Daniel Dobbin 23

Brandon Kavanagh 4, 24

Thomas Considine 53

Evan Farrell 67

Jack Moylan 81

Callum Thompson s/o 79

First Division

29 Oct 2021

In what was hardly the best preparation for Bray's participation in the playoff series, Wexford got the better of their visitors emphatically, even if two of the goals scored, one on each side, looked more like accidents.

A dream start for the Seagulls saw Brandon Kavanagh fire home in the fourth minute, and when Dan Dobbin netted for the home side midway through the opening half, Kavanagh took advantage of defensive hesitation at the other end within a minute, restoring Bray's lead.

What seemed like a protective substitution by Gary Cronin saw Kian Clarke take over the gloves for the second half, and within minutes the young keeper had the misfortune to drop a threatening cross by home sub Tom Considine, the officials ruling it fell behind the line.

Ian Ryan's other half-time introduction, Evan Farrell, struck a quarter of an hour later with a lovely headed goal, and Jack Moylan wove his way through the unsettled Bray defence to complete the scoring soon after Callum Thompson got his marching orders for a dangerous challenge.

A long crossfield clearance by Conor Clifford after Aaron Barry had dispossessed Moylan was held by Darren Craven, beating Karl Fitzsimons with neat footwork before finding Kavanagh in front of goal. A lightly lofted shot from the Bray midfielder cleared the defence and slid beyond Jimmy Corcoran's reach into the corner of the net.

Undaunted, Wexford continued to press, and when Dobbin fired from Moylan's spread, Brian Maher spilled and his blushes were saved by a clearance by Dan Jones.

Cian Kelly shot high from Jack Doherty's ensuing corner, and with Wexford's passes forward usually finding their target the Bray defence was ket busy. Moylan shot over on nine minutes, and a minute later, Brian Maher came well forward to clear a Moylan ball aimed at Kyle Robinson.

Richie O'Farrell was well off with a skied shot, and Aaron Barry headed over from a Conor Clifford free for a foul on Gary Shaw, but inside the 20-minute mark, Robinson took a chance from a Doherty pass to a narrow angle, the ball coming back off the far post and Maher appearing to dive onto Robinson's boot in claiming.

Robinson was covering a lot of ground, heading a Bray free clear on 21 minutes and shooting very narrowly right of the Bray goal within a minute, and a brace of home corners seemed to have ended with a Maher punch, but it fell nicely for Dobbin, who shot through a crowded area, the ball deflecting off Luka Lovic's leg on the line, but on target anyway.

Kavanagh restart was passed back to Dylan Barnett who launched a long ball forward to the right where Kelly was shadowing Kavanagh, and Dobbin rushing to aid him. The latter seemed to find a touch aiming to reach his keeper, but Corcoran and Dobbin both hesitated, the keeper nudging the ball onto the goalscorer's shin where it rolled loose and the Bray man nipped past the two to slot into an empty net.

During the remainder of the half both goalies were kept busy, though many of the half chances on both sides went astray. Conor Crowley and Moylan were both off target, and a short Moylan corner to Doherty was eventually blocked away by Aaron Barry. Then Moylan made a fine mazy run beating three Bray men before topping his shot so that it gave the Bray keeper no trouble, while Robinson shot almost straight at Maher, who needed two attempts to claim.

Meanwhile, Kavanagh had tried his luck from a wide position but well off target the far side, and in the dying minutes from a Thompson cross he brought a fine diving punch from the home keeper, who moments later leaped high to palm away a powerful Shaw header from another Thompson cross.

In time added, Moylan was brought down by a successful Clifford challenge, and from the continuing play Robinson hit the near post from an offside position.

Two subs each before the resumption had a significant impact on the rest of the game: Cronin opted to rest Shaw and replaced Maher to ensure he would be available for the first playoff leg, while Ryan chose to withdraw both Robinson and Fitzsimons.

In the early minutes of a second half that fatured more classy passing from the Wexford midfielders, it was the substitutes that caused Bray's downfall, Tom Considine firing a narrow-angle cross that seemed to fool Clarke into an incomplete catch, dropping the ball or batting it down, but on the wrong side of the goal-line.

Bray showed little sign of a positive response to the setback in the following quarter hour or so, and just over twenty minutes remained in the game when Considine raced up the right to fire a sublime high looping pass that reached the head of the unmarked Evan Farrell with laser-like accuracy, and the latter, with his back to the goal, glanced it inch-perfect into the far corner of the net past a bemused Clarke, who had advanced to catch.

A series of Kavanagh corners failed to produce any advantage for Bray, Corcoran claiming the last of three neatly. And the next incident added to their woes, when Thompson, in possession, hooked the ball from under Moylan's challenge but with studs showing, and received a somewhat harsh red from Alan Patchell.

And as if to rub salt in the wound, it was Moylan who added the insurance after beating two defenders in the Bray penalty area.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Brian Maher; 17 Luka Lovic, 15 Daniel Jones, 5 Aaron Barry (c), 3 Dylan Barnett; 14 Richie O'Farrell, 6 Conor Clifford ; 11 Brandon Kavanagh , 27 Callum Thompson , 16 Darren Craven; 10 Gary Shaw
Subs: 4 Andrew Quinn, 7 Ryan Graydon (for Clifford 69), 9 Joe Doyle (for Shaw H/T), 19 Darragh Lynch, 20 Ryan Bowden (for Barry 55), 22 Steven Kinsella, 25 Kian Clarke (for Maher H/T)
Wexford: 1 Jimmy Corcoran; 4 Paul Cleary (c), 29 Lorcan Fitzgerald, 3 Cian Kelly; 9 Karl Fitzsimons, 7 Conor Crowley, 10 Jack Doherty, 21 Harry Groome, 20 Daniel Dobbin ; 16 Jack Moylan , 17 Kyle Robinson
Subs: 2 Thomas Considine (for Fitzsimons H/T) , 12 Nicky Leonard, 13 Andrew Farrell, 19 Evan Farrell (for Robinson H/T) , 23 Luke Scanlon (for Moylan 83), 25 Sean Martin (gk), 26 Ayman Yousif (for Doherty 87), 28 Donal Porter
Referee: Alan Patchell

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