College pay the penalty
Bohemians 2 UCD 2
It was the cup of good luck, more than good cheer, for Bohemians in their Bank Holiday battle with UCD.
And even though a young Gypsies side are fortunate to be in the next round of the EA Sports Cup, thanks to a 5-3 win in a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw with UCD over 120 minutes, Bohs boss Keith Long hopes that his youthful side will feel the benefits of this battle.
"We have a squad of players and one or two of them did themselves no harm in this game," said Long after his side recovered from a 2-0 deficit to take the game into extra time and then penalties, the key moment there Colin McCabe's save from UCD sub Paul Doyle.
"We came back, we ground it out and we had some good performances in the second half in particular, some good game time for the younger boys.
"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 going into the league game with Limerick on Friday."
The elements were a test of the Gypsies' campaign to ask fans to choose terraces over TV, and in the end 314 hardy punters paid in to Dalymount Park to see the game, the only one of three scheduled games in the capital to survive the weather.
That crowd saw a confident-looking UCD side race into a 2-0 lead after just 35 minutes, the Division One league leaders bringing their A game to the EA Sports Cup.
Egyptian-Irish attacker Yoyo Mahdy scored his fourth goal of the season, a nice finish from a move set up by Daire O'Connor, to put them in front on 21 minutes, and 10 minutes before the break, Gary O'Neill doubled UCD's lead, another example of counter-attacking football, O'Connor again the source of the goal.
Former Leeds United man Stokes got Bohs back into the game on 53 minutes, a good ball from the impressive Danny Grant and an even better finish from Stokes.
With seven minutes of normal time left Bohs did indeed draw level, JJ Lunney scoring from the penalty spot after Josh Collins' foul on Grant was punished with a spot kick, a decision disputed by the away side.
Sub Ben Hanrahan, son of ex-Bohs player Peter, added pace to the UCD side off the bench but with no goals in the additional 30 minutes it came to penalties. The first three from each side were perfect but McCabe saved from Doyle and Stokes stepped up to score the winner.
"That's what we asked of the players against UCD, to come in and put in a good performance to get themselves into the team for Friday," added Long.
"You have Danny Grant, who has done himself no harm in the last week."
For UCD, it was a case of what might have been. "We should have won, silly mistakes cost us, we'll learn from it and hopefully it will stand for us as the league campaign goes along," said UCD boss Collie O'Neill.
"We were coasting, smoking cigars at half time, we were 2-0 up. "We had enough chances to win it so we can only have ourselves to blame."
Five of the eight EA Sports Cup games scheduled for yesterday fell foul of the weather, though Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny was not happy with the postponement of his side's game away to St Patrick's Athletic.
"There's no reason for it to be off. There's absolutely no surface water on the pitch. I've played hundreds of games where the pitch has been a lot worse than that," Kenny told Dundalk Sport.
Of the games that did go ahead, Derry City and Sligo Rovers joined Bohs in thee next round.
An Adam Morgan goal nine minutes from time gave Sligo a 1-0 win away to Galway United while Derry City came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 away to Finn Harps.
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