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Tuesday 22 August 2017

Bohs blunted by Wanderers

Bohemians 0 Bray W 0

Bray Wanderers’ duo Tim Clancy and Keith Buckley combine to dispossess Bohs’ Dinny Corcoran during last night’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Dalymount Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Bray Wanderers’ duo Tim Clancy and Keith Buckley combine to dispossess Bohs’ Dinny Corcoran during last night’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Dalymount Park. Photo: Sportsfile

After a spell where the club's owners brought derision down on Bray Wanderers with a series of strange public statements which name-checked North Korea, Johnny Ronan and the 1916 Rising, the players of Bray Wanderers did their talking on the field last night.

A 0-0 draw away to Bohemians did not spark the pulse of this sporting nation, a tame affair in front of a crowd of 1,718 and this was a hugely frustrating night for Bohs, who failed to force even one save from Lee Steacy, the ex-Gypsy who was making his full debut for Bray in goal, in place of the suspended Peter Cherrie.

Bohs looked like a side who had expended most of their energy in their back-to-back wins over Shamrock Rovers and Cork City, as the best they could muster in terms of scoring chances were two late headers from Dan Byrne and Ismahil Akinade, both wide of the target.

Once again it was a night of home mis-rule for Bohs, a side with one of the best away records in the league but also one of the worst at home, just three wins from 13 league games in Phibsboro.

For Bray, the point gained at Dalymount was significant as it stopped the rot, preventing their losing streak from an extension into five games, and Steacy will also be proud to have claimed Bray's first clean sheet in nine games.

Tim Clancy of Bray Wanderers in action against Oscar Brennan of Bohemians during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile
Tim Clancy of Bray Wanderers in action against Oscar Brennan of Bohemians during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

It's been a tough year for Wanderers and the financial uncertainty which threatened to derail their season is not yet over as the players are still awaiting final confirmation of the financial investment which will fund the team, and pay their wages, for the rest of the season.

But Harry Kenny's side deserve credit for ending their losing streak and taking the point.

Bohs did look in the very early stages as if that momentum could carry them through here and possibly into the top four as the side, showing five changes from the team which won away to Cork on Monday, looked sharp.

But that bright spell did not last for long as Bray took control pretty quickly and did not have the look of a side who had lost four in a row.

Mark Salmon was the first to really threaten the Bohs goal, forcing a corner from Shane Supple on 22 minutes, and soon after Salmon had another go.

On the half-hour mark Bohs needed a strong tackle from Dan Byrne in the box to cut out the danger from Darragh Noone while Bohs struggled to cut through a Bray back four which was well-protected by John Sullivan.

Ismahil Akinade of Bohemians in action against Mark Salmon of Bray Wanderers. Photo: Sportsfile
Ismahil Akinade of Bohemians in action against Mark Salmon of Bray Wanderers. Photo: Sportsfile

The only real threat from the Gypsies was a free kick from Lorcan Fitzgerald but his effort went straight into the wall and away to safety.

Five minutes into the second half, Supple was needed to save at close range from Mark Salmon as Bray looked for that lead goal.

The arrival off the bench of Paddy Kavanagh and Keith Ward added some pep to the Bohs side but they still lacked the creative edge needed up front.

In the final minutes, defender Dan Byrne saw a header go over the bar from a Fuad Sule cross, and soon after Akinade was also off-target with a headed effort.

So, neither side was good enough to claim the win but with Shamrock Rovers losing at home to Derry City, this was a missed opportunity to home in on the top four.

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