Cork cruise to victory at the Carlisle
Bray Wanderers 1
Cork City 3
Bray Wanderers’ season is in danger of petering out in early July following another disappointing defeat.
Cork City inflicted the damage on this occasion, winning 1-3 comfortably as the Seagulls finished with 10 men due to a red card for Conor Clifford on 78 minutes.
Efforts from Cian Murphy and Jonas Hakkinen had the Rebels firmly in command at the interval and they rode a wave of pressure from the hosts – that included Darragh Lynch’s sixth goal of the season - before sealing the win thanks to a goalkeeping error.
A quick throw-in on five minutes was all it took to unlock the Bray defence. Cian Bargary released Cian Murphy who dribbled into the box. He partially drew Stephen McGuinness before attempting to square for Ruairi Keating, but it was out of reach for Keating, so Bray survived.
Ben Feeney collected a pass on the right-hand of the area two minutes later and his neat spin took him away from his marker, but his angled drive skidded past the far post. David Harrington berated his defence for allowing the attacker to turn so easily.
Cork had made a pedestrian start to proceedings, but they upped their game around the quarter hour mark, going close to netting on 14 before breaking the deadlock a minute later.
Bray native Aaron Bolger hooked a clearance down the left which James Doona added to which released Keating down the left channel. It was a tight angle that he faced, and his powerful drive was ably blocked by McGuinness.
McGuinness’ clean sheet would evaporate within 60 seconds. Bargary stood with his foot on the ball 25 yards from goal waiting for an option. Cian Murphy obliged him with a darting, angled run in behind and Bargary slid him in. Murphy also faced a tricky angle, but he fizzed his strike low past McGuinness to nestle in the far corner.
Feeney had enjoyed Bray’s only chance of note earlier in the contest and he would spurn their second one. Callum Thompson swung in a corner from the left and Feeney rose highest, but his header sailed over the crossbar.
The lively Bargary was slipped in on 35 minutes and he nicked the ball past the out-rushing McGuinness but he was denied by Jack Hudson who cleared off the line.
A lovely run from Matthew Srbely saw him execute a one-two with Bargary before taking on the shot. It might have been goalbound but we’ll never know as Cian Murphy accidentally got in the way and deflected it wide.
McGuinness made a vital save five minutes before the break. Doona danced in off the left and tried his luck from 20 yards. The shot itself wasn’t overly spectacular but the moment McGuinness clasped it, Keating arrived sniffing for a spill, so it was crucial that the Kilpedder man kept it in his grasp.
But McGuinness would be beaten a minute into stoppage time. O’Connor delivered a free from the left that Keating guided goalwards with a cushioned volley. McGuinness couldn’t hold it on this occasion and Jonas Hakkinen was in the right place at the right time to lash home.
It continued to be a busy evening for the shot-stopper early in the second period. Having muscled his way into the penalty area, Srbely showed his delicate touch to poke through for Murphy. He opted for power and McGuinness was more than equal to his drive.
The signs of life for Bray begin after that. After Paul Fox’s cross from the left missed the cluster of bodies in the penalty area, it fell to Callum Thompson, but he screwed his effort wide.
A charge forward from Karl Manahan saw him push the ball into Lynch’s path. He blasted goalwards but it was a comfortable stop for Harrington.
Next, a cross from Enniskerry’s Dan Blackbyrne found Kurtis Byrne. He composed himself before cracking off a volley that was deflected behind.
But the deficit was halved from the next attack. Byrne turned creator this time as he whipped in a wicked cross and Lynch headed home emphatically to breathe life into the home crowd again.
The resuscitation lasted eight minutes before they flatlined again. Ruairi Keating failed to connect with a Doona cross from the left and must have thought the chance was gone. But McGuinness fumbled it and Keating hopped up to nod the ball into the empty net.
Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished on 78 minutes when Conor Clifford was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident. Aaron Bolger received a booking. Clifford flung his captain’s armband to the ground before departing.
As that orange armband lay discarded on the grass, one could be forgiven for thinking it an appropriate image to represent Bray’s season.
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness; Dan Blackbyrne, Jack Hudson, Kevin Knight, Conor McManus; Callum Thompson, Eoin Massey, Conor Clifford, Paul Fox; Ben Feeney; Darragh Lynch. Subs: Kurtis Byrne for Feeney (52); Karl Manahan for Massey (52); Vilius Labutis for Thompson (82); Jamie Callaghan for K. Knight (87). Not used: Michael Kelly, Zak O’Neill, Eoin McPhillips, Conor Knight, Rob Manley.
Cork City: David Harrington; Jonas Hakkinen, Joshua Honohan, Kevin O’Connor; Cian Bargary, Cian Coleman, Aaron Bolger, Matthew Srbely, James Doona; Cian Murphy, Ruairi Keating. Subs: Matt Healy for Srbely (62); Ally Gilchrist for O’Connor (73); Dylan McGlade for Doona (73); Ronan Hurley for Bargary (84); Darragh Crowley for Bolger (84). Not used: Jimmy Corcoran, Uniss Kargbo, Mark O’Mahoney, Oran Crowe.
Referee: Robert Dowling
Venue: Carlisle Grounds, Bray