UCD

4-3

BRAY WANDERERS

Harvey O'Brien 4

Gary Shaw 82, 91+, 96+ pen

Sam Todd 10

Liam Kerrigan 59

Eoin Farrell 63

First Division

Belfield
03 Sep 2021

Yet another adrenaline-packed encounter in the Donnybrook Road Derby, the honours this time going to the home side, after a long wait.

Both teams were somewhat depleted, with three of what one might expect as the starting 22 absent on international duty - but Bray also missed players due to routine suspensions.

Wanderers' back four, at full strength, however, were unable to prevent a disastrous opening quarter hour, in which the seeds of victory were sown by Harvey O'Brien and the Students' captain, Sam Todd.

When the home side doubled their half time lead with another brace either side of the hour mark, a rout seemed to be on the way.

But the return of Gary Shaw to his previous goal-scoring form gave the visitors something a little more than consolation, and three goals which may prove priceless by the end of the season.

The recovery, coming so late on, was incomplete, and Bray now hover at the bottom of the playoff places - not the worst position to be in, but not where Gary Cronin hoped to be at this stage.

What has become something of a pattern for Bray this season, a frantic opening period, was less productive on this occasion, with the home side capitalising on poor defending from a Liam Kerrigan 22m free, O'Brien left unattended at the far post to fire low into the net.

Worse followed, even though Brandon Kavanagh was creating problems and defender O'Brien had to pay attention to his day-job to deny Joe Doyle, who had created an opening for a shot at goal.

But conceding corners is a dangerous pastime, and with a Bray back four slightly out of sorts, Paul Doyle found his captain with a flag-kick and Todd had little to do but score.

Strong efforts to recovr lost ground came to nothing, Aaron Barry finding Callum Thompson, who worked it into the UCD area only to see it booted away, and Doyle's effort just after the quarter hour flew straight to Carl Williams.

Kian Clarke, making his first senior competitive start for Bray, had little difficulty with Eoin Farrell's speculative shot and did well with a point-blank stop on a Todd volley, but his team-mates were having less success at the other end of the field, Ryan Graydon and Mark Byrne both over-cooking crosses.

Just inside the half hour, Darren Craven fired a powerful shot on target, but Williams was lucky to be well-positioned to bat it away, and Kavanagh, following up his own corner, was only a metre or so away from scoring.

Kavanagh worked his way almost the length of the pitch into the UCD area, but just missed the colleague he targetted with his cross.

With the break nearing, Craven made another attempt, a parry falling back to him, but the shot lofted just over the bar, and within minutes a Kavanagh free near the sideline was sloppily cleared with Bray claims of a handball ignored by the officials.

Joe Doyle looked lively on the resumption, but with much of the opening action near the Bray goal he had few chances to make anything of it. It was his namesake, UCD midfielder Paul Doyle, who was bringing Clarrke into play early, the young Bray keeper getting down well to a low shot, and a distance effort missing his bar due to a deflection.

UCD's next hammer blow was a well-worked move that ended with Kerrigan finishing off a Dara Keane ball into Clarke's net. Between than and the Students' next strike, Cronin brought Shaw into the fray for his seventh consecutive substitute appearance, and while the veteran coul do little to prevent the final home goal two minutes later, he would provide much of the excitement that enlivened the final minutes of the match.

Farrell's volleyed score came from a Mark Dignam knock-down, defender Michael Gallagher having crossed the ball into the area - and Paul Doyle almost made it nap with a shot to the side netting minutes afterwards.

But with little more than ten minutes left on the clock, Bray sub Seán Callan gave notice that they hadn't given up with a header from a corner that narrowly skimmed the bar, and Joe Doyle saw another head shot cleared off the line.

The came Shaw, reaching for a Darren Craven cross and skewing the ball into the roof of the net. A consolation, surely, but it put pep into the Bray attack, Williams needing to dive twice in rapid succession to save, from Doyle, and second later from Shaw.

While Dara Keane tried to make good on a mispaced Bray backpass and failed, at the other end the defence was kept busy, two more late clearances in the final minute of regular time.

Head tennis in time added doubled Bray's score, Shaw rising to nod Seán Callan's header on into the target, and as the time stretched Bray had the ball in the net again as the referee pointed to the spot for a handball offence. Shaw stepped up and beat Williams with what turned out to be the final action of the game.

What a pity that late goal from play couldn't stand as well.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 25 Kian Clarke; 15 Daniel Jones, 8 Mark Byrne, 5 Aaron Barry (c), 4 Andrew Quinn; 17 Luka Lovic, 11 Brandon Kavanagh, 7 Ryan Graydon, 16 Darren Craven, 27 Callum Thompson; 9 Joe Doyle
Subs: 2 Sam Hayden, 10 Gary Shaw (for Graydon 61) , 18 Seán Callan (for Quinn 75) , 19 Darragh Lynch, 20 Jamie Callaghan, 21 Ryan Bowden, 22 Steven Kinsella (for Kavanagh 75), 28 Sam Verdon (for Thompson 61), 30 Cian Connors (gk)
UCD: 16 Carl Williams; 22 Sam Todd (c) , 3 Evan Osam, 24 Harvey O'Brien , 2 Michael Gallagher; 15 Adam Verdon , 7 Liam Kerrigan , 21 Paul Doyle, 8 Mark Dignam; 17 Dara Keane
Subs: 4 Harry McEvoy, 5 Luke Boore, 9 Danú Kinsella-Bishop, 11 Ciaran Behan, 19 Samuel Ayoola, 20 Mark Smith, 23 Donal Higgins, 27 Seán Brennan (for Farrell 78), 30 Lennon Gill (gk)
Referee: Oliver Moran

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