Man­ager crit­i­cises gru­elling league fix­ture sched­ule

Bray People - - SPORT -

AS HE pre­pares his side for their third match in seven days, Alan Mathews has hit out at the pow­ers that be for in­flict­ing a gru­elling sched­ule on his part-time squad.

The Bray Wan­der­ers man­ager is al­ready count­ing the cost of the fix­ture sched­ule, with five first­team play­ers cur­rently side­lined, leav­ing Mathews with a thin­ning squad.

“I don’t know why the league do it”, Mathews ques­tioned. “You look at the game that was called off tonight, Cork and Lim­er­ick – two full-time teams, they call off the game - I don’t know why the pitch was un­avail­able. This is the sec­ond time this has hap­pened this sea­son. We played Shel­bourne the Mon­day af­ter we played down in Lim­er­ick then we played here against Sligo, so we’ve had three games in a week twice since the start of the sea­son and for the life of me I don’t know why. The league will ob­vi­ously come up with their own rea­sons for it but it doesn’t do us or it doesn’t do play­ers any favours to be do­ing that.”

Bo­hemi­ans were the Seag­ulls’ fifth league op­po­nents this sea­son. De­spite be­ing a goal and a man up for over an hour, the Wick­low club threw away two points as they al­lowed Dinny Cor­co­ran to steal a late lev­eller for the Gyp­sies. Both Mathews and David Cas­sidy know it was an op­por­tu­nity lost.

Mathews said: “It wasn’t even the ex­tra man (that made us favourites) , it was the way we played for the first hour. We dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion, Bohs went very di­rect, they got a for­tu­itous equaliser in the last minute but we should’ve seen the game off. We’d chances ei­ther side of half time from David Web­ster and Izzy. If Izzy’s lob goes in that would’ve sealed the game re­ally be­cause at that stage it would’ve been 0-2.

“They didn’t threaten us in any shape or form. We just stopped pass­ing the ball, we didn’t pass the ball well at all in the sec­ond half and it was dis­ap­point­ing not to win the game. It felt like a de­feat but we’ll take a lot of pos­i­tives from it. We had a lot of play­ers play­ing for us in that sta­dium for the first time and they ac­quit­ted them­selves re­ally well. And to lose Jake, that had an ef­fect on play­ers as well be­cause they all knew that it was a se­ri­ous in­jury.”

Cas­sidy echoed his man­ager’s sen­ti­ments: “It was very dis­ap­point­ing. Not even the re­sult, just the way we played in the sec­ond half. We should’ve taken the game to them but in­stead we sat back in the sec­ond half and let them take the game to us. I think that’s more dis­ap­point­ing; the per­for­mance rather than the re­sult. That way, it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore they do score.

“Look­ing at it, you prob­a­bly would’ve taken a point (be­fore­hand) but af­ter the send­ing off and go­ing 0-1 up, we know on our day we can beat any­one. We showed that against Sligo, we’ve shown bits and pieces here tonight. We can get at teams.”

Af­ter col­lect­ing only a point on Fri­day, Bray had none to show for their ef­forts af­ter be­ing un­done by league cham­pi­ons St. Patrick’s Ath­letic at the Carlisle Grounds on Mon­day.

That did not drain any op­ti­mism from Mathews though.

“We can go to Da­ly­mount and be dis­ap­pointed, we’re dis­ap­pointed that we didn’t get two-all tonight, David Cas­sidy’s free kick hit the post in the 80-odd minute. We kept our dis­ci­pline, we kept our be­lief and we kept plug­ging away. We showed great spirit and char­ac­ter to get back into the game with a won­der­ful cor­ner kick – well ex­e­cuted by Dave Cas­sidy. Pat’s are a good side. They’re full time, we’d about six guys sit­ting in the stand tonight out through in­jury who on an­other night, would be play­ing. None of them could make a con­tri­bu­tion tonight for one rea­son or an­other.”

Those six men are Danny O’Con­nor, Shane O’Con­nor, Eric McGill, Adam Hanlon, Jake Kelly and Shane Red­mond. None will be avail­able for Fri­day’s trip to Drogheda.

With that in mind, Cas­sidy knows things will be dou­bly dif­fi­cult against his for­mer club. He has faith in Red­mond’s re­place­ment though and is also con­fi­dent that the goals will start com­ing for the Seag­ulls soon.

“The lad (McGuinness) has done very well. He’s done well in train­ing and I think at the mo­ment he’s mak­ing it his spot. When Shane comes back he’s got a fight on his hands, he hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’s con­ceded four goals in two games but I don’t think any of them were his fault. He kept us in it at Bohs with a great save and he’s made a good few saves again here to­day.

“It was nice to get an­other goal but it’s just worth noth­ing. I think ev­ery­one’s go­ing to have to chip in. If we have a good sea­son it’s not go­ing to be just two or three people scor­ing goals, it needs to be a whole squad. That’s com­ing from the de­fend­ers com­ing up for set-pieces (to ev­ery­one else)”.

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