Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bray sink to bottom

BRAY Wanderers sunk to the bottom of the Airtricity Premier Division table for the first time this season on Friday night.

With just eight league games remaining, the Seagulls now find themselves propping up the table; goal difference keeps Shelbourne above them and a single point hoists Bohemians past Pat Devlin's men.

An almighty early siege on the Bray goal yielded a goal for Cork City in the form of Ian Turner's sensational strike but Wanderers nabbed a scarcely deserved leveller through Ismahil Akinade.

The Wicklow club upped their game after that but couldn't really trouble Cork City goalkeeper Mark McNulty and then the killer blow came in the 80th minute as on-loan City striker Ciaran Kilduff landed an 80th minute winner.

The last time Cork City visited the Carlisle Grounds they broke Bray hearts as they snatched victory thanks to strikes in the 87th and 93 rd minutes.

Kevin Knight had bagged Bray's goal in the 25th minute of that contest but he started proceedings on the bench on Friday. There were starting berths for Danny O'Connor and Ismahil Akinade though as they returned from injury and suspension respectively. Eoin Hyland and John Mulroy were the men sacrificed.

But despite the added experience of club captain O'Connor to the defence, City wreaked havoc early on and on another night 0-3 ahead by the 15th minute.

Danny Morrissey enjoyed a bit of luck as the ball broke in behind the Bray backline for him on two minutes but the striker's decision to shoot early worked out well for Darren Quigley as it sailed harmlessly into his arms.

Ian Turner also opted to try his luck early five minutes later when the ball found him 30 yards from goal but his half volley viciously swerved and caught Quigley cold as it flew in at his near post.

Quigley could have done little about Turner's effort but he more than made amends moments later. Ciaran Kilduff's run down the right channel was found and his fierce drive was parried by Quigley. The rebound bounced up invitingly for Danny Morrissey who had to wait for the ball to come down before heading towards goal. Quigley scrambled across his goal to claw it away and then Ian Turner had a pop but this time Danny O'Connor was on hand to help out his goalkeeper as he blocked on the line with his knee.

A Dan Murray pass then released Kilduff down the left and his daisy-cutter across the face of Quigley's goal beat the Bray custodian but it also beat his far post.

Somewhere in amongst that flurry of activity on Quigley's sacred patch, Kieran 'Marty' Waters nearly bagged a speculative goal. A Cork clearance fell straight to the winger and he spotted Mark McNulty off his line. Although it was a worthy lobbed attempt, it landed on the roof of the net rather than in it.

But Waters didn't let that knock his confidence and he then turned creator for Akinade's equaliser.He tricked his way into space on the left flank and delivered the ball to Akinade who towered above his marker to send a powerful header past McNulty's outstretched hand.

With Cork City in such rampant form early on, there was a tactical switch at the back for Bray with David Webster going to centre half and Niall Cooney dropping out to right back but then on 37 minutes, Cooney limped off to be replaced by Conor Earley.

And Wanderers lost another man at half time when Jason Byrne failed to re-emerge from the dressing room after suffering a head injury earlier in the tie. John Mulroy replaced him.

An Akinade cross almost gave the hosts the ideal start to the second period but heading isn't Gary Dempsey's strongest area and his headed effort comfortably landed in McNulty's gloves.

Dempsey then went for goal with a spanked effort from distance and it was not far from creeping in. A Stephen Quigley cross was then flicked inches wide of McNulty's far post by Akinade.

But that was the end of the Seagulls' chances.

A Turner corner kick was met by an unmarked Dan Murray at the far stick but his side-footed volley cleared the crossbar.

But a winner did arrive with ten minutes to spare. Danny O'Connor looked to have cleared up the danger at the back but the ball still crept through for Kilduff and he dispatched it to the far corner to lift Cork to sixth place.

Top Form: Ciaran Kilduff (Cork City): Bray couldn't handle him at all.

Wicklow People

Promoted Links

Promoted Links