Bohemians proved too strong for Bray Wanderers on Friday night, coming out on top of a convincing 4-1 win.
Dave Mulcahy fired past Brian Kane to open the scoring and two minutes later Keith Buckley doubled the lead.
Jason Byrne reduced the deficit from the penalty spot but Andy Mulligan extended Bohs’ lead. Ryan McEvoy fired home a late goal to seal the Bohs win. Dave Webster also saw red in the first half for two yellow cards within two minutes.
A quiet opening period saw little in the way of clear-cut chances. Bohs, for their good industry in midfield, had the only half chance of the opening quarter hour.
Darren Quigley raced from his goal but could only foul the advanced Bohs’ fullback Michael Barker. Ryan McEvoy whipped in the free-kick but Bray defender Danny O’Connor headed clear.
Bohs continued to press and forced Brian Kane into a good save after 16 minutes, pushing Andy Mulligan’s powerful strike wide for a corner. The resulting corner found its way to Keith Buckley but his rasping 30-yard strike drifted narrowly wide of Kane’s near post.
Bray started to get back in the game but were dealt a blow on the half hour. Dave Webster, booked after 28 minutes, received his second yellow card just two minutes later for a pull back in Keith Buckley.
Waters was involved minutes into the second half; his sublime through ball for Jason Byrne almost set the veteran striker away, but Bohs keeper Greg Murray rushed from his goal to make an important block.
Waters was inches from opening the deadlock in spectacular fashion from 25-yards, but the ball struck the crossbar and back in front of the goal.
That deadlock was broken three minutes later. Dave Mulchay drove forward from midfield, held on the challenge of two Bray defenders before brilliantly chipping the ball over Brian Kane.
Within two minutes, the lead was doubled. Andy Mulligan’s inviting cross from the left dropped at the back post and Keith Buckley was the first to react and he fired past Brian Kane to double the lead.
Bray got themselves back in the game after Michael Barker fouled Waters. Jason Byrne stepped up to get Bray back in the game, sending Greg Murray the wrong way.
But Bohs continued to press and grabbed a third through Andy Muligan. Keith Ward found Dinny Corcoran who in turn picked out Mulligan and he slotted the ball past Kane.
A stream of substitutions saw the came die a little before Bray had another chance with Lee Dixon seeing his effort come back off the post. Bray continued to push but couldn’t find a way back into the game.
Ryan McEvoy put the icing on the cake for the Phibsboro side with a late 25-yard goal that gave Kane no chance.
Bray Wanderers: Brian Kane, Kevin Knight, Danny O’Connor, David Webster, Daire Doyle, Dean Marshall, (Lee Dixon 66) Sean Houston, Kevin O’Connor, John Mulroy (Paul Moffatt 72), Kieran Marty Waters, Jason Byrne (Yani Georgiev 87).
Bohemians: Greg Murray, Owen Heary, Kevin Feely, Evan McMillan, Luke Byrne (Kevin Deveney 74); Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Keith Ward 63), Dave Mulcahy, Andy Mulligan (Dylan Connolly 76), Dinny Corcoran.