Rovers rock Seag­ulls

Bray People - - SPORTS -

SHAM­ROCK ROVERS had to come from be­hind to keep their ti­tle dreams on track at Tal­laght Sta­dium last Satur­day night.

The Dublin­ers fell be­hind to a Dave Web­ster goal early in the first half but a su­perb sec­ond half-per­for­mance saw Michael O’Neill’s side claim all three points and keep the pres­sure on league leaders Bo­hemi­ans.

A point is all that sep­a­rates the two Dublin sides at the top of the ta­ble but it is the other end of the ta­ble where Bray Wan­der­ers find them­selves.

Ed­die Gorm­ley opted for a 4-5-1 for­ma­tion for this clash with Dane Massey play­ing in an un­fa­mil­iar cen­tral mid­field but 15 min­utes af­ter kick-off it looked like the Bray boss had got his tac­tics spot on.

Dane Massey pinged in a cor­ner from the right which John Flood flicked on at the near post. Gareth Cough­lan, in for Jake Kelly, met it at the far stick but his header was blocked on the line by Barry Johnston. Johnston and co. were pow­er­less to pre­vent Dave Web­ster ri­fling the ball into the roof of the net from six yards. A per­fect start for the Seag­ulls and the trav­el­ling fans were dream­ing of a pos­si­ble sec­ond win in the Hoops’ back­yard this sea­son.

That sec­ond win wasn’t go­ing to come eas­ily though and Bray faced an on­slaught from the home side be­fore the half-time break.

First Pat Sul­li­van made a surg­ing run from right back be­fore re­ceiv­ing the ball and de­liv­er­ing to Padraig Amond whose spec­tac­u­lar scis­sors kick was only inches wide.

Three min­utes later Bray failed to clear their lines af­ter a Ross Chisholm cor­ner and it was left to Dane Massey to save his side when he cleared off the line from Gary Twigg’s close-range ef­fort.It was Wan­der­ers’ cap­tain Derek Pen­der’s turn to save the day the day next when he cleared off the line af­ter Amond had beaten O’Con­nor.

And then on the stroke of half-time an­other Chisholm cor­ner caused prob­lems in the vis­i­tors’ penalty area and af­ter count­less chances within sec­onds of each other for Rovers, Bray some­how scram­bled it away. Some­body must have been looking down on Bray from above but surely they couldn’t with­stand this kind of pres­sure for an­other 45 min­utes could they?

The an­swer to that ques­tion ar­rived 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half when a quickly taken cor­ner kick proved to be the Wick­low side’s un­do­ing.

Pat Sul­li­van played the flag-kick to sub­sti­tute Sean O’Con­nor who crossed into the box with his very first touch of the game. The ball then broke to Stephen Rice at the back post and he had the time and space to drill it home from eight yards.

With the three points now a rapidly fad­ing dream for Bray, a sin­gle point would have been the tar­get but Gary Twigg, the league’s top scorer, had other ideas.

Just 12 min­utes af­ter see­ing their lead re­lin­quished, Bray was star­ing at their 14th league de­feat of the sea­son thanks to Tal­laght’s favourite son.

O’Con­nor was once again the man claim­ing the as­sist when he sent in a cross from the left that a stretch­ing Chris Deans couldn’t clear and it fell per­fectly for Twigg who did what he does best by nod­ding it past Chris O’Con­nor for his 20th league goal of the sea­son.

But the Scot­tish sen­sa­tion wasn’t done quite yet and he grabbed a sec­ond six min­utes later to kill off the brave Bray chal­lenge. Stephen Bradley’s cross was nod­ded down to Twigg by O’Con­nor and Twigg quickly ad­justed his body be­fore firmly vol­ley­ing it be­yond the Aus­tralian goal­keeper once more.

Twigg did have a chance to bag his sec­ond hat-trick of the sea­son on 90 min­utes but he blazed over af­ter be­ing set up by for­mer Repub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tional Gra­ham Bar­rett. He is only hu­man af­ter all.

Ed­die Gorm­ley’s young charges can be proud of their ef­fort in this one and they cer­tainly can’t af­ford to feel sorry for them­selves ahead of Fri­day’s huge six-pointer against Drogheda United at the Carlisle Grounds.

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