Mur­phy dou­ble helps Bray storm back to win

Bray People - - SPORT - DANIEL GOR­MAN At Rich­mond Park

BRAY WAN­DER­ERS staged a stun­ning turn­around at Rich­mond Park on Fri­day night to col­lect their first win of the 2011 sea­son in a pul­sat­ing en­counter.

The Seag­ulls found them­selves harshly trail­ing by two goals to nil in the 66th minute when Pat Devlin in­tro­duced Repub­lic of Ire­land U-19 in­ter­na­tional Conor Mur­phy for his de­but. And the for­mer Sham­rock Rovers young­ster made an im­me­di­ate im­pres­sion; bag­ging two goals within seven min­utes to leave the scores level with 17 min­utes left to play.

And Seag­ulls’ joy turned to ju­bi­la­tion in the 83rd minute when Joe Ken­drick’s 22 yard free­kick hit a player in the Pat’s de­fen­sive wall be­fore fly­ing past a flat-footed Gary Rogers.

Wan­der­ers fell be­hind against the run of play in the 23rd minute. Derek Pren­der­gast was pe­nal­ized for a foul on David McMil­lan and Daryl Ka­vanagh’s teas­ing de­liv­ery was turned into his own net by Pren­der­gast, whose evening was quickly be­com­ing one to for­get.

And Pat Devlin’s sec­ond half plans were torn up when the hosts dou­bled their lead three min­utes af­ter the restart af­ter Evan McMil­lan headed home Ka­vanagh’s cor­ner at the near post.

The last time the Wick­low club came from 2-0 be­hind to win was in Oc­to­ber 2009. Cork City was the op­po­nents on that oc­ca­sion and a cer­tain Mr. David Mulc­ahy bagged the equal­izer and win­ner that night, but he was on the re­ceiv­ing end of the come­back this time.

With 20 min­utes re­main­ing, Joe Ken­drick made a su­perb run in be­hind the Pat’s de­fence which Jake Kelly picked out. Ken­drick whipped in a low cross that just evaded John Mul­roy, but Mur­phy was on hand to force the ball home at the back post.

And it was all square three min­utes later. Shane O’Neill bam­boo­zled his man on the left flank be­fore send­ing in a fan­tas­tic cross that Mur­phy ex­pertly guided home with his glanc­ing header.

The re­mark­able come­back was then com­pleted in the 83rd minute when Ken­drick’s free-kick de­flected in off the Pat’s wall to spark deliri­ous scenes amongst the trav­el­ling sup­port.

It was a de­served vic­tory for the Wick­low club, who out­played the Saints through­out but St. Pa­trick’s Ath­letic al­most went in front with three min­utes on the clock but Derek Pren­der­gast was on hand to clear Ian Daly’s ef­fort off the line.

And from their on in – goal aside – Bray bossed the first half.

Min­utes af­ter Dean Zam­bra had seen his left­footed ef­fort saved by Gary Rogers, Joe Ken­drick al­most cre­ated an equal­izer for the Seag­ulls when he made a clever over­lap­ping run be­fore whip­ping in a dan­ger­ous cross that Saints cap­tain Con­nor Kenna just man­aged to scram­ble out for a cor­ner kick with Chris Shields lurk­ing be­hind him.

Wan­der­ers’ left flank con­tin­ued to cause prob­lems for Pete Ma­hon’s men and in the 16th minute, a Jake Kelly cross was touched into John Mul­roy’s path by Chris Shields and Mul­roy’s low ef­fort forced Rogers into a dou­ble save.

On 18 min­utes Mul­roy met a Kelly cross but his loop­ing header cleared Rogers’ cross­bar by a cou­ple of yards and then two min­utes later Jake Kelly found him­self in some space on the left hand-side of the penalty area but his drive was bravely blocked by for­mer Seag­ull Derek Pen­der.

But then, against the run of play, Pat’s took the lead. Derek Pren­der­gast was ad­judged to have barged David McMil­lan to the ground and a free­kick awarded and Pren­der­gast was sub­se­quently booked. And the de­fender had the mis­for­tune of turn­ing the ball into his own net to break the dead­lock.

There was very lit­tle goal­mouth ac­tion for the re­main­der of the first pe­riod. Pat’s then made a dream start to the sec­ond half when McMil­lan met Ka­vanagh’s cross and forced the ball past John Mul­roy who was cov­er­ing on the near post.

But then Pat Devlin pulled a rab­bit out of a hat when he threw on Mur­phy and O’Neill for Danny O’Con­nor and Dean Zam­bra, and the rest, as they say, is his­tory.

Bray sub­sti­tute Conor Mur­phy gets his head to the ball ahead of Evan McMil­lan of St. Pa­trick’s Ath­letic.

Daryl Ka­vanagh of St. Pat’s is chased by Dean Zam­bra of Bray Wan­der­ers.

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