of making an inelegant return to the First Division.
Bray Wanderers: Brian Kane; Shane O’Connor, Adam Mitchell, Derek Prendergast, Dane Massey (Sean Houston, 45); Daire Doyle, Graham Kelly (Robbie Doyle, 66), Danny O’Connor (James Kavanagh,79), Jake Kelly; Shane O’Neill, John Mulroy.
Subs not used: Nicky Byrne, Ian Tuohy.
Bookings: Prendergast (18) G. Kelly (62).
Bohemians: Barry Murphy; Brian Shelley, Owen Heary, Ken Oman, Mark Rossiter; Gareth McGlynn, Paul Keegan (Ruaidhri Higgins, 82), Glen Cronin, Killian Brennan (Mark Quigley, 69); Paddy Madden, Aaron Green (Jason Byrne, 77).
Subs not used: Chris O’Connor, Jason McGuinness.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Killian Brennan.
Referee: Derek Tomney
Attendance: 1100 (estimate).