Johnny Kenny 27

Naj Razi 66

Cian Curtis 75, 89


21 Jan 2023

Moody's despairing dive fails to reach Kenny's shot
Pic George Kelly, Shamrock Rovers

On the face of it a disappointing result in their first outing for the Seagulls, but Ian Ryan is certain to have learned a lot more than any coach can divine on the training pitch.

Match Report from the

Bray Wanderers were on the wrong side of a 4-0 scoreline against Premier Division champions as Seagulls fans got their first glimpse of Ian Ryan’s team in action.

Ryan used 18 different players as his outfit put it up to Stephen Bradley’s troops for the most part before fading away late on. Bradley deployed many of his big guns for the visit of the Co. Wicklow club, with the likes of Ronan Finn, Roberto Lopes, Jack Byrne, Johnny Kenny and Rory Gaffney all featuring from the start.

There were some familiar faces amongst Ryan’s starting XI too; Jack Hudson, Conor Knight, Ben Feeney and Zach Donohue all started but the eye-catching name on the team sheet was the mysterious Guillemo. He is a midfielder from Spain, and he showed plenty of ability in flashes on Saturday.

It was the aforementioned Spaniard that failed to beat the first man with his 12th minute free kick but Jake Walker recovered possession following a poor defensive header and engineered shooting space, but his toe-poke was the wrong side of Alan Mannus’ post.

Rovers’ Kieran Cruise escaped his man on the left flank in the 23rd minute and picked out Kenny with his low cross but the on-loan Celtic striker fired over Alex Moody’s crossbar when he really should have made the net bulge.

Kenny made amends quite quickly. Jack Byrne fizzed a pass down the right flank for Gaffney to chase. He got there and centred it towards Kenny and, after Moody failed to cut it out, Kenny drilled to the roof of the net.

Bray’s hard-work and pressing was relentless and very impressive and one occasion, it saw them regain possession deep in Rovers’ half. Feeney crossed in from the right and Jake Walker helped it into Conor Knight’s path, but the winger didn’t make an adequate connection and it trickled wide.

Johnny Kenny broke the offside trap again on 38 minutes. He fancied a chip from 20 yards, and it was goal-bound but Moody got vital fingers to it to deflect it behind.

Moody continued to frustrate the ex-Sligo Rovers moments later when a strong outstretched hand halted Kenny’s slotted effort.

Kenny did get the better of Moody four minutes later though. Again, Rovers were making hay down Bray’s right and this time, Kenny opened up the body and curled it beyond Moody. But Zach Donohue had sniffed out the danger and cleared off the line.

Ryan made five changes at the interval, including 33-year-old player/assistant manager Lorcan Fitzgerald.

It was almost a lightning start to the second period for the Seagulls as Feeney danced along the Rovers byline and cracked a shot at goal that Mannus just about kept out; it threatened to squeeze between his legs, but custodian fell on it before it escaped him.

There was a brief flashpoint between Rovers’ Kieran Cruise and Bray’s Jack Hudson on 51 minutes. In a league match, it may well have warranted a red card apiece but instead it appeared that both managers were advised to simply substitute them immediately to cut down on referee Alan Patchell’s paperwork.

Bray threatened again shortly before the hour mark as Feeney’s cross from the right landed perfectly for Davis to unleash a volley, but the attacker’s effort was too close to Mannus who expectedly showed a safe pair of hands.

Johnny Kenny certainly seems keen to impress his temporary employers and a sharp turn and strike from him whistled wide of Stephen McGuinness’ goal.

Rovers sub Naj Razi would make it 2-0. He received the ball 25 yards from goal, spun away from his man and expertly found the bottom corner with a measured low drive.

Wanderers had another decent chance to get on the scoresheet from a free kick just to the right of the D but Fitzgerald curled it straight into the arms of Mannus.

A harsh gloss was applied to the scoreline in the latter stages as Cian Curtis grabbed a brace. His first was a fine, low finish after a cross from the right was teed up for him in the penalty area. His second was a beautiful curling effort from the edge of the area.

Daniel Gorman

Bray Wanderers: 1 Alex Moody; 4 Jack Hudson, 12 Cole Omorehiomwan, 14 Dane Massey (c), 24 Zach Donohue; 15 Ben Feeney, 7 Conor Crowley, 21 Guillermo Amiral, 8 Harry Groome, 20 Conor Knight; 19 Jake Walker
Subs: 9 Chris Lyons (for Walker H/T), 10 Conor Davis (for Knight H/T), 18 Max Murphy (for Groome H/T), 24 Zach Donohue (prev. substituted; for Massey 64), 25 Stephen McGuinness (for Moody H/T), 27 Lorcan Fitzgerald (for Donohue H/T), 28 Callum Goad (for Hudson 51), 29 Jack Keogh, 35 Jack Ross (gk)
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Ronan Finn, Cian Barrett, Roberto Lopes, Sean Kavanagh; Gideon Tetteh, Jack Byrne, Markus Poom, Kieran Cruise; Johnny Kenny, Rory Gaffney
Referee: Alan Patchell

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