Myler’s first Bray goal sinks UCD
Bray Wanderers 2, UCD 1: It may have been at the third time of asking but Eddie Gormley’s Bray Wanderers finally managed to beat UCD after showing great spirit to come from a goal behind with Andy Myler’s first goal in a Bray shirt proving to be the late winner.
The only positive for Eddie Gormley as regards squad news was the return of Chris O’Connor from his international duty in Beijing, where he had been representing Australia at the Olympics. There was no place in the squad for ‘Skippy’ however, and he was joined in the stands by Ray Kenny (suspended) and Kevin Doherty (dead leg) meaning midfielder Gavin Whelan had to do a shift as a makeshift centre-half.
A timid first-half was played out in front of a sparse crowd, with most seemingly opting to watch Manchester United take on Zenit St Petersburg and it looked like the players wanted to be somewhere else also during the firsthalf, with only one shot on target produced by the two sides.
In the 19th minute Conor Kenna played a great ball over the top which Derek Pender appeared to have covered before Darren Meenan burst by him in a blaze and took the ball into the box. He then opened up his body as he attempted to squeeze the ball by Alan Gough but the veteran had come out and was able to block away the striker’s effort with his feet.
Bray then had a big shout for a penalty nine minutes later after some neat inter-play resulted in Paddy Kavanagh firing at goal but his effort came off the hand of Kenna and referee Tom Connolly ignored the claims, which was probably the right decision as a penalty would have been extremely harsh.
Bray then created a chance of their own 13 minutes before halftime when Alan Cawley’s left wing corner was met by Derek Foran and although the youngster had out-jumped his man, his header was a poor one and he failed to grab his second goal for his club.
The first-half may have started with a whimper, but the second most certainly started with a bang with the visitors scoring after just two minutes of the second-half.
Alan Mahon made his dad Pete proud with a neat ball forward which Darren Meenan flicked over the head of Foran before firing a lovely dipping effort over the head of Alan Gough from 25 yards to give his side what was probably a deserved lead.
Bray almost fought back straight away when Aidan O’Keefe fired a low cross into the box but his strike partner Ger Rowe blasted over from 15 yards.
The home side then began putting huge pressure on their relegation threatened opponents and it was hard to believe they would hold out and collect the three points and they didn’t, with Bray equalizing on 68 minutes.
Alan Cawley played a short corner to Mark Duggan before getting the ball back and giving it to the youngster once again. Duggan then looked up and whipped in a superb left footed cross that Paddy Kavanagh ghosted in at the back post to nod in despite a defender’s best intentions and Bray had scored their first goal at home in a competitive game since May.
Wanderers then upped the tempo once more and Jake Kelly, who has come up through the ranks at Bray, had two chances to impress his boss.
First, on 76 minutes, Gary Cronin clipped a ball into the box from a deep position and Kelly arrived just in time to get a touch to the ball but he failed to direct it goalwards.
Then, two minutes later, he was released through the heart of the UCD defence and with just Matt Gregg to beat, the youngster dragged his left footed effort wide of the goal.
Kelly’s strike partner has been around the blocks however and his experience showed when he took his chance on 80 minutes, registering his first ever goal of the club.
Alan Cawley sent in a searching cross from the right and although Andy Myler isn’t the fastest player to ever grace the Carlisle Grounds, he was alert enough to nip in ahead of everyone else at the near post and glance the ball beyond Gregg and into the back of the net.
Bray then held out for the last ten minutes to secure a massive three points which should now surely secure their Premier Division status for another year.
Man of the Match: Gavin Whelan (Bray Wanderers). Asked to do a job at centre half and he certainly did just that.
Bray Wanderers: Alan Gough 6, Derek Pender 7, Derek Foran 6, Gavin Whelan 7, Gary Cronin 6, Paddy Kavanagh 7, Daryl Robson 6 ( Colm Tresson 6 77’), Alan Cawley 6, Mark Duggan 7, Aidan O’Keefe 6 (Jake Kelly 6 62’), Ger Rowe 6 (Andy Myler 7 62’). Subs not used: Gareth Coughlan, Gabriel Sava.
UCD: Matt Gregg 6, Alan Mahon 7, Alan McNally 6, Evan McMillan 6, Conor Kenna 7, Shane Fitzgerald 6, Shane Duggan 6, Brian King 7, Patrick McWalter 6, Timmy Purcell 7, Darren Meenan 7. Subs not used: Shane McFaul, Greg Bulger, John Reilly, Brian Shortall, Billy Brennan.
Referee: Tom Connolly.
Paddy Kavanagh, who scored Bray’s opening goal.