Seagulls denied victory by a late Kilduff strike
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.