Wan­der­ers bat­tle back to earn share of spoils

Bray People - - Bray Sport - Daniel O’GOR­MAN

Sham­rock Rovers 2, Bray Wan­der­ers 2: Af­ter fall­ing be­hind to two Pádraig Amond goals early in the sec­ond half, even the most op­ti­mistic of Seag­ull’s fans would have feared the worst.

But there is a new con­fi­dence in this re­ju­ve­nated Bray side and buoyed on by their fans, they fought back to claim a point thanks to Gareth Cough­lan’s first goal for the club a minute af­ter fall­ing 2-0 be­hind and a su­perb Alan Caw­ley free kick nine min­utes from time.

He may have been named in Pat Fen­lon’s Repub­lic of Ire­land U-23 squad the day be­fore but Ger Rowe had to be con­tent with a place on the bench as Gorm­ley made changes to the side from the Bo­hemi­ans game, re­plac­ing Rowe with Myler. Phillip Knight had im­pressed enough to be in­cluded from the start at Gary Cronin’s ex­pense, while Derek Pen­der who had been sus­pended for that clash re­placed the now sus­pended Rob­son, mean­ing Gavin Whe­lan re­turned to the cen­tre of mid­field. The for­ma­tion also changed with Kelly op­er­at­ing on the left flank and Mark Dug­gan drop­ping into the hold­ing mid­field role.

All Gorm­ley’s plans nearly came un­done with just three min­utes on the clock when Pen­der’s chal­lenge just two yards from the penalty area was deemed a foul and wor­thy of a yel­low card. Cameroo­nian Joseph Ndo stepped up and his fan­tas­tic curl­ing ef­fort came back off the cross­bar with Alan Gough beaten. Gough was alert how­ever to dive on Danny O’Con­nor’s weak shot from the re­bound.

On 10 min­utes Rover’s goal­keeper Robert Dug­gan was forced into a save af­ter Pen­der drilled a left footed ef­fort from 20 yards right down his throat but he was alert and beat it away.

Mid­way through the first half then and Ndo showed some class when he was stuck in an ex­tremely con­gested area be­fore work­ing his way into space and spread­ing a lovely ball out into Ger O’Brien’s path. O’Brien burst onto the ball and went past his man with ease be­fore send­ing a danger­ous low cross into the area. For­tu­nately for Bray, Gough was aware of the dan­ger and dived on the ball.

The first half may have come to a very slow end, but the sec­ond half started with a bang.

Ndo’s trick­ery was once again caus­ing prob­lems and as he tried to make his way into the box he spot­ted Amond and poked it through for him. The Repub­lic of Ire­land U-21 man didn’t hes­i­tate in beat­ing Gough to give Rovers the lead.

Then just two min­utes later Gavin Whe­lan spurned a golden chance to equal­ize for Bray.

Pen­der’s free kick was flicked on by Andy Myler and the ball fell kindly for Whe­lan only a few yards out but his ef­fort was kept out by a fan­tas­tic re­flex save from the ‘keeper.

It was then the Hoops turn to miss a sit­ter and the man re­spon­si­ble was Eoin Doyle. A long ball was del­i­cately flicked into his path and he raced onto it and from just 10 yards out, dragged his shot wide.

With 65 min­utes gone though, the Dublin side did take their chance to dou­ble the lead af­ter Doyle turned provider when his left wing cross found Amond and his firm header flew into the Bray net.

Only the most op­ti­mistic of Bray Wan­der­ers sup­port­ers would have felt they were still in with a chance of any points but the Bray play­ers cer­tainly felt they had.

One of the old­est say­ings in foot­ball is that you are most vul­ner­a­ble just af­ter you have scored and Pat Scully learned this the hard way.

Only a minute af­ter go­ing two down, Gareth Cough­lanwho had only been on the field three min­utes- went on a ma­raud­ing run down the right and cut in­side be­fore nestling the ball into the far cor­ner of the net and sud­denly it was game on.

Bray cre­ated two more great chances on 74 min­utes but were some­how de­nied on both oc­ca­sions.

Alan Caw­ley sent in a cor­ner form the right that fell for Rowe 12 yards out. Rowe blasted at goal but Ger O’Brien blocked on the line. The re­bound fell for Rowe and once again he had a pop but this time Bray man Danny O’Con­nor was there to clear.

The sec­ond goal did come for Bray how­ever with nine min­utes re­main­ing.

Rowe was brought down 25 yards from goal and Caw­ley, who has failed to im­press in re­cent times, cured the ball ma­jes­ti­cally be­yond Robert Dug­gan and Bray were re­turn­ing with a well de­served and hard earned point.

Man of the Match: Pádraig Amond (Sham­rock Rovers). Took his goals well.

Bray’s Andy Myler is dis­pos­sessed by Pat Sul­li­van of Sham­rock Rovers.

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