Rally too late to worry Bray
EA Sports Cup: Bray Wanderers 3 Wexford FC 2
A flurry of first-half goals ensured that Bray Wanderers both cruised and stumbled into the second round of the EA Sports Cup at Wexford F.C's expense in the Carlisle Grounds on Monday of last week.
The limited visitors contained Bray up until the 25th minute when superb attacking from Derek Daly saw him win a free-kick which he duly converted as he tucked it away under the leaping Wexford wall.
Four minutes later, the Seagulls doubled their advantage. Some wizardry from Dylan McGlade saw him tee-up Dylan Barnett who had a rather large deflection to thank for his first-ever Bray goal.
And things looked to be done and dusted when Richie Purdy was bundled over in the area which paved the way for McGlade to net from twelve yards.
Wexford pulled one back in spectacular fashion in the opening minutes of the second period as Ryan Nolan's free-kick torpedoed into the top corner.
And there was some very, very late hope for the visitors as Seán Roche neatly finished in the 94th minute, but time was not on their side and it is Bray who will have their name in the hat for the next round.
A snapshot from Derek Daly whizzed across the face of goal after four minutes, but Corey Chambers' poker face suggested that it was no threat to him.
A very tame and timid opening finally sparked into life after 24 minutes when Derek Daly surged in from the left and Seán Callan felt he had no choice but to illegally halt the flying winger.
Daly and McGlade stood over the free, but Daly got the nod and his low, powerful effort skidded under the jumping wall and bulged the net.
The shackles were now off and McGlade carved an inspired assist on 29 minutes. Having twisted and turned his own man, he floated across the pitch until Wexford doubled up on him, at which point a nonchalant back-heel released Dylan Barnett whose strike took a fortuitous deflection that saw it loop over Chambers.
Within seven minutes, the Seagulls had found a third. Richie Purdy looked set to latch onto a cross from the right but, before he could, he was clattered by Owen McCormack who was a tad lucky not to receive a second yellow. McGlade made it two penalties out of two for Bray.
Wexford registered their first shot on target of the contest after 43 minutes via a free-kick. Jack Doherty struck it but it went right down the throat of Adam Hayden who saved well.
Bray's stand-in captain, Hugh Douglas, offered Wexford another free-kick in dangerous territory four minutes into the second period, and they punished the leaders in spectacular fashion as Ryan Nolan's rocket threatened to burst the net. Hayden's dive was a forlorn one.
With their clean sheet now dead and buried, Bray set about restoring their three-goal lead. Daly provided the impetus - and very nearly the assist - for Jake Ellis, but the club's youngest-ever goalscorer saw Chambers equal to his firm shot.
There was some lovely bouts of inter-play between Gary Cronin's charges, and one such moment saw McGlade teed up on the edge of the box but Chambers managed to parry his strike and recovered very quickly to also deny Barnett.
Seán Roche became the fourth individual in the season thus far to score a first-ever Wexford goal at the death, but it was merely a consolation at that stage.
Wexford F.C.: Corey Chambers; Paddy Cahill, Owen McCormack (capt.), Seán Callan, Lee Costello; Danny Doyle, Thomas Croke, Ryan Nolan, Emmet Nugent; Nika Arevadze; Jack Doherty. Subs. - Seán Roche for Doyle (68), Emmanuel Lawal for Doherty (74), also Joseph Walshe, Liam McCartan, Seán Kelly, Torik Adegoke, Darragh O'Connor.
Bray Wanderers: Adam Hayden; Luke Nolan, Hugh Douglas (capt.), Seán Heaney, Dylan Barnett; Dylan McGlade, Luka Lovic, Brandon McCann, Derek Daly; Richie Purdy; Jake Ellis. Subs. - Killian Cantwell for Douglas (71), Cian Walsh for Heaney (81), Cian Maher for McGlade (87) also Gabriel Sava, Andrew McGovern, Paul Keegan, Glen Hollywood.
Referee: Alan Carey (Dublin).