Dean Clarke struck ten minutes from time to seal a vital 3-1 win for UCD in tonight’s Airtricity League clash as Bohemians’ revival came to a halt at Dalymount Park.
Anto Murphy had given Bohs the perfect start with the lead goal on seven minutes. But Cillian Morrison levelled on after 17 minutes before Dave O'Connor put College in front four minutes later.
UCD soaked up Bohs' second-half pressure before Clarke turned the ball home from a tight angle after the Gypsies failed to clear a Sean Russell corner.
That gave UCD a first win in four games to edge them four points clear of Bohs who remain bottom. And while the result was harsh on Bohs, who enjoyed the better possession, caretaker boss Owen Heary won’t have been happy with his side's finishing.
Bohs’ positive start had the desired effect as it brought a seventh-minute lead from their first corner of the night.
College keeper Mark McGinley could only bat the ball away under pressure from Conor Murphy on his goal-line. The ball bounced up invitingly for Murphy whose well-placed headed looped into the top corner of the net.
The loss through injury of winger Andy Mulligan a minute later appeared to disrupt Bohemians. And although Karl Moore brought a parry save from McGinley on 10 minutes, UCD stormed back to turn the game on its head by the midway point of the half.
Craig Walsh was central to it all, bringing a tip over save from Dean Delany to force a corner on 16 minutes. Russell whipped a delivery to the back post where Morrison arrived to sweep home the equaliser.
The influential Walsh was there again to play a key part as UCD took the lead five minutes later. Having won a free kick following a foul by Moore, Walsh cracked the set-piece off the crossbar with O’Connor quickest to the loose ball to side-foot home.
In an end-to-end game, Walsh was then back defending to prevent a Bohemians equaliser in the 27th minute, clearing off the line from a Conor Murphy header.
McGinley then had to make the stop of the half on the stroke of the interval when pushing away another Anto Murphy header from Reynor’s corner.
Bohemians maintained the pressure on the UCD goal from the resumption with Keith Buckley drilling a shot inches wide minutes in.
Luke Byrne, up from left-back, did likewise with a header from Moore’s cross on 70 minutes as Bohemians continued to chase the game hard before Clarke's late goal sealed UCD's win.
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Anto Murphy, Luke Byrne; Karl Moore, Keith Buckley, Darragh Reynor (Shane Murray, 89), Andy Mulligan (Ciaran Nangle, 8; Dave Scully, 82); Conor Murphy, Corcoran.
UCD: Mark McGinley; Hugh Douglas (Michael Kelly, 82), Mick Leahy, Dave O’Connor, Sean Russell; Dean Clarke, Craig Walsh, Robbie Creevy, Gary Burke (Tom O‘Halloran, 72); Robbie Benson; Cillian Morrison (GarethMatthews, h/t).
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).