R Brennan 13 pen

Brennan m/pen 30

United Park
04 Apr 2017

A first half penalty from Drogheda native Ryan Brennan was enough to give Bray Wanderers a 1-0 victory in the first round of the EA Sports Cup at United Park.

A second victory over Drogheda this season sends Bray into the second round of the EA Sports Cup with perhaps surprising ease.

The Wicklow side haven't been consistent so far this season despite a strong early showing, but in United Park last night there was only one team which looked likely to progress.

Jamie Aherne had an early chance for the visitors, but it was almost a quarter of an hour in that Ryan Brennan struck from the penalty spot for what would turn out to be the only score of the match.

Brennan was offered the opportunity to double his and his team's score on the half hour when Referee Rob Harvey awarded a second penalty, but this time the Bray man drove his set-piece effort high over the target.

The home side struggled to make an impression on the game, and their only significant chance came late in the match when Gareth McCaffrey fired over after the ball was flicked on to him by Thomas Byrne following a cross by Conor Kane.

Both managers had made substantial changes to their starting elevens, with not a single Drogheda player who started against Dundalk last week appearing.

And the home side failed to take advantage when they won an early free for a foul on Thomas Byrne, who took the kick himself but it flew high over the bar.

Conor Kane had to be alert to clear an effort by Ahern following a scramble in the home penalty area minutes later but there was little any of the home players could do when skipper Lloyd Buckley was ruled to have taken Dylan Connolly down in the area, and Brennan did the necessary.

Aherne made himself another chance within a few minutes, but this time he shot high.

The home side's first real chance fell to Byrne after an error by Conor Kenna gave possession to Adam Wixted, one of four former Bray players who appeared for the Boynesiders during the game.

Aherne had another go following a feed from Ger Pender, but off-target, before Stephen Elliott got a strong shot in, Peter Cherrie making a fine save to deny him, while at the other end Ryan Coulter did well to prevent Darragh Noone's powerful shot from putting the Seagulls two up.

Having been booked a minute earlier, Jamie Hollywood was lucky not to get a second yellow, even if the hand-ball ruling against him was harsh, and in any case Brennan from the spot this time missed the target completely.

Conor Kane was unlucky to see his cross just after the interval turned away by Cherrie, with Elliott waiting, but then the Boynesiders suffered the loss of captain Lloyd Buckley to injury.

With Connolly making a lot of the running for the visitors, there was little attack inthe home side for a time, but Bray's efforts seemed to lack a little snap at the end, Pender's lively run punished by the flag, Brennan with a shot tipped over and Connolly off-target once more.

A string of substitutions during the final quarter of an hour seemed to unsettle both sides, and it wasn't until McCaffrey's final minute chance that there was any real move on goal.

Not a vintage cup match, by any means, but Bray go into the pot for the next round.

Compiled by Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 6 Keith Buckley, 4 Conor Kenna (c), 5 Derek Foran, 15 Alan Kehoe ; 23 Jason Marks, 22 Daragh Noone, 7 Ryan Brennan , 16 Dylan Connolly; 17 Gerald Pender, 14 Jamie Áherne
Subs: 2 Hugh Douglas, 3 John Sullivan (for Connolly 83), 8 Mark Salmon (for Aherne 75), 11 Gary McCabe (for Pender 88), 21 Tim Clancy, 24 Ryan Robinson, 93 Lee Steacy (gk)
Drogheda United: 23 Ryan Coulter; 18 Conor Kane, 4 Kevin Farragher, 5 Lloyd Buckley (c), 20 Eoghan Dempsey; 21 Jamie Hollywood , 27 Ryan McEvoy, 28 Shane Elworthy; 14 Adam Wixted, 22 Stephen Elliott, 17 Thomas Byrne
Subs: 1 Dylan Sweeney (gk), 6 Jake Hyland (for Dempsey 82), 11 Gavin Brennan, 12 Luke Gallagher (for Buckley 54 inj), 16 Gareth McCaffrey (for Hollywood 82), 19 Mark Doyle, 24 Richie Purdy
Referee: Rob Harvey

Back to the topContact us