Kick-fire Miele sends fired-up Rovers on road to redemption
Shamrock Rovers 2 Bray Wanderers 0
First-half strikes from Brandon Miele and Gary Shaw avenged their worst display of the season to get Shamrock Rovers back on track at Tallaght Stadium last night.
Hoops boss Stephen Bradley said their 4-2 defeat to Bray at the Carlisle Grounds last month needed to be put to rights.
And that Rovers did from the first whistle here, an emphatic victory moving them level on points with fourth-placed Derry City, two points behind Bray in third.
Rovers started with purpose, gratefully availing of a dreadful defensive error to take a fourth-minute lead.
There appeared little danger as Hoops' skipper Ronan Finn's ball forward knocked off striker Shaw into the path of Bray's Conor Kenna.
But, under no pressure, the Seagulls' captain let it run to the lurking Miele who clinically punished the error when driving his shot past Peter Cherrie.
Rovers continued to boss the game early on with Graham Burke off target with a shot and then a header.
And such was their positive start, it was no surprise when they added to their lead on 20 minutes.
Finn weighted the perfect pass through for the run of Shaw down the inside right channel.
The big striker finished well, showing admirable composure to sidefoot past Cherrie and watch as the ball trickled over the line. Like Miele, it registered his fifth goal of the league season.
Scarcely in the game, Bray finally mustered a threat from their first corner of the game minutes later as Hoops defender Dave Webster headed Gary McCabe's in-swinger off the line at the back post.
Equally vigilant, Finn then did even better to head clear under pressure at the same post from McCabe's free-kick two minutes before the break.
Ger Pender turned well only to volley high over the top for Bray shortly after the resumption before Rovers might have scored again at the other end on 50 minutes.
Trevor Clarke outmuscled John Sullivan to cross. The ball was missed by the diving Madden with Miele's drive then flashing over the bar.
Miele was there again on 71 minutes only to be thwarted by a goal-line clearance from Bray substitute Derek Foran after Clarke got away on the left to pull the ball back.
The woodwork prevented a third Rovers goal 11 minutes from time as substitute Michael O'Connor, sent away from deep by Clarke's pass, saw his shot come back off the post.
Shamrock Rovers - Chenciski; Madden, Lopes, Webster, Byrne; Finn, Connolly; Miele, Burke (Bone, 86), Clarke; Shaw (O'Connor, 63).
Bray Wanderers - Cherrie; Sullivan (Foran, 63), Kenna, Clancy, Moore; Salmon (Noone, 84), Brennan; Greene, McCabe, Connolly; Pender (Marks, 72).
Ref - R Matthews (Longford)