Bray Wanderers gave themselves a morale-boost as they put the brakes on Bohemians’ recent revival to take a first point in five outings from a dour SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Dalymount Park.
Bohemians boss Keith Long made five changes from their big win at Cork City on Monday, reverting to two up front as Dinny Corcoran came back in to start with Ismahil Akinade.
Troubled Bray also rang the chances with three personal switches from their fourth successive defeat when losing at home to Finn Harps last week. Lee Steacy came into goal for the suspended Peter Cherrie while top scorer Gary McCabe, subbed at half-time last week, started on the bench.
Belying their recent travails, Bray began positively, passing the ball well and creating the first chance of the game five minutes in.
Bohs failed to cut out Ryan Brennan’s cross from the right with midfielder Fuad Sule having to block a shot from Darragh Noone.
Despite having got the better of Bray twice earlier this season, Bohs struggled for any momentum as the Seagulls remained the better side, Mark Salmon forcing Shane Supple into a clumsy save with a daisy-cutter from distance on 22 minutes.
A superbly timed tackle from Rob Cornwall on Noone, after the Bray midfielder had worked a one-two with Aaron Greene, snuffed out another Bray chance just on the half hour.
The well-marshalled Akinade was yellow carded five minutes before half-time for a flailing arm that caught Bray skipper Conor Kenna who subsequently needed a couple of stitches in a facial cut at the break.
The impetus remained with Bray into the early stage os the second half as Supple was worked six minutes in, saving down to his right from Brennan’s shot on the turn after Keith Buckley and Salmon carved the opening.
Bohs soon changed from a 4-4-2 with Keith Ward coming on to replace Corcoran, playing in behind Akinade.
That did bring an improvement as they enjoyed decent spells of possession, though still without troubling Steacy in the visitors goal.
Bray sprung McCabe from the bench and he unlocked the home defence on 81 minutes, Buckley just not getting enough power in his shot as Supple easily saved.
In a late flurry, Dano Byrne might have won it for Bohemians two minutes later.
The lively Sule picked him out with a weighted diagonal ball with the big defender flashing his powerful header wide across goal.
Bohs mustered another late chance. Substitute Paddy Kavanagh whipped a cross in from the right. The out-of-sorts Akinade sent his header over the top.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Dylan Hayes, Rob Cornwall, Dano Byrne, Derek Pender; George Poynton (Ciaran O’Connor 78), Fuad Sule, Oscar Brennan, Lorcan Fitzgerald (Paddy Kavanagh 67); Ismahil Akinade, Dinny Corcoran (Keith Ward 56).
Bray Wanderers: Lee Steacy; Keith Buckley, Tim Clancy, Conor Kenna, Karl Moore; John Sullivan (Keivn Luynch 87); Ryan Brennan, Mark Salmon, Darragh Noone (Gary McCabe 74), Jason Marks (Ger Pender 78); Aaron Greene.
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).