Wednesday 21 March 2018

Bray beaten in Highlands

Elgin City 2 Bray Wanderers 0

It was great to see Peter Cherrie in the Brayside, just eight days after he was involved in a motorcycle accident
It was great to see Peter Cherrie in the Brayside, just eight days after he was involved in a motorcycle accident

A round trip of over 1,000km as the crow flies did not prove worthwhile for Bray Wanderers as goals at the beginning and the end of the second half halted their IRB BRU Cup journey at the first stop.

Winger Chris Dodd notched just 90 seconds after the interval and ex-Derry City attacker Jordan Allen sealed victory for the League Two side in stoppage time as it dawned on the Seagulls that their three days in the Highlands were fruitless.

Harry Kenny and his troops jetted over on Friday, a day after their kits and gear had arrived via a gruelling ferry and drive, with high expectations.

They are, after all, currently the fifth best ranked side in the Republic of Ireland and in the height of their season, whilst Elgin ply their trade in the fourth tier of Scotland and have only four league games under their belt thus far.

There was a nice surprise for Seagulls fans with the inclusion of Peter Cherrie in the starting line-up just eight days after he was rushed to hospital following a motorcycle accident.

Wanderers' last competitive outing was the 2-1 success over Drogheda United and Kenny made two alterations from that side with Kevin Lynch and Darragh Noone dropping to the bench to be replaced by Keith Buckley and Mark Salmon.

Any Irish fans casting an eye over the Elgin side hoping to recognise a few names will be bitterly disappointed.

Captain Jon-Paul McGovern, who turns 37 next week, spent a very brief time at Derry City three years ago where aforementioned Jordan Allen also plied his trade.

Allen spent time on trial with Bray Wanderers earlier this year but didn't do enough to convince Harry Kenny.

Less than half of Elgin's squad have a Wikipedia page - a damning indictment of their lack of notoriety (for those wondering, nine of Kenny's squad have been deemed worthy of their own).

With both Ireland and Scotland due to play later in the day, this match was the perfect time filler for both sets of fans but the first half didn't exactly fly past in a wave of excitement. The visitors were marginally the better side but their Scottish counterparts did offer the most threat on goal.

Back in his homeland, Cherrie was forced into action in the 38th minute when keeping out a strike from winger Jamie Reid after defender Stephen Bronsky came close to the opener with a headed effort.

Only a minute of the second half had elapsed when Cherrie was beaten. Dodd was allowed too much space on the edge of the area and he curled it home to break the deadlock.

Midway through the second period, Ryan Brennan was almost celebrating a leveller as he fired goalwards from inside the penalty area but City goalkeeper Marc Waters was equal to it.

It looked like Gary McCabe would have a prime opportunity to level it up in the 75th minute but it was taken away from him by the match officials.

There appeared to be a clear handball in the Elgin area and referee Arnold Hunter duly pointed to the spot.

The home player swarmed the officials though and he then changed his mind and elected for a drop ball instead. The majority of the 611 in attendance looked suitably confused.

Kenny must have known his luck wasn't in by the 80th minute. Aaron Greene unleashed a venomous drive that Waters couldn't reach but it left the crossbar shaking instead of the net.

Bray's exit was confirmed in injury time when substitutes Calum Ferguson and Allen combined to see the latter score.

Elgin City: 1. Marc Waters; 2. Cameron Eadie, 5. Stephen Bronsky, 4. Darryl McHardy, 3. Scott Smith; 7. Jamie Reid, 6. John Paul McGovern, 8. Brian Cameron, 11. Chris Dodd; 9. Chris McLeish, 10. Thomas Reilly. SUBS: Matthew Cooper for Smith (58); Jordan Allen for McLeish (70); Calum Ferguson for Dodd (84). Not used: Ally Sutherland, Trevor Dear.

Bray Wanderers: 1. Peter Cherrie; 2. Hugh Douglas, 21. Tim Clancy, 4. Conor Kenna, 10. Karl Moore; 3. John Sullivan, 8. Mark Salmon; 6. Keith Buckley, 11. Gary McCabe, 7. Ryan Brennan; 9. Aaron Greene. SUBS: Kevin Lynch for Douglas (60); Darragh Noone for Salmon (63); Ger Pender for Moore (87). Not used: Lee Steacy, Calvin Rogers, Jason Marks, Jake Ellis.

Referee: Arnold Hunter

Wicklow People