Monday 18 December 2017

Stalemate gives Seagulls upper hand

Monaghan United 0 Bray Wanderers 0

Bray Wanderers survived the 89th-minute sending off of goalkeeper Matt Gregg to keep First Division Monaghan United at bay and earn the scoreless draw that gives them a slight advantage going into the second leg of this Airtricity League promotion/ relegation play-off.

Bray enjoyed a bright start at Gortakeegan, with early efforts by Graham Kelly and Jake Kelly testing a nervous Monaghan defence.

The hosts then settled into a forceful rhythm, but Sean Brennan scuppered a glorious scoring chance, fluffing his 10-yard shot.

In the 45th minute, Philly Hughes found himself clear on goal and unleashed a half-volley which Gregg kept out with a superb diving save. A much closer, increasingly tense second half saw Bray play plenty of good football but fail to seriously trouble a United defence.

A minute from time Gartland's long ball freed Darragh Hanaphy, and Gregg advanced from his box to commit the foul which earned him the red card, but Wanderers saw out the four minutes of added time.

Monaghan United -- Sava; Whelan, Gartland, McMahon, Grimes; Brennan (Hanaphy 53), Tierney, Byrne, O'Connor (Costigan 84); Bermingham (McNeill 65), Hughes.

Bray Wanderers -- Gregg; Doyle, D O'Connor, S O'Connor, Massey; Zambra, G Kelly (Shaw 68), Dempsey, J Kelly; Shields, O'Neill (Kane 89).

Ref -- D Hancock (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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