UCD miss great opportunity to put away Bohemians at the death

Colm Whelan’s late attempt was well saved by goalkeeper James Talbot

UCD 1 Bohemians 1

UCD really should have won this free-flowing affair. Colm Whelan is only man they would want to have a clear sight of goal as injury-time beckoned but the Republic of Ireland under-21 striker's low curling attempt to snatch all three points was matched by James Talbot's strong-arm save.

Football Focus paid a visit to Dalymount Park this past week, even taking a ramble down The Bohemian Way to capture the uniqueness of a club owned by its patrons. An alien, almost preposterous idea to the English fan getting a brief glimpse into the soul of this north Dublin club.

Bohs will be hoping not too many UK scouts were prompted by the BBC to investigate the benefits of putting Promise Omochere in their colours next season.

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The 21-year-old was the primary target of a desperate, and far too late scramble by Bohs to atone for their inability to protect the goal he scored after just five minute.

Omochere versus Whelan – the battle of young Irish centre forwards – was a compelling draw for the floating football supporter, as the latter was recalled to Jim Crawford’s Ireland squad this week ahead of the former.

A 5pm kick-off suited a 1,708 Bank Holiday crowd but it will never be accepted by the thirsty Friday night ultras. Having travelled en masse to the university campus, the usually raucous Bohs shareholders were awfully quiet. Sedate almost. Perhaps it was the oddity of being housed on a rugby patch or maybe it was the lack of darkness.

Either way, Omochere helped them find their voice when scoring off a blunder by UCD's Lorcan Healy. The silky-skilled Stephen Mallon delivered the cross that has to be an automatic catch for any goalkeeper. It was fumbled and Bohs were up and running.

Whelan had a golden opportunity to draw the students level. Actually, he had three shots in rapid succession to open his account for the season but all of them were inexplicably wasted. Nice interplay by Seán Brennan and Dylan Duffy had him storming down on Talbot's goal, but the goalkeeper saved a tame first, Ali Coote tracked back to block the second before the Kilkenny native blazed a hat-trick of miscues miles over the crossbar.

The rest of the first half delivered a string of chances at either end as Dawson Devoy’s superb effort struck the butt of the post before Healy expertly denied Mallon.

Up the Stillorgan Road end, Duffy did well down the right until his delivery struck Whelan’s arm and another chance came to nothing.

The looseness of the contest spilled into the second half with Whelan almost scoring from Healy's route one ball before Mallon's downward header was dramatically cleared off the line by Sam Todd.

Todd was only getting going. The centre half made his long journey up field count by heading Liam Kerrigan’s corner past a Bohs defence that were forced to share the blame around. They were porous all evening.

The equaliser galvanised UCD more than it prompted Bohemians to retake control against a team that previously looked destined to return to the First Division. If they can keep Whelan into the winter, after he graduates, and Kerrigan continues to cause damage down the flanks, Andy Myler’s team have a real chance of staying up.

Interestingly, Keith Long elected to pull Devoy and Mallon long before the finish. Perhaps they need the coming fortnight break to figure out how to turn four draws from six outings into a few victories before this campaign gets away from them.

UCD: Healy; Osam, Todd, Yoro; Kerrigan, Keaney, Dunne, Higgins (Verdon, 70 mins), Brennan (Caffrey, 70 mins), Duffy (Lennon, 84 mins); Whelan.

BOHEMIANS: Talbot; Packham (Wilson, h-t), Horton, Kelly, Twardek; Mallon (Cassidy, 78 mins), Coote (Burt, 62 mins), Murphy, Devoy (Doherty, 74 mins), Flores; Omochere.

Referee: Seán Grant.