Young Seagulls on song
SOCCER LEAGUE OF IRELAND UNDER-20S
Bray Wanderers 3, UCD 1: While Alan Gough et al may have been sitting at home with their feet up on Monday night, the stars of tomorrow were battling to an impressive 3-1 win over local rivals UCD.
Bray Wanderers’ U-20 side performed very well for the full 90 minutes and there were many worthy candidates for the man of the match award.
One of those candidates gave Bray the lead with the first chance of the game with ten minutes gone in the match. Ian McNeill picked the ball up well into the UCD half and after having a quick look up, the striker unleashed a cracking 25-yard drive straight into the top corner of the net, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
Four minutes later the hosts thought they had doubled their leads only for experienced official Richie Winter to raise his flag for offside.
Bray’s Young Player of the Year Gareth Coughlan was making some probing runs on the right and on this occasion he brilliantly dinked the ball to the far post where former Presentation College Bray student Shane O’Neill rose to head home but his joy was short-lived.
Less than a minute later Coughlan again caused trouble but this time went by himself and cut inside before sending a rasping left-footed drive just wide of the far post.
Midway through the half Coughlan was once more at his best but this time his touch let him down when he was well placed and it allowed UCD goalkeeper Gerard Barron to come out and smother his effort.
UCD then produced their first real effort on Brian Kane’s goal after a scramble in the box led to Kane having to pull of a very smart reaction save to keep his clean sheet.
On the half hour mark an unbelievable 35-yard effort from a UCD player cannoned back off the crossbar with Kane a mere spectator.
Five minutes after the break Bray were back in control and McNeill created the first opportunity when he sprayed the ball out to Jake Kelly on the left but the number 11’s cross-cum-shot was comfortably saved.
Then on the hour mark Bray gave themselves some breathing space with a goal of true class. Captain Chris Shields’ fantastic ball picked out Kelly perfectly and the youngster took his man on before skipping by him and firing low and hard past the UCD shot-stopper.
Just a minute later though Bray shot themselves in the foot when David Webster was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box and John Dalton converted the spot kick to leave the home side on edge.
Seven minutes before the end though and the result was put beyond doubt when Shane O’Neill got the goal his performance deserved after he coolly converted the penalty won by McNeill.
Man of the Match: Dean Zambra (Bray Wanderers). A fullblooded performance from the tough midfielder.
Bray Wanderers: Brian Kane, Dean Fletcher, David Webster, Chris Shields, Dane Massey, Gareth Coughlan (Ian Tuohy 76’), David O’Neill, Dean Zambra, Jake Kelly, Ian McNeill (Ian Masterson 87’), Shane O’Neill (Youcef Belhout 87’). Subs not used: Thomas Wyley, Stephen Lawless.
UCD: Gerard Barron, Garett Matthews, Michael Leahy, Emmett McArdle, Brian Connaughton, Joe Holt, Colm Daly, Michael Kelly, Evan Connolly, Conor Meehan, John Dalton. Subs: Jeff O’Flynn, Mark Condon, Paul Leahy, Gavin Falconor, Conal Walsh.
Shane O'Neill's strike is blocked by UCD goalkeeper Gerard Barron.