Georgie Poynton 14, 76 pen

Brandon Kavanagh 23, 56

Ryan Brennan 27

Ryan Graydon 50

First Division

Tolka Park
02 Apr 2021

Kavanagh fires his second
Pic Peter Minogue

Wanderers will consider themselves unlucky to come away from the Tolka with only a point after a heavy contest which they dominated for periods, and in which they suffered a little from overcautious refereeing.

An early raid by Georgie Poynton, in which he skipped past defenders to power the ball into Brian Maher's net, saw them trailing inside the opening quarter hour despite having been on the attack in the first minutes.

Worse again, they had at that moment been down to ten men, as Gary Shaw had limped off after what seemed an unforced pull to his hamstring, and had not yet been replaced.

Midway through the half, Bray levelled matters when Darren Craven raced to reach an underhit backpass from Maxi Kouogun, and when his effort was blocked by Brendan Clarke, Brandon Kavanagh was on hand to stab home the rebound.

Equality, however, didn't last long, as a long clearance by Clarke, who had been lurking near the centre circle, found Mikey O'Connor who nodded it into the area and found the foot of former Seagull Ryan Brennan, who steered it over Maher's head.

So the visitors reached the break a goal down, but resumed strongly and Kavanagh, deep in his own half, threaded a ball through towards the running Graydon, who benefitted from an intervention by Ally Gilchrist that threw the ball higher and allowed him to reach it ahead of Kouogun, round Clarke and sidefoot home.

All of four minutes later they were ahead when Kavanagh himself received a neat cross from Luka Lovic after a one-two between himself and Richie O'Farrell and rather than loft a ball into the area, which was largely denuded of attackers, arrowed it into the Shels net from all of 25m.

But Bray's early dominance of the second period ebbed away over the ensuing quarter hour, and things went downhill even after Seán Quinn skied a turning kick over Maher's bar from close range.

Poynton went down under close challenge by O'Farrell, whose arm did appear to nudge the Shels man accidentally - enough, hwever, to convince Referee David Keeler to point to the spot. Poynton himself took the penalty kick, and Maher stopped but couldn't hold it, and could only watch as it bobbled behind him over the line.

Minutes later, Bray's patience evaporated when Conor Clifford was felled by an O'Connor challenge over which the referee hesitated before deciding not to caution the Shels forward.

Players and bench alike were incensed, and Seagulls manager Gary Cronin was the one to go into Keeler's book.

In time added, after attention to Maher for a second time following a heavy fall at the end of the first half, Kavanagh went down in the area under attack by Shels substitute Denzil Fernandes, but Bray suggestions of a penalty were half-hearted.

Both sides spent the five minutes added at the end trying to break the deadlock, but to no avail, neither a last-ditch Poynton free deep in Bray's righthand corner nor an even later Dylan Barnett dead-ball into the Shels area able to create a winner.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Brian Maher; 8 Mark Byrne, 4 Andrew Quinn , 5 Aaron Barry (c) , 3 Dylan Barnett; 6 Conor Clifford, 14 Richie O'Farrell, 7 Ryan Graydon , 16 Darren Craven, 11 Brandon Kavanagh ; 10 Gary Shaw
Subs: 4 Cian Maher, 9 Joe Doyle, 12 Dean O'Shea, 17 Luka Lovic (for Shaw 15 inj), 18 Seán Callan, 20 Charlie Gallagher, 22 Steven Kinsella, 23 Glen Hollywood, 25 Kian Clarke (gk)
Shelbourne: 1 Brendan Clarke; 16 John Ross Wilson, 19 Sean Quinn, 15 Maxim Kouogun, 4 Ally Gilchrist; 3 Kevin O'Connor (c), 10 Ryan Brennan , 6 JJ Lunney, 26 George Poynton ; 11 Yoyo Mahdy, 9 Michael O'Connor
Subs: 2 Michael Barker, 5 David Toure, 12 Denzil Fernandes (for Brennan 60) , 17 Shane Farrell, 18 Dayle Rooney (for Wilson 80), 21 Alex Cetiner (for Mahdy 60), 22 Brian McManus, 25 Jack Brady (gk)
Referee: David Keeler

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