Miele 4

Shaw 20


30 May 2017

Only dogged defending coupled with a woeful inaccuracy among most of the home attackers saved the Seagulls from a much worse scoreline.

Brandon Miele's opening goal came in the wake of a misjudgement by the Bray captain, working in a makeshift back four following a warm-up injury to Keith Buckley.

Ronan Finn played through for Gary Shaw, the ball hitting the former Bray man on the back. Conor Kenna must have felt it was covered, but it wasn't, and Miele was able to slide a right-footed shot from the edge of the area to the lefthand corner of the net.

It was a terrible start to what was always going to be a difficult match.

But worse was to follow, with only a sole Bray effort in between, when Gary McCabe tried a low drive from just outside the Rovers area that Tomer Chencinski had to get down and dirty to stop

Graham Burke, the liveliest of the Hoops players until he was substituted late on, had a couple of near misses, but the hard work fell to Finn again, this time playing Shaw in to shoot low, and not particularly hard.

Kenna couldn't get back to it and Peter Cherrie couldn't hold it.

And that effectively wrapped up the points for the night, because Bray showed little capacity for attack, though their defensive work was solid for the remaining seventy minutes.

Midway through the half, Tim Clancy beat Shaw to the ball at the expense of a corner.

Rovers came close to a third just before the half-hour, fine combination work by Finn and Miele ending with a cross from Simon Madden to Burke, but the last-named was again just wide with a header.

Minutes later, a McCabe flag-kick was headed directly for the net until another former Seasider, Dave Webster, intervened under the post.

And just before the break, McCabe almost found the net with a free kick, sweeping it towards the back post from the left, but Ronan Finn got to this one right under the crossbar.

The Seagulls had the first real movement of the second period, Ger Pender volleying after a Bray throw on the right, but he couldn't keep the shot down.

Minutes after that Miele had another opportunity following good work by Burke and Trevor Clarke, but he too let the ball fly high. Clarke himself sliced a shot from a Burke lob moments later, and Burke was off target as well, all before the hour.

Inside the same time, after Pender had won a corner, Clancy got to Aaron Greene's set-piece and grazed the bar with it - unfortunately above rather than beow.

And Cherrie did have work to do, getting low to a Burke volley when Madden's cross was nodded on by Shaw.

Several promising-looking movements by the hosts were found offside in the next quarter hour or so, Clarke finding the net from a pass by substitute Michael O'Connor, but the flag was up.

But O'Connor and Miele both had shots on target, the latter blocked by the Bray defence, as the game drifted into the final twenty minutes.

Bray sub Derek Foran cleared a Miele effort off the line with an outstretched boot, compensating for an earlier failure to stop O'Connor, and McCabe volleyed a high ball over the Hoops bar.

Foran was lucky, however, when his loose ball was taken goalwards by Burke, the flag saving his blushes.

McCabe was too high once more inside the final quarter of an hour, and with barely ten minutes left O'Connor beat Mark Salmon in a race for Clarke's through ball, his final effort coming back off the woodwork.

With what turned out to be the last significant attack of the game, nine minutes from time, Greene had a go from distance, putting his boot through a 25m shot that needed a good save, and got it.

Compiled by Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 3 John Sullivan, 21 Tim Clancy, 4 Conor Kenna (c), 10 Karl Moore; 8 Mark Salmon, 7 Ryan Brennan; 9 Aaron Greene, 11 Gary McCabe , 16 Dylan Connolly ; 17 Gerald Pender
Subs: 2 Hugh Douglas, 5 Derek Foran (for Sullivan 62), 19 Kevin Lynch, 20 Anthony Flood, 22 Darragh Noone (for Salmon 83), 23 Jason Marks (for Pender 71), 93 Lee Steacy (gk)
Shamrock Rovers: 1 Tomer Chencinski; 17 Simon Madden, 6 Roberto Lopes, 4 David Webster, 3 Luke Byrne; 8 Ronan Finn (c) , 7 Ryan Connolly; 10 Brandon Miele , 28 Graham Burke, 20 Trevor Clarke; 14 Gary Shaw
Subs: 9 Michael O'Connor (for Shaw 62) , 15 Daniel Devine, 19 Sean Boyd,22 James Doona, 23 Sean Heaney, 25 Kevin Horgan (gk), 29 Sam Bone (for Burke 87)
Referee: Ray Matthews

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