Wednesday 22 November 2017

Cretaro gets Bohs back on track

Bohemians 2
Bray Wds 0

An emotional Raffaele Cretaro celebrates after scoring the first of his two goals for Bohemians at Dalymount Park last night. Photo: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile
An emotional Raffaele Cretaro celebrates after scoring the first of his two goals for Bohemians at Dalymount Park last night. Photo: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile

Neil Ahern

THE MUSIC 10 minutes prior to kick-off at Dalymount Park couldn't have been more appropriate, as Bananarama's 'Cruel Summer' blasted through the PA system.

While the last couple of years represent one of the most successful eras in Bohemians' long history, the past three months have yielded some of the darkest days in its 120 years in existence.

And, after the Gypsies fans learned the extent of their financial strife last week, tomorrow could prove another disastrous day if the club fail in their attempts to stump up €50,000 in order to pay their players.

But on the pitch, there's life in the old dog yet, as they battled to a hard-fought victory over a revived Bray side under the stewardship of Pat Devlin.

This re-fixed match had all the hallmarks of a banana skin for the defending League of Ireland champions, with the lowly Seagulls having shocked title contenders St Patrick's Athletic last Friday, while Pat Fenlon's side entered the game having suffered successive defeats -- very much out of character.

It was far more a test of character than it was a test of ability -- and they just about passed.

The Phibsboro outfit bossed the first half and could have entered the dressing-room at half-time with the game out of sight, had Paddy Madden not spurned a number of opportunities to add to Raffaele Cretaro's opening goal.

With the fans getting on the players' backs in the wake of two poor league showings, all seemed to be losing their heads until the former Sligo Rovers striker cantered through and coolly slotted home the opener on 32 minutes.

But the visitors kept themselves in the game through a great deal of hard work and may have equalised, once in the first half when their former 'keeper Chris O'Connor made a superb save from Shane O'Neill's opportunistic snapshot, and again after the break when Derek Prendergast headed agonisingly over when completely free in the box from a teasing Gary Dempsey corner.

And they were made to pay, as Cretaro doubled his tally with a heavily deflected effort that eluded Matt Gregg six minutes before the end.

BOHEMIANS -- O'Connor, Heary, Shelley, Oman, Powell; Burke (Quigley 90), Keegan, Cronin, Brennan (McGlynn 65); Cretaro, Madden (Byrne 65).

BRAY WANDERERS -- Gregg, Webster, S O'Connor, Prendergast, Houston; Zambra, Dempsey, D O'Connor (Shields 87), J Kelly (Tuohy 90); O'Neill (Massey 33), Mulroy.

REF -- T Connolly (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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