Sunday 27 May 2018

Classy Cherrie holds Bohs at bay

Bohemians 0 Bray Wanderers 0

Bohs. Photo: Sportsfile
Bohs. Photo: Sportsfile

A torn jersey at the end of 90 minutes for Ismahil Akinade was a sign of how close the Bohemians striker had been under the scrutiny of opposition defenders.

But that was all that the forward had to show for his efforts and that of his team-mates as Bohs were frustrated by Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park last night, a 0-0 draw for which Bray had keeper Peter Cherrie to thank.

Cherrie had, at times, a personal battle with Akinade to keep his side in the game and keep the Gypsies scoreless and the Scottish keeper will be more than pleased with his night's work, this his fourth consecutive clean sheet in the league, the best defensive record in the country.

Cherrie dealt with everything thrown at him by Bohs and, even when the home side had some added bite in their attack with the introduction of second-half subs Ayman Ben Mohamed and Mark Quigley, the Bray No 1 stood firm.

He wasn't the most popular of men with the home supporters and was booked by referee Paul Tuite late on for time-wasting but if Cherrie does get a clean sheet bonus from his employers, he certainly earned this one.

For Bohs, this was a missed opportunity as a win here would have pushed them up to fifth place in the table and put them in sight, albeit distant sight, of the top four and a European place, but instead they stay in eighth place, far enough from the relegation places but not close enough to the top end of the table.

Bray remain too close to the drop zone for their comfort but the form under Harry Kenny - unbeaten in four and those impressive clean sheets - breeds hope that Wanderers can stay away from trouble this season.

As early as the third minute, Akinade tested Cherrie with a well-worked effort and Cherrie saved again from former Bray man Akinade on 17 minutes after some good work by Kurtis Byrne.

It was all Bohs in terms of possession for the first half, until Bray worked an effort on 39 minutes. Dylan Connolly floated in a cross and Andrew Lewis managed to get a touch but his header was off target.

Bohs looked sharper after the restart, possibly having heard some words of advice from boss Keith Long at the break, and seconds into the second half Roberto Lopes tried to set up Kurtis Byrne but to no avail.

Akinade then shot over and on 53 minutes Eoin Wearen tried his luck but was also wide of the target. The arrival of Ben Mohamed and Quigley off the bench sparked Bohs into life and on 85 minutes, Cherrie did well to save from Akinade, while a minute later Cherrie did it again, another superb stop to prevent Ben Mohamed from nicking the first goal of the night.

Bohs now move on to next week's derby with Shamrock Rovers.

Also last night, Finn Harps kept up their superb run - their third in succession and three clean sheets - with another win, Seán Houston with the only goal of the game at home to Galway United. Unbeaten in four games, Harps are now seventh in the table, level on points with Galway and St Patrick's Athletic.

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