Tuesday 24 April 2018

Close but no cigars for Students in cup battle

Bohemians 2 UCD 2 (Bohs 5-3 on pens)

Dan Casey of Bohemians celebrates after scoring the opening penalty. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile
Dan Casey of Bohemians celebrates after scoring the opening penalty. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile
Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

In the end there was only a kick of the ball between the two teams.

Luckily for Bohemians, on an energy-sapping Easter Monday which was anything but a holiday for the players involved, it came their way as Keith Long's side advanced to the next round of the EA Sports Cup, beating a dogged UCD in a penalty shoot-out.

Seeing as they looked dead and buried when a vibrant UCD outfit stormed into a 2-0 lead in the first half, in front of 314 hardy souls at Dalymount Park, Bohs will feel relief to have got past Collie O'Neill's classy outfit.

It took a second-half revival, with goals from Eoghan Stokes and JJ Lunney, for Bohs to draw level with a UCD side who proudly sit on top of the First Division table, and send the game into extra time.

With no goals forthcoming in 30 minutes of added time, despite the best efforts of UCD sub Ben Hanrahan, it came down to penalties, and once Bohs keeper Colin McCabe saved Paul Doyle's effort, Stokes's penalty proved to be enough.

"We came back, we ground it out and we had some good performances in the second half," said a relieved Long.

Gary O'Neill, left, celebrates with team-mate Daire O'Connor after scoring UCD's second goal. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile
Gary O'Neill, left, celebrates with team-mate Daire O'Connor after scoring UCD's second goal. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile

"It would have been disappointing to lose on penalties having got ourselves back into the game but we're pleased to be into the next round and hopefully it gives us confidence."

The Students were in front on 21 minutes, Egyptian/Irish attacker Yoyo Mahdy scoring his fourth goal of the season, a nice finish from a move set up by Daire O'Connor and 10 minutes before the break Gary O'Neill doubled UCD's lead, O'Connor again the source.

Stokes got Bohs back into the game on 53 minutes, from a good ball by the impressive Danny Grant.

With seven minutes of normal time left Bohs did indeed draw level, Lunney scoring from the penalty spot after Josh Collins's foul on Grant was punished, and in the shoot-out McCabe's save from Doyle proved crucial.

Colin McCabe makes a crucial save for Bohs in their penalty shootout with UCD. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile
Colin McCabe makes a crucial save for Bohs in their penalty shootout with UCD. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile

"We were coasting, smoking cigars at half time, 2-0 up, we had enough chances to win it so we can only have ourselves to blame," said UCD boss O'Neill.

Bohemians - McCabe, Wilson, Casey, Kirk, Hamilton, Grant, Gannon (Thornton, 20), Watts (Nolan, 103), Lunney, Manley (Graydon, 51), Stokes.

UCD - Kearns, Tobin, Collins, Kougoun, Scales (Corcoran, 71), Mahdy, Molloy, O'Connor (Doyle, 96), O'Neill, McClelland, Kelly (Hanrahan, 106).

Ref - Derek Tomney.

Eoghan Stokes scores the winning penalty for Bohemians at Dalymount Park. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile
Eoghan Stokes scores the winning penalty for Bohemians at Dalymount Park. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile

Irish Independent

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