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Friday 17 August 2018

Quigley: Bohs can hit treble

BOHEMIANS star Mark Quigley feels that the Gypsies are hitting form at just the right time to mount a serious bid to add more trophies to their haul for the season.

Those mid-season jitters, which saw Bohs embarrassingly lose important games to TNS, Shamrock Rovers and Galway United, are a distant memory now as Pat Fenlon's side seem to be getting into their stride. Last night's 3-0 dismissal of Bray Wanderers in the FAI Ford Cup quarter-final was their seventh win in eight games, with five clean sheets in their last six outings.

Monday's draw for the cup semi-final will say a lot about Bohs' chances of winning back the trophy they last won in 2008. But for now there's a sense of confidence and purpose about the side, as proven by the quality of their goals last night from Quigley, Raff Cretaro and Aaron Greene, and that recent run of form.

"We are starting to gel as a team now. You can see that in the results and the performances as we're playing some good stuff now," said Quigley after Bohs moved into the last four of the cup. "We're obviously doing something right at the moment so we have to keep doing that game by game, week by week, and see if it's good enough to win us something.

"We had a lot of new players in the squad at the start of the season so it took us time to click, but we have done that now. We're in the cup semi-final and have six league games left.

"I think the treble is very much on the cards for us. We've already won the Setanta Cup and we're in with a shout for the FAI Cup and the league. We believe we can win every game between now and the end of the season. It might not be enough to win the league as we need Rovers to drop points but we will do all we can to retain our title.

"There's a real confidence in our play now. Since we came back from the mid-season break we have done well. Apart from the draw with Sporting Fingal, we have won seven of the last eight and that's a great record to have. We're in the semi-final of the cup now and just four points off the lead in the league, so we have to try and keep that going.

"I think the big boost for us is that we are getting goals from all over the park. We're not just relying on one striker.

"At the start of the season we weren't really scoring goals but everyone is chipping in now," said Quigley, who opened the scoring for Bohs with a stunning shot in the 21st minute, a carbon copy of Killian Brennan's screamer against Drogheda United at the same venue on Monday night.

"I just thought I'd have a go. I saw a lot of bodies in front of me, so I just had a shot and luckily it went in. It was a good strike if I admit it myself."

Bohs had been on top before Quigley broke the deadlock and the home side dominated after as well. However, there was a let-off for Bohs eight minutes before the break when they needed a goal-line clearance from defender Jason McGuinness to keep out an almost-certain goal from Dean Zambra, after Gary Shaw had forced keeper Chris O'Connor into a save.

That chance, and the narrow 1-0 scoreline, gave Bray hope of getting something from the second half, but their task was made near impossible in the 53rd minute when Cretaro scored his seventh of the season with a classy finish after some good work by Brennan. Two minutes later it really was game over for Bray as defender Shane O'Connor was sent off -- rather harshly -- for a professional foul on Cretaro.

And sub Aaron Greene made it 3-0 for Bohs 12 minutes from time when he latched onto a clever pass from man-of-the-match Cretaro and rounded Matt Gregg to finish into an open goal.

So Bray drop out of the Cup and focus their attention on Premier Division survival, while Bohs now aim for another league win, even though they don't know when their next game is. Bohs are due to play away to Sligo Rovers in the league next Tuesday, but that will be postponed if Sligo draw against Monaghan United in the cup tonight and need a replay on Tuesday.

"It's crazy. It's the only league in the world where you don't know when your next match is, but nothing surprises me," said manager Fenlon.

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