Solid start for Bohs
Bray Wdrs 1 Bohemians 3
There were a lot of jokes in the build-up to last night's match at the Carlisle Grounds about walls caving in and hasty repairs.
Many of them directed at Bohemians after a fraught pre-season. But Pat Fenlon's side kept up one old habit: a resolute victory over Bray.
Fenlon was forced to start the game with five new signings and three youngsters, including teenage supporter Craig Sexton in goal.
Changes on that scale can excuse an awful lot -- but not a decision like Ger O'Brien's in the 19th minute. He ludicrously palmed Joe Kendrick's corner away to gift Bray a penalty that Jake Kelly thundered home.
The home side looked the likelier to add to it until, on 29 minutes, Lee Dixon enticed a challenge from Daire Doyle.
Chris Fagan stepped up to side-foot home from the spot. Bohs were transformed and, within 10 minutes, had gone ahead through Killian Brennan.
Brennan's was an exceptional free-kick, worthy of settling the most glittering of occasions, which this tie hardly was.
Anto Flood's tap-in on 65 minutes appeared to make the game safe until O'Brien's horror debut continued. He was adjudged to have taken down John Mulroy in the box but, this time, Kelly hit the bar.
A shaky start for Bray, but Bohs hit the ground running.
BRAY WANDERERS -- Gregg; Doyle (Webster, h-t), Massey, Mitchell, Kendrick; Dempsey, O'Connor (Molloy, 65), G Kelly, J Kelly; Shields, O'Neill (McGuinness, 72).
BOHEMIANS -- Sexton; Rossiter (Lopez, 82), Cahill, Price, Heary; O'Brien, Traynor, Brennan, Dixon; Fagan, Flood.
REF -- T Connolly (Dublin).