Bray Wanderers 1
Klub Kildare 2
An inability to take their chances cost Bray in their first home U14 EA Sports National League of Ireland Phase 1 Group C game of the season.
Despite take the lead at Ballycorus last Saturday afternoon, Wanderers fell to a 2-1 loss against Klub Kildare – in a game that could have went either way.
The home side were also left to rue a couple of refereeing decisions which did have an effect on the final outcome.
The young Seagulls went into the contest on the back of heavy losses away to Shamrock Rovers and St. Patrick’s Athletic.
But they started well against the Lilywhites. Josh Delves saw his goal-bound drive blocked by an away defender in the ninth minute. Seconds later, Delves’ half volley was pushed away by Kildare custodian Kian Keogh.
At the other end, in the 13th minute, Jack Ralph broke free, but Liam Billings made a smart diving gather.
Straight away in the Green and White’s next attack in the 14th minute, Billy O’Neill unleashed a shot from just inside the box that was brilliantly saved by Keogh. Then on 16 minutes, Leon O’Sullivan and Cristiano Bramley combined to set-up Billy O’Neill. But his low effort flew just off target.
The second third of 30 minutes was action packed.
Just 90 seconds had gone when O’Sullivan latched on to a ball over the top. He lobbed the advancing Keogh from the edge of the penalty area. But his effort dropped wide of the target.
Within moments, Kildare were awarded a disputed penalty for handball. But Rhys Johnson’s spot-kick went high and wide.
It took a fantastic tip-over save by Billings in the 39th minute to thwart visiting substitute Oscar Janek to keep the teams level. Keogh brought off another tremendous tip-around his post stop to deny Billy O’Neill in the 44th minute.
However, the hosts found the breakthrough in the 49th minute.
From substitute Billy Martin’s out-swinging corner, the ball dropped 12 yards out. Defender Jack MaGuire reacted to fire in a low left-footed volley.
But that lead lasted just four minutes
Liam McDonnell’s low centre from the left by-line led to a goalmouth scramble, with substitute Liam O’Malley slotting in from close range.
What proved to be the winner came in the first 45 seconds of the final third.
A cross from the right came all the way to Rhys Johnson. He created space to find the far right corner of the net with a stunning 25-yard shot.
Janek went close again with eight minutes to go. However, his low attempt went narrowly wide.
Bray thought they had salvaged a point three minutes into stoppage time.
From Delves’ delivery wide left, Billy O’Neill challenged aerially with two opponents. The ball dropped to substitute Ethan Doyle to rifled in from 14 yards.
But referee Rueben Collins’ late whistle ruled the score out for apparent foul by O’Neill.
Bray Wanderers: Liam Billings; Dylan Bourke, Callum Kenna, Jack MaGuire, Noah Byrne; Sean Howard, Max Free; Leon O’Sullivan, Cristiano Bramley, Josh Delves; Billy O’Neill. Subs: Billy Martin, Evan Lynch, Jake O’Neill, Tadgh Worthington, Ethan Doyle.
Klub Kildare: Kian Keogh; Peter Byrne, Preston Frewen, Liam McDonald; Rhys Johnson, Sean McDonnell, Matthew Johnston; Max Sargent; Emile Kavanagh, Jay Brophy; Jack Ralph. Subs: Oisin Lynch, Oscar Janek, Lee Websdale, Kuba Starnowski, Mark O’Malley, Darragh Rayner.
Referee: Rueben Collins (Wicklow ISRS)