By FRANKIE LALLY at the Carlisle Grounds
Bohemians claimed an impressive victory over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night in a game that had a typical end-of-season feel to it.
However four goals in the second half from Dave Mulcahy, Keith Buckley, Andy Mulligan and Ryan McEvoy clinched the win for Bohs.
The complexion of the game changed just before the half hour mark as Bray full-back David Webster – already on a yellow card – failed to control a simple backpass and ended up paying a hefty price for his mistake.
Bohs winger Keith Buckley was the first to react to the slip, and as he rounded the defender, Webster brought him down before he could tear down on goal giving the referee no choice but to show him a second yellow.
Pat Devlin’s ten men still managed to create the first chance of the second half despite their numerical disadvantage but Kieran Waters’ audacious lob from 25 yards crashed off the crossbar five minutes into the half.
Bohs made Bray pay for that missed chance as they went straight down the other end and opened the scoring after a terrific move.
The ball fell to Dave Mulcahy on the edge of the Bray box and he coolly chipped the onrushing Seagulls keeper Brian Kane.
And it was two a minute later after Andy Mulligan received the ball on the left wing and he flighted in an inviting ball over Kane’s head which Buckley tapped in at the back post.
Bray did manage cut the deficit on 58 minutes. Waters was brought down in the area by Michael Barker area and Jason Byrne stepped up to fire in his 12th league goal of the season against his former club.
Bohs put the game out of sight ten minutes later as Mulligan drove a shot past Kane with an assist from Dinny Corcoran.
The Gypsies made it four in injury time with a drive from midfielder Ryan McEvoy which left Bray without a league win since August.
Bohs lost captain Owen Heary in the warm-up after he tweaked his quad muscle and his place went to youngster Barker.
Heary explained: “My quad was a bit tight in the warm up. And rather than risk pulling it after 10 minutes, we made sure I’d be ready for next week.”
Despite his disappointment at missing the game, Heary was delighted with the result which keeps Bohs in the hunt for a Setanta Cup spot, with Drogheda to come on the final day of the seaon.
He added: “There are some good young players coming through. We could have been two down before we got the first one. But once we got the goal, we went on from there.
“We want to finish fifth and ahead of Shels and Derry. At the moment we have a chance to do that as it is in our hands.”
BRAY WANDERERS: Brian Kane; Danny O’Connor, Kevin Knight, Daire Doyle, David Webster; Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters, Kevin O’Connor, John Mulroy (Paul Moffatt 73), Dean Marshall (Lee Dixon 66), Sean Houston; Jason Byrne (Yani Georgiev 88).
BOHEMIANS: Greg Murray; Evan McMillan, Michael Barker, Kevin Feely, Luke Byrne (Kevin Deveney 74); Andy Mulligan (Dylan Connolly 75), Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy, Keith Buckley, Stephen Traynor (Keith Ward 63), Dinny Corcoran.