Thursday 23 January 2020

Waters' late strike keeps Bray alive


Gareth Maher

KIERAN WATERS steered Bray closer to safety with a surprise winner against Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

Pat Devlin's team could still be facing a relegation play-off if next week's last round of games don't go their way, but this victory sends Shelbourne down.

With the ball being pinged back and forth, neither team could seize control. Bohs did try on a couple of ocassions, with Ryan McEvoy doing his best to drive them on.

It was McEvoy who popped up with the first meaningful chance of the game on 12 minutes. After losing his marker, he met a short corner from Karl Moore and blasted a shot off Jason Byrne.

Up to then, it was a game completely devoid of excitement. Then, the hosts woke up and tried to change that. A clever run and low cross from Karl Moore was touched on by Keith Buckley to Dinny Corcoran, but the striker blasted his effort high and wide.


It was a wasted opportunity for the frontman as he had found just enough room in the Bray penalty area.

While a point was needed to secure their safety, Bohs will have felt that they let their supporters down. This was their final home game of what has been a disappointing season and they have won only four times in Phibsboro.

Heary knows that it's not good enough for one of the league's big clubs, but he would have been encouraged by their second-half display that saw McEvoy and Traynor get them motoring.

On 59 minutes, McEvoy unloaded from around 25 yards out and forced Bray keeper Darren Quigley into a diving save, while good play by Traynor led to Corcoran rattling the crossbar from close range soon after.

Bohs kept the pressure on and Darragh Reynor thought he was about to score after exchanging passes with Traynor, but substitute Daire Doyle produced a last-ditch tackle to deny him.

Struggling to hold out, the Seagulls looked more likely to concede than score themselves, but football can be a peculiar game and Waters fired them in front completely against the run of play.

Latching onto a pass from Kevin O'Connor, the fleet-footed attacker, who had been switched from the wing to up front, controlled the ball, skipped past his marker and blasted in via the far post.

Waters could have added a second on 88 minutes when testing the alertness of keeper Dean Delany, but his one strike was enough to settle this contest and leave Bohs very much on the edge.

BOHEMIANS – Delany; Pender, Lopes, Yadolahi, Byrne; Buckley, McEvoy, Reynor (Scully 88), Moore (Mulligan 85); Traynor (Devaney 80); Corcoran.

BRAY WANDERERS – Quigley; Webster, S O'Connor, D O'Connor (Doyle 63), Zambra; Akinade, K O'Connor, Maher, Mulroy, Waters; Byrne (Dempsey 74).

Ref – P McLaughlin (Monaghan).

Irish Independent

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