Gary McCabe spot kick salvages a point for Rovers away to Bray
Bray Wanderers 1 1 Shamrock Rovers
Gary McCabe brought Bray Wanderers’ run of almost 10 hours without having conceded a goal to an end as his second-half penalty salvaged a point for Shamrock Rovers at the Carlisle Grounds.
Bray were looking to extend their league run without conceding to six matches – and beat Rovers at home for the first time in five years.
And Harry Kenny’s in-form Seagulls started the brighter, with midfielder John Sullivan looping a header wide after Rovers failed to clear a long throw from Hugh Douglas inside three minutes.
Six minutes later, Dylan Connolly’s pace got him in behind the Rovers defence on the right to cross. Ryan Brennan just couldn’t reach the ball, injuring himself in the process when colliding with a post.
Bray’s game-plan was further disrupted when they lost striker Dean Kelly to injury on 23 minutes. But it scarcely mattered as they were deservedly ahead two minutes later.
Though Connolly appeared to have been fouled, he had the wherewithal to flick the ball to Ger Pender.
His shot was blocked in turn, but the substitute managed to then set up Connolly from the rebound to tap the ball home for his first league goal of the season.
With more about them from the resumption, Rovers finally drew level on 73 minutes.
Brandon Miele’s drive struck the hand of Bray skipper Conor Kenna, with referee Anthony Buttimer hesitating before pointing to the spot.
Substitute McCabe confidently sent Peter Cherrie the wrong way from the spot, the first time the Bray keeper had been beaten in 593 minutes of football.
Bray Wanderers – Cherrie; Douglas, Kenna, Clancy, Lynch; Sullivan; Moore, Brennan (Salmon 15), Noone (McDonagh 76), Connolly; Kelly (Pender 23).
Shamrock Rovers – Hyland; Madden, Cornwall, Heaney, G Brennan; Miele, Cregg, K Brennan (McCabe 27), D. Clarke; Dobbs (Boyd 57), Shaw (T Clarke 75).
Ref – A Buttimer (Cork)