Friday 6 December 2019

Shields stops rot for Bray

UCD 1 Bray Wanderers 2

Bray Wanderers finally got their season back on track at Belfield, where Wolves manager Mick McCarthy was in the stands to watch them pick up their first win in six games.

Although he may not have been too taken with some of the defending, he can't but have been impressed with Bray's tenacity. Indeed Pat Devlin's side did perhaps learn some lessons from their recent poor run because, having suffered atrocious starts in their last two games, they immediately put UCD on the back foot here.

Within moments of kick-off, Gary Dempsey had clipped in a free-kick from the right for Sean Houston to head home. The Students have shown an inability to defend set-pieces of late. The former centre-half in McCarthy would hardly have approved.

Bray's second goal on 24 minutes was more about luck than delivery, though. With Jay Kelly sending a UCD clearance back towards their box, the ball bounced off Chris Shields and in.

Martin Russell's side knew they had a big job to do by then and they at least made that a little easier on 56 minutes when Michael Leahy got a touch to Paul Corry's cross to make it 2-1.

From there, UCD pressed incessantly. But, despite a penalty claim, a series of fine saves from Matt Gregg and generally laying siege to the Bray goal, they couldn't claim the equaliser. Bray held on and hiked themselves back up the table.

UCD -- Barron; Harding, Nangle, O'Connor, Leahy; Corry, O'Conor, Marshall (Doyle 81), Meenan; Rusk, Benson (Belhout 23).

BRAY -- Gregg; O'Connor, Houston, Mitchell, Prendergast; Dempsey, Doyle, McGuinness (Mulroy 63), Kelly (Zamba 58); Murphy (O'Neill 81), Shields.

REF -- P Sutton (Clare).

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