BOHEMIANS will have given UCD nightmares about the pending EA Sports Cup clash after a 3-0 triumph over a lowly Student outfit at the UCD Bowl on Friday night.
The first two goals came from former Students. The first by way of winger Paddy Kavanagh ten minutes from half-time and a second from Dinny Corcoran on 63 minutes.
The story line will be though, that the return of the messiah was rewarded with the goal will grab the headlines. Jason Byrne was sprung from the bench five minutes from time and with his second touch he headed home to complete the rout.
It was an even opening to proceedings, with the first real opening coming on the ten minute mark. Kavanagh picked the ball up in space around midfield and elected to take it on himself.
He wandered longingly toward the box, before stopping, eyeing up Conor O’Donnell and taking on the shot. It flew toward goal at light speed but luckily for the on looking O’Donnell the effort sailed wide.
Bohemians really should have been in front 16 minutes in. Karl Moore shaped up to shoot from the edge of the area, his right footed strike cannoning off the post to Corcoran, he miscued his header into the grateful path of Michael Barker to clear.
The utter dominance of the visitors was inherently evident as again the post was rattled. A cross from the left by Moore was not dealt with by the Students defence.
If fell to former Blue Corcoran again. But for a second time, he fluffed his lines from centimeters out, heading against the post with O’Donnell beaten.
UCD gradually got themselves back into things and came close when Ayman Ben Mohamed missed following a centre by Chris Mulhall.
The home side had a claim for a penalty minutes later. The aforementioned duo again linking up. This time Ben Mohamed was the provider for Mulhall whose shot appeared to be blocked by the hand of Jack Memery, but nothing given.
That would prove costly seconds later. Bohs broke on the left hand side and Moore got adjacent to the area before cutting it back for Kavanagh.
The former Student made no mistake with his finish this time, curling a stunning effort into the top corner from the edge of the area giving O’Donnell no chance.
The first half continued to it’s climax without incident. The second period started much the same, a Dean Clarke strike all that either could muster.
That was until Corcoran finally tested O’Donnell after his first half probing. He played a one two with Derek Pender before attempting a looping effort over the young stopper. He was equal to it though, claiming it at the first attempt.
Deservedly the away side doubled their lead in the 63rd minute. Corcoran, a menace all evening picked up the ball at the edge of the area.
He ran at Ian Ryan, attempted to go inside him, chose to turn out from him before putting it back through the despairing defenders legs and curling it past O’Donnell and in off the post. A stunning finish against his old employers.
The Students showed some much needed life after the second goal. Clarke ran at Roberto Lopes, he could have slid it left to Samir Belhout but instead he elected to go himself, forcing a smart save out of Dean Delaney.
The waking up process continued for UCD as they searched for an equaliser. Robbie Creevy won the ball on the left and lofted the ball across to the penalty spot.
New captain Robbie Benson looped his header toward the top corner but as it dipped under the upright, so did that the hand of Delaney, tipping it away to safety.
The inevitable happened three minutes from time. If two things in life are certain, it’s that buses come two at a time after a long absence, and a certain striker will score against UCD.
After a similar exile to the aforementioned buses it was Byrne who made the game safe on his second debut for the Gypsies.
A shot from outside the area by new recruit Stephen Beattie was parried into the air by O’Donnell but he could not prevent Byrne from heading home a 208th goal in Irish club football and an astonishing 21st against the dispondant Students on a glorious night for the Gypsies.
UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Michael Barker, Ian Ryan, Tomas Boyle, Gareth Matthews; James Kavanagh (Cillian Morrison 78), Robbie Creevy; Chris Mulhall, Robbie Benson, Ayman Ben Mohamed (Samir Belhout 60); Dean Clarke.
Subs not used: Mark McGinley (GK), Hugh Douglas, Michael Scott, Dwayne Wilson, Gary Burke.
Booked: Creevy (77)
Bohemians: Dean Delaney; Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery; Stephen Beattie, Patrick Kavanagh, Dave Mulcahy (Ryan McEvoy 57), Craig Walsh, Karl Moore (Keith Buckley 76); Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne 85).
Sub not used: Lee Murphy (GK), Philly McCabe, Stephen Traynor, Kevin Devaney.
Booked: Walsh (43).
Referee: Rob Harvey
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Craig Walsh (Bohemians)