Joe Doyle 44, 59

Ian Turner 32

First Division

Carlisle Grounds
02 Jul 2021

The one that got away:
Doyle's 93rd minute almost hat-trick
Pic Peter Minogue

A first half in which Bray's repeated attacks were thwarted by a defensive Cobh performance was turned on its head by a goal just after the half hour, scored in possibly offside circumstances by the away skipper Ian Turner.

Normal service was resumed a minute before the break when Joe Doyle was best placed to turn a superb Dylan Barnett cross into Sean Barron's net.

And the win was achieved by a well-taken Doyle effort just inside the hour, while the Cobh goal had a charmed life in the final minutes of the encounter.

Brandon Kavanagh was the first to threaten the visitors' goal, three minutes in with a shot that rose too high following a Richie O'Farrell cross.

A Cobh corner taken by Turner five minutes after the start was headed high by Doyle, allowing Brian Maher the time to claim, while two minutes later it was the lively Conor Clifford, who impressed throughout the evening, who fought his way into the area, but was denied by Barron.

Just before the quarter hour Maher punched another Turner flag-kick clear at the cost of a throw-in, and a Charlie Lyons ball into the Bray area was too far for his team-mates to reach.

Kavanagh managed a neat hop over the sprawling Killian Cooper after nicking the ball; the Bray winger had himself been nicely robbed just before by Stephen O'Leary.

Doyle could only find the side-netting midway through the period after good buildup work by Kavanagh and Luka Lovic, who in turn was stopped in his tracks a minute later by a dubious offside flag.

At this point, Ramblers were in a very defensive mode, despite the good work of their midfield faced with stylish play by the Seagulls.

Just before the half hour, an O'Farrell cross was very slightly deflected off Ben O'Riordan, otherwise it was onto Doyle's toe and into the net. Minutes later Cooper fired close to the target in a Cobh counter-attack, and the goal that followed was otherwise against the run of play.

A Bray free finding only the side of the net, Barron launched a long clearance, Maher coming out of his area to clear though Aaron Barry was on top of the situation. Following the throw, Pierce Phillips fed Darren Murphy whose through ball found Turner just ahead of the play and with little to do but poke it into the net.

O'Farrell was cautioned for interference with Barron's clearance a few minutes after that, and as the break loomed O'Riordan stopped a long Barry ball into space with his upper arm and without sanction.

From a Barron clearance, Barnett collected possession and fed O'Farrell, continuing his run into space beyond the defence to receive and sidefoot a perfect square ball onto Doyle's toe for the striker's first of the night.

All square at the interval, and it was Lovic who was Bray's next potential marksman: a defensive header by O'Riordan on a Byrne ball flew high and landed on the net, and when Byrne's flag-kick was partially cleared some exchanges later the Bray midfielder took a snap shot, wildly high and wide.

Turner from distance was also well wide and while the visitors were reduced for a period to kicking for touch, Darren Craven fell victim to the ball-too-far-forward syndrome.

But just short of the hour, Lovic spread the ball wide to Byrne whose cross in was headed high by Phillips and Doyle, well placed in the area, held off the attentions of Cooper to take it down, half-control and drive just inside Barron's righthand post.

In attempts by Cobh to recover, Maher had to palm away an O'Leary effort that came at the end of a good buildup, a long ball from Lee Devitt cut back by Jake Hegarty to the waiting midfielder; and Cooper tried a fierce shot at the Bray keeper just after a double substitution for the Ramblers.

The visitors were a touch more adventurous now, and for a time the Seagulls were under pressure, but they began to increase their tempo, and Kavanagh had a half-chance with barely a quarter of an hour left, Barron taking cleanly.

While Cobh had more possession, they were frustrated by a lack of finish, and tempers were getting a little frayed also by decisions that seemed a trifle wayward: calling play back when the fouled team had possession, penalising what seemed good tackles, and the like. The Cobh assistant manager went into Mark Moynihan's book for his dissent.

The final minutes of the game saw Bray change gear and make several unsuccessful attempts to increase their lead.

Clifford, fed by Kavanagh, surged forward strongly, but delayed his shot unnecessarily and almost inevitably lost possession. A minute later, the Cobh goal survived a double attack by dint of superb reaction keeping. Doyle fed Craven on the right, and when his shot was blocked by Barron the ball fell to Kavanagh just on the edge of the area, but Barron somehow managed to get back in the air to parry away.

And deep in time added, Doyle raced down the left sideline accompanied by Cian Murphy, and with Barron advancing was able to get a shot away from a barrow angle no more than two metres from the endline. The ball semed to graze the far post on its way out, so close did it come to earning the Bray striker his third.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Brian Maher; 8 Mark Byrne, 4 Andrew Quinn, 5 Aaron Barry (c), 3 Dylan Barnett; 6 Conor Clifford ; 11 Brandon Kavanagh, 17 Luka Lovic , 16 Darren Craven, 14 Richie O’Farrell ; 9 Joe Doyle
Subs: 10 Gary Shaw, 12 Dean O’Shea, 15 Daniel Jones, 18 Sean Callan, 22 Steven Kinsella, 23 Glen Hollywood, 24 Cian Maher, 25 Kian Clarke (gk)
Cobh Ramblers: 1 Sean Barron; 8 Pierce Phillips , 6 Charlie Lyons, 5 Ben O'Riordan, 17 Cian Murphy; 9 Killian Cooper, 14 Stephen O'Leary, 4 Lee Devitt, 16 Darren Murphy; 7 Ian Turner (c) , 10 Jake Hegarty
Subs: 3 Darryl Walsh (for Murphy 63), 12 Naythan Coleman, 18 Nathan O’Connell, 20 Danny O'Connell (for Turner 70), 22 Corey Chambers (gk), 23 Ciaran Griffin (for Hegarty 63) , 24 Christopher O'Reilly (for Cooper 85), 26 Fionn Duggan
Referee: Mark Moynihan

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