Bohemians 0 Bray Wanderers 0
Premier Division, Dalymount Park, 08 Jul 2016
A share of the points was all either side deserved in this less than pulsating encounter in north Dublin.
Part at least of the time, players on both sides were guilty of trying to emulate the feats visible in the later stages of the European Championship recently, and failing to bring them off.
The home side probably shaded the match in terms of statistics, but weren’t convincing enough to have deserved victory.
The single point is probably more valuable to Bray than to the Dublin outfit.
The first chance of the game fell to the hosts, Keith Buckley playing former Seagull Ismahil Akinade in and Bray star Peter Cherrie diving to his feet to deprive him of possession, with new signing Tim Clancy eventually clearing.
Bohemians made a great deal of the early running, earning but failing to benefit from no fewer than seven corners in the opening twenty-five minutes.
And apart from Kurtis Byrne’s efforts by the flags, Akinade was the busiest Gypsy in that period, earning a free (and then putting himself offside to receive it), and hitting the side-netting when Cherrie came too far too soon.
His 17th minute header was just turned around the post by a flying Cherrie, following which a muddle in the visitors’ defence almost gave Paddy Kavanagh an opportunity to score against his old club, but Cherrie again prevented the strike from reaching his net.
Gareth McDonagh headed Akinade’s next attempt clear, and so much of the action had been in the Bray half that when they broke away midway through the period the Bohemians’ defence was scrambled if ultimately effective.
But that may have been untypical, as Wanderers going forward looked less convincing than Bohemians in attack.
Nevertheless, soonm after the half hour, a Seán Harding free about 24m from goal brought his defensive colleague Hugh Douglas into play, and if the big Bray back had delayed his leap, he might have made a more convincing contact.
Five minutes from the break, Dylan Connolly rushed forward and made space for a cross which reached Drew Lewis, but his header was narrowly over.
And in the final minutes, the home side found themselves on the attack almost by accident as they were gifted possession, but Cherrie tidied up.
Referee Paul Tuite himself rightly called offside against Connolly, and Kavanagh ended the half with a shot that whizzed past the far post.
In the opening minutes of the second period the ball spent a lot of the time high in the air, Akinade again lively, shooting wide from the right and then getting himself offside again.
But it was Eoin Wearen, receiving from Kavanagh amid all sorts of confusion in the Bray defence and Cherrie for once out of position, who came closest – though not close enough.
Just before the hour, Dan Byrne seemed to suffer an unearned offside flag, and Bray substitute Kevin Lynch was quickly in action, clearing well.
Bohs failed to deliver from a couple of well-positioned frees, both just right of the area, but almost converted one placed much further away, Byrne heading Wearen’s ball over the bar.
With just a quarter of an hour left, Keith Buckley skewed the ball right of target, squandering possession at the end of a short period of sustained home pressure.
And Ayman Ben Mohamed, not long on for Kavanagh, received a brace of muscular challenges, but no whistle.
Mark Salmon, who had replaced Ger Pender after the break, had a shot not far from the target, though most of the attacking was still coming from the Gypsies, Akinade going for an open goal only to see Cherrie reaching to get a touch on it.
Whatever the home side did by way of attack seemed to fizzle out, largely through the work of the Bray keeper and his back four.
But it was a Bray corner (their third of the match) which ended the unexpected five minutes of time added.
Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie (yc); 23 Gareth McDonagh, 2 Hugh Douglas, 21 Tim Clancy, 24 Sean Harding; 10 Karl Moore, 7 Ryan Brennan (c), 3 John Sullivan (yc), 16 Dylan Connolly (yc); 17 Gerard Pender, 18 Andrew Lewis
Subs: 5 Alan McNally, 8 Mark Salmon (for Pender H/T), 13 Daniel Blackbyrne, 15 Sean Noble, 19 Kevin Lynch (for Harding 59), 22 Darragh Noone (for Lewis 93), 29 Sean Fogarty (gk)
Bohemians: 1 Dean Delany; 21 Dylan Hayes, 5 Derek Prendergast (yc), 6 Dan Byrne, 2 Derek Pender (c); 14 Patrick Kavanagh, 4 Roberto Lopes, 7 Eoin Wearen, 10 Kurtis Byrne; 8 Keith Buckley; 24 Ismahil Akinade
Subs: 3 Lorcan Fitzgerald, 9 Mark Quigley (for Wearen 73), 12 Stephen Best, 15 Dave Mulcahy, 16 Ayman Ben Mohamed (for Kavanagh 66), 23 James Kavanagh, 30 Shane Supple (gk)
Referee: Paul Tuite
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