Saturday 20 January 2018

Doyle gaffe sets up seaside stroll for Bohs

Bray Wnds 0
Bohemians 2

Daire Doyle holds his head in despair after scoring an own goal at the Carlisle Grounds last night. DAVID MAHER / SPORTSFILE
Daire Doyle holds his head in despair after scoring an own goal at the Carlisle Grounds last night. DAVID MAHER / SPORTSFILE

Neil Ahern

Like a fervent young family setting out on their summer holidays, to the backdrop of the sea and sun, Bohemians must have arrived at the Carlisle Grounds yesterday rubbing their hands in anticipation of a leisurely stroll by the seaside.

Bray Wanderers have taken just one point from their eight games on home soil this season -- their only league win so far coming away to Dundalk.

And while the league champions had just one goal by the time the sun set over the Wicklow coast last night, this was as easy as they come.

The Gypsies needed to win by more than four goals to leapfrog Sporting Fingal into fourth place, and they could have done that by half-time -- with a few to spare.

But chance after chance went a begging, with Jason Byrne clearly showing his charitable side against his first senior club.

Indeed, it took a Bray defender to open the scoring for Pat Fenlon's side.

Mark Quigley flicked a header towards Byrne following some patient build-up play and a Gareth McGlynn cross. The ball sailed over Byrne's head and Daire Doyle, under little pressure at the back post, could have allowed the ball to bounce across his body before clearing. Instead, the Seagulls skipper took a swing at the ball while facing the goal and found the net with the help of his shin.

The only real chances prior to that 13th-minute opener came within the first 80 seconds when Killian Brennan was saved by the off-side flag after missing a sitter on 30 seconds, before he was foiled by a superb Doyle block in front of another open goal 50 seconds later.

After the goal, however, it was a relentless bombardment of Brian Kane's goal.

Byrne could have had three before the interval, and Ken Oman hit the woodwork twice right on the stroke of half-time, first heading against the bar from Paul Keegan's corner, before a strike with the outside of his boot hit the outside of the post.

While it was the profligacy up front that had the away fans holding their heads, frustration began to boil over among the Bohs defenders in the second half when Jason McGuinness and his centre-half partner Oman squared up following a loud exchange of views, with heads too close for comfort.

They saw it out, however, with Brennan's crisp left-footed strike rocketing past Kane on 86 minutes to take the Phibsborough outfit to within three points of the top of the table with a game in hand.

BRAY W -- Kane, D Doyle, O'Connor (Byrne 68), Webster, Massey; O'Neill, Brennan, Vickers, Kelly; Mulroy, Shields (Kavanagh 83).

BOHEMIANS -- B Murphy, Shelley, McGuinness, Oman, Powell; McGlynn (Higgins 75), Keegan, Cronin, Brennan; Quigley (Madden 71), Byrne.

REF -- D Tomney (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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