Seag­ulls de­nied victory by a late Kil­duff strike

Bray People - - Sport -

UCD 1, Bray Wan­der­ers 1: A de­flected 91st minute strike from UCD’s Ciaran Kil­duff de­nied Bray Wan­der­ers a victory that they prob­a­bly de­served, writes Daniel Gor­man.

A won­der­fully struck free-kick from Spa­niard Fer­nando Romero looked set to be enough to win this mod­er­ate­lyen­ter­tain­ing game at the Belfield Bowl on Mon­day night for Bray Wan­der­ers, be­fore Kil­duff’s shot found a way past sub­sti­tute goal­keeper Brian Kane.

Ed­die Gorm­ley named a very strong team for Mon­day’s clash, with the League of Ire­land recom­menc­ing in just nine days time.

With play­ers still fight­ing for a place in Ed­die Gorm­ley’s start­ing 11, it was a very pro­fes­sional per­for­mance from the Wick­low side against a UCD side that was some­what lack­ing in house­hold names.

Romero’s goal came on 21 min­utes, af­ter Paddy Ka­vanagh was ob­structed just over 25 yards from goal. Romero stepped up and calmly guided the ball into the bot­tom cor­ner be­yond the out­stretched arm of Ger Ban­non, al­though it did take the spec­ta­tors sev­eral sec­onds to re­al­ize the ball hit the back of the net rather than the side net­ting. A de­layed, but happy re­ac­tion.

If clear cut chances are your cup of tea this prob­a­bly wasn’t the game for you, but nonetheh­less, it was still quite an en­joy­able match.

Four min­utes into it Chris O’Con­nor es­caped pu­n­ish­ment af­ter his fail­ure to gather a cor­ner kick, with UCD’s ini­tial shot hit­ting the ‘keeper be­fore Ro­nan Finn’s ef­fort from the re­bound went over the cross­bar. Then three min­utes later Chris Mul­hall showed good feet be­fore forc­ing O’Con­nor into the save.

Bray replied through Paul Byrne, who rose to meet Dane Massey’s left­wing cross but couldn’t get the re­quired power on it.

Seven min­utes later Romero struck, and then ten min­utes be­fore the break Byrne headed over the cross­bar from a Massey free-kick.

On 39 min­utes de­li­cious build-up play in­volv­ing Massey, Romero, Ka­vanagh and Dave Mulc­ahy ended with Ka­vanagh hav­ing his curl­ing ef­fort plucked out of the sky by Ban­non, who was at full stretch.

The game hit some­thing of a lull in the sec­ond half, with all the sub­sti­tu­tions made hav­ing an im­pact on what had been a high-tempo game.

Mid­way through the sec­ond pe­riod the hosts threat­ened when Mitch Kelly dinked the ball to the back post for Niall Daly, whose header back across goal was com­fort­ably gath­ered by O’Con­nor.

Gareth Cough­lan had watched from the bench as Romero scored his fab­u­lous free-kick and he fan­cied hav­ing a pop him­self, but his 25-yard ef­fort was straight at the goalie.

Then just as every­one was pre­par­ing to hit the road, the hosts ru­ined the Seag­ull’s evening with their late equal­izer.

Bray will now face heavy First Divi­sion favourites Sport­ing Fin­gal, who boast sev­eral for­mer Wan­der­ers play­ers, at the Carlisle Grounds on Satur­day, be­fore tak­ing on a Garda In­ter­na­tional squad at the Carlisle on Tues­day. Man of the Match: Dave Mulc­ahy (Bray Wan­der­ers): In­volved in ev­ery­thing good that Bray did.

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