Sunday 23 July 2017

Fenlon's supersubs deliver for Gypsies

UCD 1 BOHEMIANS 2 Ruaidhri O'Connor

With subs like these, eh? Trailing 1-0 after a Greg Bolger penalty and struggling, Bohs boss Pat Fenlon called for the cavalry and they delivered in some style.

Two stunning goals in 30 seconds from Jason Byrne and Raffaele Cretaro saved the champions from an embarrassing reverse at the hands of newly-promoted UCD at Belfield.

For the second successive league game, the champions were stymied by a congested midfield as UCD boss Martin Russell's decision to follow Liam Buckley's lead and field a 4-5-1 formation left the Gypsies playing all the football, but in the wrong areas for much of this game.

Their best first-half chance close to the break, when Gareth McGlynn forced a corner on the left and skipper Owen Heary met Paul Keegan's deep corner with a firm header, only for Stephen Roche to hook the ball off the line with Billy Brennan beaten.

Things got more difficult for Bohs when ten minutes into the second half, Chris Mulhall split the visiting defence with a pinpoint ball and Ciaran Kilduff beat Chris O'Connor to the ball and crashed over the Australian stopper's despairing dive to win a penalty.

Bolger calmly converted and the promoted side had an unlikely lead, but his night went from ecstasy to idiocy, as 10 minutes later the midfielder -- who picked up a silly yellow card late in the first period -- kicked the ball away and was sent for an early bath by referee Thomas Connolly.

Bohs pushed for the equaliser and were denied by a brave Andy Boyle block from Mark Quigley, before McGlynn somehow failed to score from a Killian Brennan cross.

Pat Fenlon put three up front with the introduction of Byrne and while his impact wasn't quite immediate, the prolific goal-getter struck five minutes after coming on. O'Connor's quickly taken free found Cretaro, he laid it off to Byrne who played a neat one-two with Cronin and beat Brennan with a rising drive from just inside the box with nine minutes left.

The crowd hadn't retaken their seats when the diminutive Cretaro stole the ball back from the kick-off and curled a low drive past the despairing Brennan. Crisis averted.

UCD -- Brennan; Shortall (Leahy 65), Boyle, E McMillan, Nangle; Mulhall, Ward (Creevey 45), Bolger, Roche, Rusk (D McMillan 85); Kilduff.

BOHEMIANS -- O'Connor; Heary; Gray (Byrne 76), Shelley (Murphy 58), Powell; McGlynn, Cronin, Keegan, Brennan; Quigley, Madden (Cretaro 60).

REF --T Connolly (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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