Chris Lyons scored twice as Bohemians got their season back on track in this five-goal thriller at Dalymount Park, as the Gypsies beat Bray 3-2.
With no fewer than six changes in the side from last week’s defeat to Dundalk, Aaron Callaghan’s side showed an immediate improvement and enjoyed a storming start which brought the lead goal on 12 minutes.
Delightful feet by Ryan McEvoy carved an opening to put Andy Mulligan away on the left and he drew keeper Darren Quigley to square the ball for Lyons to score with a tap in.
Lyons should really have scored again two minutes later. Played in over the top by left-back Luke Byrne, the striker was thwarted by the feet of Quigley.
Bray responded well, though, with Jason Byrne blazing over with a first-time volley from a tight angle from Kevin Knight’s sublime delivery from the left. Scarcely a minute later Byrne was at the same back post again to bring a smart save from Dean Delany from John Mulroy’s cross.
A fortuitous goal then brought Bray deservedly level on 24 minutes.
Gary Dempsey’s shot from some 30 yards took a strong deflection off a prostrate Marty Waters, who’d fallen to the ground seconds earlier, and spun over the back-tracking Delany to enter the net for a bizarre equaliser.
The confidence boost they needed, Bray now got well on top and came close to scoring twice inside a minute.
Delany was worked again, getting down to the butt of his left-hand post to save Mulroy’s downward header from Byrne’s cross. Waters then spun inside the area to drill a shot off the bottom of the same upright as Bohemians somehow went in level at the break.
But it was Bohemians who dominated much of the second half and took the lead as Lyons skipped through onto McEvoy’s ball over the top to lob the home side back in front after 64 minutes.
Three minutes later Dave Mulcahy powered a McEvoy free-kick to the net with a bullet header for the third.
A lovely 73rd minute side-footed finish from Kevin Knight’s cross by Mulroy gave Bray hope, but Bohemians held out for a big win.
Bohemians: Delany; Lopes, Mulcahy, Byrne; Pender (Barker, 73 mins.); Fitzgerald (Moore, 75 mins.), Buckley, McEvoy, Mulligan (Devaney, 83 mins.); Lyons, Scully.
Bray Wanderers: Quigley; Webster, D. O’Connor, Malone, Early (Akinade, 78 mins.); Waters, Dempsey (O‘Neill, 87 mins.), Zambra, Knight; Mulroy, Byrne.
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).