Kavanagh inspires Bray to good win over Shels
LEAGUE OF IRELAND PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY
Bray Wanderers 3, Shelbourne 1: A Paddy Kavanagh inspired Bray Wanderers side got their new season off to a fine start with this comfortable 3-1 win over First Division side Shelbourne at Wayside Celtic’s fantastic Golden Bowl.
Eddie Gormley will surely be pleased with the day’s work, as not only did his side perform well but he also got to cast his eye over 23 players, as he used 12 substitutes throughout the course of the game.
Things didn’t start too well for his side though as Richie Baker came close for the visitors after five minutes when he sent a central free kick wide of Chris O’Connor’s far post.
Shels then went agonisingly close to opening scoring when a long ball forward was flicked goalwards by Paddy Madden but despite beating O’Connor, his effort came back off the post before being hacked clear.
Bray’s new striker Paul Byrne then saw a half-chance go begging after he dragged his shot wide following Gary McCabe’s pass.
McCabe went close to netting himself on 22 minutes when he drove a shot goalwards from 25 yards but Dean Delaney blocked the shot and gathered the rebound before Byrne could pounce.
On the 27th minute mark, the visitors spurned another great chance after Mark O’Brien sent Darren Meehan racing clear and after taking the ball wide, he fired it back across the face of goal and wide.
Five minutes before the break came the opener. Gareth Coughlan picked out the run of Paddy Kavanagh and last season’s top scorer was as cool as ice, slotting it past Delaney to give Bray the lead.
And then it was just five minutes into the second period when the Wanderers doubled their lead, with a certain Mr. Kavanagh again at the heart of it. After jinking his way through the Shels defence, the former Birmingham City man looked up and squared the ball to Darren Forsyth who did the rest.
Just three minutes later Forsyth could have doubled his account. Dane Massey played a fantastic ball beyond the visitors defence and after controlling it, Forsyth’s low drive was well saved by Delaney.
It was on the hour mark that Bray extended their lead again, when Kavanagh’s low cross caused mayhem in the box and after a few seconds Spanish substitute Fernando lashed it home. A Spaniard called Fernando who scores goals - who would’ve thought it?
Two minutes after his goal Fernando played a peach of a ball to Forsyth but his finish wasn’t half as good as the pass.
Shels should have clawed one back on 63 minutes when David Cassidy’s cross picked out Anto Flood, but the substitute wasted the chance.
They did however get themselves a consolation goal 13 minutes from the end, after Derek Foran was deemed to have handled a cross by referee Richie Winter and a penalty was subsequently awarded.
Jordan McMullen stepped up and just beat the despairing dive from substitute ‘ keeper Brian Kane.
Despite that late setback though, there were plenty of positives to be taken from the game.
Man of the Match: Paddy Kavanagh (Bray Wanderers). Scored one goal and set up two, Derry City will have to offer a lot more if they want to pry him away from the Carlisle Grounds.