Bray People

Seag­ulls soar­ing

Bray in su­perb form as they out­class Long­ford Town

- DANIEL GOR­MAN Sports · Colwyn Bay F.C. · Bolton Wanderers F.C. · Drogheda United · Longford Town F.C. · Longford · Ross Wilson · John Ross · Dylan Grimes

BRAY WAN­DER­ERS LONG­FORD TOWN

BRAY WAN­DER­ERS out­played, out­worked and out­classed Long­ford Town on Friday evening as they got their chal­leng­ing week off to the per­fect start.

Hav­ing dom­i­nated the first pe­riod, the Seag­ulls got their re­ward in the sec­ond pe­riod as Sean McEvoy (2) and Gary Shaw found the net to main­tain Bray’s lead at the top of the pile.

Gary Cronin’s men were all bril­liant and the work-rate was in­spir­ing as they se­cured their 19th point from the last 21 avail­able.

It was an ex­tremely lively start for this heavy­weight clash and per­haps the adren­a­line got the bet­ter of Lee Steacy as he charged 15 yards off his line to get John Ross Wil­son’s deep cross but he was beaten to it by Gary Shaw. Thank­fully for Steacy, Shaw’s header dropped wide.

Long­ford’s de­fence then seemed to go asleep and when Shaw beat his man to a long ball to flick on, they were in trou­ble. Ryan Gray­don col­lected it and beat his man, his blast then beat the goal­keeper but can­noned back off the un­der­side of the cross­bar and mo­ments later Gray­don nod­ded wide as Wil­son kept the chance alive with his cross.

A cor­ner kick from Dy­lan Bar­nett sailed over every­body’s heads but found Shaw un­marked be­yond the back stick. He tried to take it down but was crowded out of it and Long­ford sur­vived. Steacy was not im­pressed how­ever as he roared at his de­fend­ers to buck up their ideas.

An­other Bar­nett flag kick led to an­other op­por­tu­nity and this one was so ag­o­nis­ingly close to be­ing the opener. Aaron Barry met it with his head and it was fly­ing straight to the back of the net un­til Joe Gor­man nod­ded it off the line.

The waves of Bray at­tacks did not re­lent. Jack Wat­son, op­er­at­ing in the de­fen­sive mid­field role, bril­liantly sniffed out and won an in­ter­cep­tion and then played a de­light­ful, hid­den pass to Lovic. He as­sessed his op­tions be­fore elect­ing to take on the strike but it wasn’t the purest of hits, even if it took Steacy two at­tempts to get it in his hands.

Long­ford had a rare at­tack on 37 min­utes. Gray­don was pe­nalised harshly as he tried to win the ball on the touch­line.

Adam Evans pinged in a beaut of a pass with wicked pace and Rob Man­ley steered it goal­wards but it sailed over.

Within a minute though, the one-way traf­fic re­sumed as Thomp­son beat his man. His low cross caused a brief game of pin­ball and it popped up to Lovic just 10 yards out but it would not set­tle for him and the de­fence man­aged to charge him down and scram­ble clear.

Long­ford thought they’d sur­vived their lat­est scare when they cleared Bray’s 40th minute cor­ner up to halfway. But Wil­son floated it back into the penalty area to an un­marked Aaron Barry. He could only nod it back across goal and Shaw threw him­self at it but the an­gle was very dif­fi­cult and he

cleared the cross­bar with his ef­fort.

On the stroke of half time, Long­ford cleared their lines em­phat­i­cally.

Aaron Barry had plenty of time to read it and get there and he launched a first-time pass out to­wards the right flank. Joe Man­ley gam­bled on in­ter­cept­ing but missed it so sud­denly Thomp­son was in be­hind in a 3-on-2 sit­u­a­tion. He de­cided to take it on him­self but blazed over the bar much to his team-mates’ frus­tra­tion.

Hav­ing hit the cross­bar, had one cleared off the line and then spurned a glo­ri­ous chance late on, the hosts were un­der­stand­ably frus­trated at the break. But it took 30 sec­onds for those frus­tra­tions to wash away.

Gray­don won pos­ses­sion back

and Thomp­son played a neat pass for the over­lap­ping Lovic who found McEvoy with his cen­tre from the right. McEvoy showed quick feet to prod it to the far cor­ner.

On 63 min­utes, Bray were cel­e­brat­ing once more. Again, a winger work­ing hard and win­ning pos­ses­sion was the launch­pad for the goal. This time Thomp­son took it from a Long­ford man and Cantwell played a rak­ing pass for­ward for Gray­don. He beat his man and slipped a lovely pass through to find the run of McEvoy who slot­ted past Steacy again.

Wan­der­ers were in dream­land in the 69th minute when Bar­nett whipped in a cor­ner and Shaw rose to ex­pertly glance it home as Bray sent a mes­sage out to their ti­tle ri­vals.

Bray even had the lux­ury of

emp­ty­ing their bench as the min­utes wore on to rest the legs ahead of their trip to Cobh (re­port be­low) and their mas­sive clash with Drogheda United on Friday. BRAY WAN­DER­ERS: Brian Ma­her; John Ross Wil­son, Kil­lian Cantwell, Aaron Barry, Dy­lan Bar­nett; Jack Wat­son; Cal­lum Thomp­son, Sean McEvoy, Luka Lovic, Ryan Gray­don; Gary Shaw. Subs: Joe Doyle for Wat­son (66); Derek Daly for Thomp­son (78); Dar­ragh Lynch for Shaw (78); Paul Kee­gan for McEvoy (84); Tris­tan Noack Hoff­man for Bar­nett (85). Not used: Adam Hay­den, Mar­lon Mar­ishta. LONG­FORD TOWN: Lee Steacy; Michael McDon­nell, Joe Gor­man, Joe Man­ley; Shane El­wor­thy, Aodh Dervin, Dean Zam­bra, Adam Evans; Dy­lan Grimes, Rob Man­ley, Dean Byrne. Subs: Matthew O’Brien for Grimes (17); Karl Cham­bers for Zam­bra (H/T); Aaron Mc­Cabe for Byrne (70). Not used: Luke Den­ni­son, Dy­lan Hand, Sam Ver­don, Aaron McNally. REF­EREE: Alan Carey

 ?? Pho­tos: Peter Minogue ?? Bray’s Sean McEvoy re­acts af­ter scor­ing against Long­ford Town last week­end.
Pho­tos: Peter Minogue Bray’s Sean McEvoy re­acts af­ter scor­ing against Long­ford Town last week­end.
 ??  ?? Bray’s Gary Shaw in ac­tion against Long­ford Town at the Carlisle.
Bray’s Gary Shaw in ac­tion against Long­ford Town at the Carlisle.

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