Darren Craven 46+

Jack Doherty 60

Callum Thompson 67

Ryan Graydon 93+ pen

First Division

Carlisle Grounds
06 Aug 2021

Bray went seven games unbeaten in the League with this victory over Wexford, who proved surprisingly difficult for a league basement team.

In a first half that promised more than it delivered, Bray opened the scoring seconds after the 45 minutes were up, with a stunning shot by Darren Craven from well out on the right sideline over the stranded Jimmy Corcoran.

Wexford, stung by the late late reverse, made a better fist of their attacks in the opening part of the second half, and were rewarded by a Jack Doherty goal on the hour.

But Bray bounced back, restoring their advantage seven minutes later through Callum Thompson.

With attacks at both ends in the closing stages, the issue was in doubt until time added, when referee Paul Norton awarded a penalty after Ryan Graydon went down in the area.

Once again, Bray were the dominant team in the first period, but this time despite several good chances were unable to find the net until the period was all but over.

A fifth minute free from Dylan Barnett reached the head of Sam Verdon, but he had no time to direct it properly, and a couple of minutes later Darren Craven wasn't too far from the target, but Verrdon's effort on 16 minutes which came off Connolly's body was the first serious chance the Seagulls carved out.

Midway throughthehalf, Verdon's cutback from the endline for Richie O'Farrell was slightly misdirected, allowing Lorcan Fitzgerald to claim possession.

On 25 minutes, Craven had a chance in space at close range, but he was on the turn and the angle was a little tight. Still, it was an opportunity passed up.

A minute later, Verdon was flagged offside, having got away with the offence three times previously.

Play moved between the ends, a Paul Fox free short to Doherty ended with the Bray keeper blocking the Wexford forward's shot wth his chest and claiming the ball at the feet of Paul Fox.

A minute later, Brandon Kavanagh shot just a ittle too high after good work holding possession and recovering when his first effort rebounded off a defender, and a free out eased the pressure on the visitors after Doyle's cross to nothing was eventually picked up by Verdon, who was judged to have fouled in the process.

With less than six minutes to the break, another Doyle shot was merely blocked by Corcoran, but Craven put the rebound well over, and two minutes after that Doyle got to a long ball through the middle and managed to round the keeper, but Kevin McEvoy managed to get back to clear.

Just before the end of the 45, Fitzgerald was cautioned for interference with a Bray throw, but no-one could interfere with Craven's remarkable looping shot from the right sideline when he managed to nick possession from a Wexford player, looked up, saw Corcoran well out from his line, and fired into the far corner of the net.

Wexford looked a lot stronger in the early minutes of the second half, using the constant threat of Doherty on their left to keep the Bray defence and Brian Maher busy.

Kyle Robinson shot over three minutes in, but Doherty's cross at the end of a dangerous run required and got expert handling from the Bray keeper as he plucked it out of the air.

Robinson again got behind Andrew Quinn to cross, but found no-one there and his hasty change to a shot drove it high and wide. Within minutes, Mark Byrne did well to put the ball out off Fox for a goalkick, and Robinson netted just inside the hour with the offside flag up.

With Doherty in hot pursuit of a ball out of defence, a header back to his keeper seemed the best option for Byrne, but he was off balance and din't seem to get enough purchase, the ball falling well short of his intention. Maher tried valiantly to reach it ahead of Doherty, but failed, and the Wexford man had an open goal at his mercy.

But is only took the Seagulls seven minues to reply, Doyle racing up the left to contrive an inch-perfect cross for Callum Thompson totake a touch, change feet and fire just above the diving Corcoran.

Another goal seemed on the cards minutes later, again after good work by Doyle on the left. He shot himself, but the ball was deflected high by Fitzgerald and fell to Kavanagh, whose response was just too high.

Wexford tried hard for the quarter hour that remained, but for no reward, their nearest a miskick skewed well right of target by substitute Anto Dolan after Doherty had done all the work but couldn't find a way through the defence.

Then in time added, Bray sub Ryan Graydon, returning after a lengthy suspension, was brought down in the area by McEvoy. His balletic fall gave the referee no doubt, his gesture to the spot immediate, and the Bray man faced the dead ball himself, sending Corcoran the wrong way.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Brian Maher; 8 Mark Byrne, 15 Daniel Jones, 4 Andrew Quinn, 3 Dylan Barnett; 6 Conor Clifford (c) ; 11 Brandon Kavanagh, 14 Richie O’Farrell, 16 Darren Craven ; 28 Sam Verdon, 9 Joe Doyle
Subs: 5 Aaron Barry, 7 Ryan Graydon (for Craven 85) , 10 Gary Shaw (for Kavanagh 76), 17 Luka Lovic (for Clifford 84), 18 Sean Callan, 22 Steven Kinsella, 25 Kian Clarke (gk), 27 Callum Thompson (for Verdon 52)
Wexford: 23 Jimmy Corcoran; 29 Lorcan Fitzgerald , 15 Kevin McEvoy , 11 Paul Fox; 9 Karl Fitzsimons, 8 Karl Manahan (c) , 7 Conor Crowley, 4 Paul Cleary; 16 Jack Moylan , 10 Jack Doherty , 17 Kyle Robinson
Subs: 2 Thomas Considine (for Fox 70), 19 Evan Farrell, 20 Daniel Dobbin, 21 Harry Groome (for Fitzsimons 81), 24 Sean Martin (gk), 25 Anthony Dolan (for Monahan 70), 26 Ayman Yousif (for Robinson 81), 27 Kieran Murphy, 28 Donal Porter
Referee: Paul Norton

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