Tuesday 20 February 2018

Bray in drop zone

After an historic day for Bray Wanderers, they suffered a nightmare on three fronts on Friday evening.

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni visited the Carlisle Grounds on Friday afternoon on a landmark day for the club but then the Seagulls crashed to a defeat against relegation rivals Bohemians, with fellow strugglers Shelbourne and UCD also picking up points.

Dinny Corcoran's late brace condemned Wicklow's senior club to a 1-3 defeat at the Field of Dreams and victory for Shels and a draw for UCD now sees a mere three points separating the bottom four.

Kevin O'Connor and Danny O'Connor were both missing from the side that started against the Gypsies. The former was suspended and that saw Pat Devlin make two changes to his previous side; Adam Mitchell replaced David Webster and Jason Byrne took O'Connor's spot.

It was a very rare start for Mitchell this season but it would not be a happy one as bookings in the 41st and 60th minutes saw him dismissed.

His centre half partner Shane O'Connor also had an indifferent evening. A minute's silence was held before the kick-off in memory of his grandmother but then he was looking to the heavens in disbelief after a penalty was awarded against him in the 10th minute.

Karl Moore's deep cross from the left sailed straight over the expectant players in the middle but Keith Buckley retrieved it on the right flank. He quickly popped the ball past Conor Earley and when he attempted to cross to Chris Lyons, the Bray native crashed to the turf under pressure from O'Connor and Tom Connolly pointed to the spot.

O'Connor received a booking and further punishment was around the corner as Ryan McEvoy sent Darren Quigley the wrong way.

Prior to that, Jason Byrne had nearly fired Bray ahead. Kieran 'Marty' Waters made inroads down the left flank and he dug out a cross towards the centre. A Bohs defender miscued his clearance and Byrne pounced but his left-footed effort was deflected narrowly wide.

O'Connor made amends for the penalty on 23 minutes though. Darragh Reynor pumped in a high cross. Quigley roared his name and came for the cross but he seemed to take his eyes off it at the pinnacle moment and he fumbled it. McEvoy diverted it goalwards but O'Connor spared his goalkeeper's blushes as he cleared it off the line.

A Quigley clearance then lead to the next chance. Ismahil Akinade took it down and set off on a run. He built up ahead of steam and breezed into the Bohs half before laying it off to John Mulroy. Mulroy then steered his pass out to the left into the onrushing Waters' path. He pulled the trigger but a mighty block from former Seagull captain Derek Pender averted the danger.

Former Republic of Ireland U-21 international Quigley was involved again three minutes later. After surviving a nervy moment against Moore, his punt was glanced on by Byrne towards Mulroy but 'Sniffer''s drilled effort cleared Dean Delaney's crossbar.

A bit of bite appeared in the contest at this stage and the height of this saw Mitchell collect his first yellow. He and Chris Lyons were sprinting to keep a ball in and Mitchell rather forcefully helped Lyons into the advertising hoardings with a shoulder, a crime worthy of a caution according to Connolly.

Yellow turned to red on the hour mark. The hardy centre half was late on Moore and as soon as he made contact with the winger he knew he was in trouble. He sat with his head in his hands as Connolly produced the second yellow and subsequent red.

Despite the one-man deficit, the Seasiders were level within seven minutes. Byrne tussled with Reynor inside the area and crashed to the turf. To Bohemians fan's fury, a penalty was award. And the SWAI June Player of the Month fired his 12-yarder beyond Delaney's dive.

A David Webster effort almost put Bray into the lead but his header was a yard wide. Waters then danced in from the by-line in customary fashion before flashing a shot wide.

A cheeky Byrne effort from 40 yards finished on the roof of the net with Delaney stranded and then, just as the optimism was building, it came crashing down.

Karl Moore was allowed to get a cross in from the right and Dinny Corcoran took full advantage as he swept it home past Quigley.

Then 10 minutes later the points were sealed. Quigley spilled Conor Murphy's relatively tame shot and Corcoran stroked the rebound to the back of the net.

Top Form: Dinny Corcoran (Bohemians): Quiet overall but two goals made all the difference.

Wicklow People

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