UCD 0-0 Bohemians

Bohemians failed to take advantage of their supremacy as they shared a 0-0 stalemate with UCD in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division encounter at the UCD Bowl this evening.

The visitors dominated possession in the opening-half, without creating any clear-cut chances as both Roberto Lopes and Eoin Wearen went close with shots from distance.

Bohemians continued in the ascendancy upon the restart but a lack of killer instinct that saw both Paddy Kavanagh and Aidan Price waste chances and Ian Ryan’s brave late block ensured the students their first point in four games. 

Both UCD and Bohemians entered the contest on the back of 4-0 hammerings to Drogheda United and Derry City respectively seven days previously and the early promptings reflected the hangover from those losses.

Gradually, the visitors began to dominate possession with Stephen Beattie arriving just too late to get a decisive touch onto Kevin Devaney’s teasing cross in the eighth minute.

Bohemians went even closer six minutes later as Derek Pender received Eoin Wearen’s return ball but the full-back’s shot was half-blocked by Niall Corbett before Gareth Matthews hacked the ball to safety.

The hosts settled somewhat as the half progressed but they continued to look suspect down their left flank as Devaney maintained his influential start.

The deadlock was almost broken midway through the half as Devaney’s cross was half-cleared into the path of Wearen but his subsequent shot from the edge of the area veered narrowly wide of Corbett’s right-hand upright.

There was little to be seen from UCD from an attacking perspective but an error by Pender in the 26th minute allowed Robbie Benson to gain possession in a threatening position, but the captain’s shot lacked sufficient power to unduly trouble Dean Delany in the away goal.

However, that proved an isolated bright note for the hosts as they remained largely on the back-foot and they were fortunate not to fall behind in the 33rd minute as Ian Ryan blocked Roberto Lopes’ cross-shot with Beattie being cautioned for his ensuing challenge on Corbett.

The half ended on a sour note for the Gypsies when Anto Murphy was carried off with a suspected fractured ankle after he had climbed highest to meet Kavanagh’s corner-kick before landing awkwardly.

The second-half resumed in a similar vein as Bohs kept the pressure on and Kavanagh was guilty of spurning a glorious chance in the 47th minute as he volleyed wide from eight yards after an excellent run and cut-back by Devaney.

The procession towards the home goal continued with Ryan once again coming to his side’s aid as he deflected a first-time effort from Dinny Corcoran over the crossbar seven minutes later.

Substitute Dave Mulcahy was next to threaten the UCD goal but he should have done better than plant a close-range header wide after another inviting set-piece by Kavanagh.

The chances continued to come Bohemians’ way with Lopes embarking on a jinking run in the 63rd minute but his goal-bound shot got the slightest of touches off Ryan before hitting the side-netting.

In the 70th minute, UCD’s defence was pierced by Kavanagh’s right-wing cross but Price’s powerful header was repelled superbly by Corbett, diving high to his left to palm the ball to safety.

That save seemed to have a dispiriting effect on the visitors as they struggled for ideas for the remaining twenty minutes with the vociferous away support becoming progressively frustrated by the players’ efforts.

Another chance arrived to substitute Karl Moore but his well struck free-kick from thirty yards swerved narrowly wide before UCD substitute Chris Mulhall shot too close to Delany on a rare attacking sortie by the hosts.

A thrilling conclusion was almost arrived upon deep into injury time but Ryan was once again in the right place at the right time to block Corcoran’s goal-bound shot, confirming a much-needed clean sheet for the students.                     

UCD: Niall Corbett; Hugh Douglas, Ian Ryan, James Kavanagh, Gareth Matthews; Timmy Molloy (Samir Belhout, 75), Robbie Benson, Colm Crowe, Robbie Creevy, Tom O’Halloran (Ayman Ben Mohamed, 67); Conor Cannon (Chris Mulhall, 85).
Subs not used: Conor O’Donnell, Gregory Sloggett, Gary Burke, Sean Coyne.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Anto Murphy (Dave Mulcahy, 45+1), Dan Byrne, Aidan Price, Derek Pender; Kevin Devanney (Jason Byrne, 80), Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen, Patrick Kavanagh (Karl Moore, 75); Stephen Beattie, Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Jack Memery, Keith Buckley, Craig Walsh, Aaron Shanahan.   

Referee: Kevin O’Regan (Kerry)