Bray Wanderers endure mixed week
A MIXED week is perhaps the best way to describe the last seven days in the history of Bray Wanderers Football Club.
After Tuesday night’s performance, which Eddie Gormley’s second in command Keith Long described as ‘the worst I’ve ever seen in my football career’, the Wicklow side more than matched St. Patrick’s Athletic at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday.
Casting his mind back to eight days ago though, Long was scathingly honest in his assessment of the Seagull’s performance.
‘Exactly, it’s the performance more so than the result that we’re disappointed with. It wasn’t good enough. That’s the worst performance I’ve ever seen in my career.
‘I’ve obviously been talking to other members of staff and they were in the same position, we can’t remember anything like it, a quarter final of a cup competition to put in the performance that we have. It was an opportunity for us to get into a semi-final and you never know what happens after that so to do the hard work, to bring them back home to Bray and then to play like that was disappointing in the extreme to say the least.’
It was certainly a shadow of the display Bray normally put on, as although they may never play the likes of Bohemians off the park, they always give 100%. Unfortunately, that was not the case when Galway came to town.
‘Well the minimum required from any team that you put onto the park is work-rate and effort. If you get beaten by a better team on the night you hold your hands up and say “Well, we’ve lost”, but we can’t even say that. On the night Galway were obviously much better than us but to go out and show no effort and show no pride in the jersey, that’s what hurts. To go out without a fight, it really is a kick in the teeth for everybody involved in the club.’
As if the performance wasn’t enough to swallow, Gormley and co. were also disheartened by the minute crowd that had gathered for this huge game, with most seemingly opting to watch the Champions League matches instead in the comfort of their armchair.
‘There’s a lot of stuff that goes on that the club can’t effect. There was Champions League football on, of course we’re disappointed we would have liked to seen a greater turnout but Bray are fighting against all sorts of other things that go on. It’s just symptomatic of what’s going on in the league, people aren’t getting good gates regardless; up and down the country the gates just aren’t there for whatever reason. It’s handier for people to stay at home and watch Champions League football on television. And that’s what we’ve got to compete against. But having said that quarter finals of the cup at home to Galway you would expect a few more but that’s life, that’s the way it goes.’
Enough doom and gloom however, onto the more positive stuff and where better to start than Bray’s impressive display against Pat’s where the defence limited the Dubliners to very few chances.
‘The defence starts at the front. I thought everybody was much better. We were looking for a response and a reaction from the players and I think we got that to a certain extent. We were playing against St. Pat’s, they’re one of the top sides in the Division so I thought we were maybe a little bit unlucky not to get a point out of it. That’s the minimum effort that we require from a Bray Wanderers team and they’re the standards that they set themselves. The problem we need to deal with is our consistency, we need to maintain that week in, week out and anything short of that is unacceptable.’
‘I thought without a shadow of a doubt we deserved a point out of the game. I think Pat’s were a little lucky to come away with all three points. I’m not saying that we deserved to win the game or anything like that but I felt we certainly deserved to get a draw out of it.’
‘I don’t really know to be perfectly honest. He was captain on the night because Alan Cawley wasn’t playing and Colm Tresson is still carrying an injury so he was captain on the night and that obviously depends on personnel for the next game.’
Next up for Long will be the challenge of Donegal side Finn Harps, who will surely come all guns blazing in their bid to avoid relegation. ‘Finn Harps will be looking to come down and play, they’ll probably set their sights on trying to get three points.’