Cretaro shines bright as Bohs hit top gear
Bray Wanderers 0
THIS Bohemians side is really getting back into its stride and, while their chances of a league title remain slim, hopes of a dream FAI Ford Cup final against their fiercest rivals Shamrock Rovers remain intact after a routine win sent them into the semi-final draw last night.
The win never looked in doubt for Pat Fenlon's men from the moment Mark Quigley fired them ahead with a speculative first-half strike as they picked up a seventh win in eight games, leaving the mouth-watering possibility of a first Bohs-Hoops FAI Cup final since 1945 still wide open.
The former St Patrick's Athletic man picked the ball up from Rafael Cretaro 21 minutes in before picking his spot and firing an absolute screamer past the outstretched hand of Matt Gregg.
Quigley, with his impressive recent displays, is finally starting to find the kind of form with the Gypsies that made the 24-year-old one of the league's top players just a couple years ago at Inchicore.
While the hosts were playing some superb football, the Seagulls were hanging in there in the first period and almost clawed back a goal eight minutes before the interval.
Gary Shaw's saw his shot palmed away by Chris O'Connor and when Dean Zambra latched onto the rebound and shot across the face of the goal, Jason McGuinness was there on the line to scramble the ball away.
While they were industrious and hard-working, however, the Seagulls struggled to create anything else of note in the final third and they soon began to tear apart at the seams through a mixture of sustained Bohs pressure and some poor defensive positioning.
The second came eight minutes into the second half, when Killian Brennan fed Cretaro and the diminutive striker was afforded far too much space by the centre-half pairing of Shane O'Connor and Derek Prendergast, allowing the Tubbercurry man ample time to slot home a precise finish.
Two minutes later it was all over bar the shouting as Shane O'Connor saw red for tugging down Cretaro when he once again found himself bounding through on the goal-side of the unravelling back four.
The 28-year-old was at the centre of everything for the hosts and it was he who released substitute Aaron Greene for the third before the former Galway man rounded Gregg and walked the ball home.
BOHEMIANS -- O'Connor; Heary, Shelley, McGuinness (Oman 44), Powell; Quigley, Cronin, McGlynn (Keegan 58), Brennan; Byrne (Greene 70), Cretaro.
BRAY WANDERERS -- Gregg; Webster, S O'Connor, Prendergast, Houston; Zambra, Dempsey, D O'Connor (Mulroy 74), Massey (O'Neill 63); Shields, Shaw (Mitchell 58).
REF -- N Doyle (Dublin).