Seagulls eke out a narrow victory
Keegan penalty sees Wanderers struggle past Limerick
ANYONE who paid €15 euro to watch Bray Wanderers stumble past Limerick should feel perfectly entitled to ask for a refund after 90 minutes of indescribably dull action.
A cynic might say that the Seagulls earned the three points they wanted and coupled with the fact that Cabinteely dropped points; it was a good evening’s work for Gary Cronin’s men.
But the manner in which those points were secured must be a worry as the hosts looked languid, stagnant and out of ideas for the most part.
Captain Paul Keegan landed the match winner on the stroke of half time.
Dylan McGlade’s unsuccessful dribble saw the ball rolling harmlessly out of play and a Limerick defender was shielding it as it did so. McGlade though did not give up and managed to sneak around the Limerick man who responded by shoving over the Bray attacker.
Keegan drilled the spot kick straight down the middle. Bray should have enjoyed a straightforward second period against a very, very poor Limerick side but Killian Cantwell received a red card for two bookings only five minutes after the interval.
Even with the 10 men, Wanderers survived in great comfort with the visitors unable to offer any threat and Bray actually thought they’d wrapped things up when Sean Heaney headed home a Dylan Barnett corner but after several moments of celebrations, the referee drew the Bray players’ attention to the fact that he’d awarded a free out.
Cronin made two alterations from the side that fell on Cabinteely’s sword; Darragh Gibbons dropped to the bench and Joe Doyle has departed to America on a J1 holiday – they were replaced by Philip Gannon and Dylan McGlade respectively.
The first moment of note of the evening was the first yellow card for Killian Cantwell.
Bray switched the play to his flank and he took a very poor touch that allowed Lee Devitt to intercept so Cantwell halted him illegally and went into David Dunne’s book.
The first -and one of the only – shots on target came from Richie Purdy in the 12th minute when a powerful run saw him break into the box but he was smartly denied by Jack Brady and Dean Williams was flagged offside as he looked to pounce on the rebound.
Bray were unlucky not to take the lead in the 21st minute. Williams looked menacing on the edge of the Limerick area but was crowded out so he slipped it out left to the on-rushing Barnett. He came onto it like a DART and his sweetly-struck drive left the near post shaking.
Derek Daly offered a glimpse of quality next when a drop of the shoulder saw him leaving his man flat-footed but his teasing low cross evaded all of his Bray team-mates.
If there was a man on the field capable of sparking the tie into life it was McGlade and he almost did just that as he zipped past his man and sent a vicious effort flying inches over the crossbar.
McGlade then burst onto the ball on the edge of the area and glided past his man but his low, hard shot was turned away by the outstretched leg of Brady.
It was in stoppage time that McGlade’s hard work earned Bray a penalty which Keegan coolly convered.
Five minutes into the second period, Tomas O’Connor scampered clear of a sleeping Bray defence but was shoved over on the edge of the area by Cantwell who received his marching orders.
On 62 minutes, Heaney thought he had eased tensions with a thumping header but Bray would eventually realise it had been chalked off for an apparent shove.
Hugh Douglas batted away with the very little threat that Limerick offered as the remainder of the half petered out uneventfully but Bray are back to winning ways and a tad closer to the play-offs. BRAY WANDERERS: 1. Gabriel Sava; 4. Killian Cantwell, 2. Hugh Douglas, 5. Sean
Heaney, 3. Dylan Barnett; 11. Derek Daly, 6. Paul Keegan, 8. Philip Gannon, 10. Dylan McGlade; 24. Richie Purdy; 18. Dean Williams. SUBS: Jake Ellis for Purdy (72); Darragh Gibbons for Daly (74); Brandon McCann for Williams (86). Not used: Adam Hayden, Luke Nolan, Dylan Thornton, Luka Lovic.
LIMERICK: 1. Jack Brady; 2. Shaun Kelly,
15. Tomas O’Connor, 6. Robbie Williams,
11. Shane Tracy; 22. Karl O’Sullivan, 21. Clyde O’Connell, 24. Darren Murphy, 12. Lee Devitt; 8. Jason Hughes; 9. Kieran Hanlon. SUBS: Edmond O’Dwyer for Murphy (14); Adam Foley for Hanlon (69); Ger Barry for O’Dwyer. Not used: Callan Scully, Andy Quaid, Sean Madigan, Alan Murphy. REFEREE: David Dunne. VENUE: Carlisle Grounds, Bray.
Limerick’s Jason Hughes races to keep pace with Dylan McGlade of Bray Wanderers.
Sean Heaney of Bray Wanderers gets above Kieron Hanlon of Limerick.