Bray Wanderers 0 Bohemians 2 (Byrne 30, Ben Mohammed 70)
Premier Division, Carlisle Grounds, 09 Apr 2016
Another Saturday in the Carlisle and another three points lost.
The Gypsies found themselves one up at the break courtesy of Dano Byrne’s half-hour header, but it was no more than that.
The home side had been denied at least one seemingly well-rounded penalty shout before the break, and arguably should have scored as early as the first minute.
And they should have capitalised on early chances in the second period, too.
Instead, it was Keith Long’s men who gained further advantage midway through, Ayman Ben Mohamed taking all the advantage he needed to fire under Peter Cherrie to the far corner.
There was an element of physicality throughout that suggested Derek Tomney might not have been able to stick to yellow in his cautions had it gone much longer.
The echoes of the starting whistle had barely died away when Karl Moore whipped the ball onto Drew Lewis’s head, but it went just wide of the post.
Two minutes later, Moore was in action again, nutmegging Derek Pender before playing through for Dean Kelly. He hit it wide, but the offside flag was up against him in any case.
Bohs showed they were not going to roll over immediately after, Lorcan Fitzgerald hitting a stinging free which was deflected out for a corner. The flag-kick was cleared into the path of Kelly but he lost his footing in a dramatic fashion and Bohs retained possession.
Just after ten minutes in, the visitors broke down the left and the ball was squared to Paddy Kavanagh in space in the area, but his shot was saved and out for a corner.
Prendergast hit a long ball towards Ismahil Akinade but the surface, grey with lying sleet, carried it into Cherrie’s arms.
Then Kavanagh slipped it through to Akinade who managed to knock it round Cherrie, but his touch was heavy and it ran out of play.
All this inside the opening quarter hour.
The Gypsies then created a good little move, Eoin Wearen playing to the feet of Keith Buckley who went on a run before giving it back to Wearen, who then fed Fitzgerald who in turn drove toward the Bray defence before laying it on for Akinade.
But at that stage, Conor Kenna got in front of Akinade and cleared.
Wearen broke from midfield on a mazy run up the left, beating Sean Harding, but the latter got back well to block the cross.
And Bray came very close to getting an opener thanks to Dylan Connolly, who played inside for Kelly to one-two, Connolly then fizzing it across the area and Moore was inches from connecting.
Lewis then beat the offside trap to get on the end of a long ball, flicking wide to Connolly who crossed, but it was blocked back to the feet of Moore who retuned out to Connolly. He fired another ball in towards Lewis, who was tumbled down.
Penalty protests erupted around the ground but Tomney ignored them and play continued.
Just inside the half hour, Buckley flicked inside to Akinade who bore in on the Bray goal but took a tumble over Kenna. Penalty calls this time from the Bohemians side, but the referee’s decision was that Akinade had dived.
And it was barely minutes after that Byrne put the visitors ahead, rising in the goal area to get his head under Fitzgerald’s corner and steer it into the top left corner.
Bray had an even more convincing penalty shout at the far end within minutes, Moore getting on the end of a ball at the back post, his shot on goal interrupted by the arm of former Seagull Prendergast. But yet again the referee waved it away, and Buckley sprinted up the other end, his shot dealt with calmly by Cherrie.
The Seagulls then lost Robbie Creevy to injury, and he was replaced by Alan Byrne.
Buckley’s Route-One run was unceremoniously halted by the substitute 22m from the target. Fitzgerald bent the ensuing free around the wall and it was curling well, but Cherrie dived low and clutched it in his gloves.
Returning the favour, Cherrie who rose above the rest to a comfortable catch on the next Bohs corner, releasing Connolly up the left to win a free 25m out, which he takes himself and puts a little too much on, allowing Dean Delany to claim.
In first half time added, Akinade won a free wide on the right which Fitzgerald swung in deep, but it was headed away by Alan McNally.
Wanderers opened the second period positively, Connolly getting on the end of a Lewis nod on a long ball and winning the first of a brace of corners, the second of which cleared in to the waiting Harding who won a free in a threatening position, reaching Moore with his dead-ball, but his back post header was stopped by Delany.
Wearen took a touch in the middle before sending to the right channel, Buckley controlling before winning a free. Fitzgerald knocked another good ball in but Douglas managed to clear.
Minutes later, a Moore cross dropped to Alan Byrne at the edge but his shot flew over the bar.
And as both sides struggled to command the attack, Buckley sent a ball to Akinade’s feet. The strike was quickly dispossessed, but Roberto Lopes was first to it and powered a shot which was deflected for a corner. It was cleared to Buckley who sent it wide to Ben Mohamed but his cross evaded Akinade in the area and flew out of play.
Just inside the hour, the ball dropped to Lewis at the edge of Bohs’ area, but his snap shot was just off target.
Bray continued to threaten, Moore finding space down the right flank before lobbing it in for Lewis whose shot was blocked for a corner. Delany came to collect the flag-kick but fluffed at the ball before a Bray player knocked it wide.
Then Ben Mohamed got on the end of a long ball and flicked it past Cherrie but was taken down by Cherrie’s sliding tackle just outside the area. The Bray keeper may have been fortunate to get away with a caution on this occasion.
With just over twenty minutes to go, Akinade made a well-timed run after being played through by Wearen, but his cross was weak and cleared well by Kenna. At the other end Moore lofted a lovely ball across the area but Connolly couldn’t reach it before it ran out.
The visitors made the game safe a minute later, Fitzgerald sending another free deep towards the far post where Ben Mohamed buried it beyond Cherrie into the bottom left corner.
Kavanagh came close to making it three when he was played through but stopped by a last ditch challenge by Alan Byrne.
Hugh Douglas beat his man up the right before playing to Connolly who crossed first time to Lewis, but his shot was parried and out for a corner. Alan Byrne gets on the end of it but his effort was wide.
With less than a quarter hour left, Kavanagh won a free right on the edge of the area with supporters appealing for a penalty. Fitzgerald again steps up but this time balloons it over.
Bray were still fighting, a trio of corners coming their way with the first two being well-defended by the Bohs’ defence before the third is eventually cleared to safety.
The busy Connolly again found space down the right and got a shot away but it only found the side-netting. Seconds later he again received the ball wide right, curling in a cross that rebounded off Delany’s crossbar before the defence sent it to safety.
With the last movement of normal time, Wearen won the ball from Alan Byrne and broke into Bray’s half to play wide for Kurtis Byrne, but misdirected his pass.
Deep in time added, Kavanagh worked his way down the right, squaring for Kurtis Byrne but his strike was blocked on the line by Douglas.
Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie (yc); 2 Hugh Douglas, 5 Alan McNally, 4 Conor Kenna (c, yc), 24 Sean Harding; 16 Dylan Connolly, 21 Robert Creevy, 7 Ryan Brennan, 10 Karl Moore; 18 Andrew Lewis, 9 Dean Kelly
Subs: 6 Alan Byrne (for Creevy 33 inj, yc), 11 Jason Marks, 15 Sean Noble, 17 Gerard Pender (for Kelly 64), 20 Paul Finnegan, 23 Gareth McDonagh, 50 Aaron Shanahan (gk)
Bohemians: 1 Dean Delany; 2 Derek Pender (c), 5 Derek Prendergast, 6 Daniel Byrne, 3 Lorcan Fitzgerald; 4 Roberto Lopes; 14 Patrick Kavanagh (yc), 7 Eoin Wearen, 8 Keith Buckley, 16 Aymen Ben Mohammed (yc); 24 Ismahil Akinade
Subs: 10 Kurtis Byrne (for Buckley 80), 11 Jake Kelly (for Ben Mohammed 85), 17 Anthony Murphy, 18 Adam Evans, 21 Dylan Hayes, 23 James Kavanagh, 25 Lee Steacy (gk)
Referee: Derek Tomney
Report by Micheal O’hUanachain