Bohs bow out of the FAI Junior Cup
The third round of the FAI Junior Cup saw Wexford Bohs travel to Finlay Park in Wicklow to face in form side Wicklow Town.
Wicklow Town 4 Wexford Bohs 2
Wexford Bohs started brightest of the two teams, challenging Wicklow from the very first whistle and desperate to get an early goal to put them ahead.
An early chance on the eleventh minute came to Wexford right-back Ryan Byrne when he received an excellent through ball from Dermot Flood, but his first touch let him down and the loose ball was smothered by the Wicklow Town number one.
The chances kept coming from Bohs early on in the first-half, and they almost got a breakthrough when centre-back Evan Dunbar produced an excellent long ball and picked out Seán Pailing, who took the ball down beautifully onto his chest and unleashed the shot, but his effort went narrowly over the bar.
Pailing often found himself isolated up front on his own but Wexford's number ten kept battling for every ball that came in his direction.
Although Bohemians were doing all the attacking in the first quarter of the game, it came all too easy for Wicklow defenders Lenny Carton and Ian Brannigan, who were mopping up everything that came their way in the back line.
While Bohs were concentrating on taking the game to their opponents and attacking, they let their defensive duties slide and on the 16th minute they found themselves a goal down.
Midfielder Richard 'Chico' Murphy took his chance and opened the scoring when striker Gareth Murphy won a spilled ball, rounded the 'keeper and squared it to Chico who, with an open goal, could not miss.
Wexford Bohs were now even more determined to go on the attack and equalise, and almost did so on the 22nd minute when another through ball found Pailing with acres of space.
He looked like he could beat Wicklow Town defender Lenny Carton for pace, but a last-minute tackle saw the ball safely trickle back to Turner.
Disaster struck again for the travelling side inside the 25th minute when a rebounded free-kick for Wicklow Town came to the feet of 'Chico' Murphy who calmly slotted home for his second of the game.
Murphy was looking for a third to complete his hat-trick a few minutes later when he hit an excellent bending free-kick from just outside the box, but the shot was tipped over the bar by the 'keeper.
Bohs found hope in the 40th minute when a long ball from the hands of the Wexford 'keeper caught out the Wicklow Town defence and Pailing capitalised, taking the ball on the half-volley first time and putting it into the back of the net.
Wexford Bohemians kept pushing, clearly looking to get an equaliser before the end of the half.
A few too many long balls over the top were leaving the Wexford attackers frustrated, but just on the 45-minute mark a late challenge in the box on Pailing resulted in the away team being awarded a penalty kick, which was taken and converted by the same player.
The teams went into the break sharing the scoreline of 2-2, with one player on each team chasing a hat-trick.
The second-half started completely opposite to how the first period had begun, with the Wicklow side taking the game to Wexford Bohs and looking for a goal to put them ahead.
After many attacks from Wicklow Town, the Wexford side's defence crumbled ten minutes into the second-half when a shot by John Carton rebounded off a Wexford defender and flew into the air, and when the ball landed Gareth Murphy reacted the quickest.
The Wicklow striker, with a touch that was almost Ronaldo-esque, flicked the ball around the 'keeper and into the left corner of the net, putting his side 3-2 up.
The Wexford side were desperately trying to get back into the game, hitting long balls over the top hoping that in-form striker Pailing would get on the end of one, but it was on the 76th minute that disaster struck for Bohemians.
A miscommunication between the two Wexford centre-backs cost their side a goal when again Wicklow Town striker Murphy tackled well to pick up a loose ball, round the goalkeeper and this time slotted home himself, making the score 4-2.
As the game was coming to a close the players on the travelling team pushed forward to try get something from the game, although with the time remaining and the difference in the scoreline at that stage it would have been nothing more than a consolation goal.
The match ended 4-2 to the home side.
Commiserations to the Wexford team who battled the whole way through the game and never gave up even when they found themselves two goals down.