Penalties needed to separate Bohemians and UCD with Colin McCabe emerging the hero for the home side in a wonderfully entertaining cup game at a rainy Dalymount Park.
Despite mother nature’s best effort to give the players a day off the game went ahead and those who braved the elements weren’t disappointed as the cracking encounter unfolded.
It was 10 changes for Bohs in all, with Dan Casey the lone survivor from Friday night’s defeat to Dundalk. Collie O’Neill made just the one change for the visitors with Yoyo Mahdy replacing Kevin Coffey.
A quite subdued start, saw the more experienced visitors dominate possession, without creating too much in front of goal and on the break Bohs had the first real effort of note. Dylan Watts, sporting a questionable new blonde hairdo, played a delightful ball into the path of JJ Lunney inside the full back. The left winger’s powerful effort was well pushed away by Conor Kearns after 11 minutes.
Just as the home side began growing into the game UCD hit them with a sucker punch. Daire O’Connor’s lovely slide rule ball inside Jamie Hamilton at left back to Yoyo Mahdy and in turn, the winger finished smartly across McCabe into the far corner.
The Students made it two nil just after the half hour mark, again catching Bohs on the break. Skipper Gary O’Neill bending a spectacular right footed curler into the top corner from Georgie Kelly’s clever back heel lay off.
Eoghan Stokes looked the best attacking option for the home side stinging the palms of Kearns on a couple occasions as Bohs tried to claw their way back into the tie.
Bohs started the second half much sharper and got themselves back into the game with a well taken finish from the aforementioned Stokes. Danny Grant, who had an excellent game, played a lovely weighted pass into the right channel and the Bohs striker finished well across the body of Kearns.
The Gypsie’s began getting at the backline of the visitors much easier as the game progressed with right winger Grant becoming a huge threat with his pace and direct running with the ball. Just before the hour mark, JJ Lunney spurned a glorious chance to equalise inside the box as his volley sailed high and over.
Despite the pressure mounting from the Gypsie’s, Colin McCabe was called into action on a couple of occasions saving bravely from both O’Connor and Kelly who got themselves into one on one positions.
Bohs got the deserved equaliser with less than 10 minutes to go. Grant showed spectacular pace to get around Darragh Corcoran at the end line and was hauled down by the defender inside the box. Up stepped JJ Lunney to coolly send Kearns the wrong way to make it 2-2 and send the tie into extra time.
Extra time was a lethargic affair for both sets of players as the heavy pitch began to take its toll. Both teams had half chances from distance the home side looking most likely to get the winner.
Colin McCabe was the penalty shootout hero saving low to his left from Paul Doyle as Bohs won the shootout 5-3 with Eoghan Stokes scoring the decisive spot kick to send his side into the next round.
Bohemian FC: Colin McCabe, Dan Casey, Philip Gannon, Danny Grant, JJ Lunney, Jamie Hamilton, John Ross Wilson, Patrick Kirk, Dylan Watts, Rob Manley, Eoghan Stokes
Subs: Sean Bohan, Andy Lyons, Dylan Thornton, Ryan Graydon, Cian McMullen, Mitch Byrne, Luke Nolan
UCD: Conor Kearns, Dan Tobin, Macim Kouogun, Josh Collins, Daire O’Connor, Gary O’Neill, Yoyo Mahdy, Timmy Molloy, Jason McClelland, Liam Scales, Georgie Kelly
Subs: Carl Williams, Sean McDonald, Conor Crowley, Kevin Coffey, Darragh Corcoran, Paul Doyle, Ben Hanrahan
Referee: Derek Tomney