First Division

Carlisle Grounds
10 Mar 2023

Longford set themselves up to defend from the off, with a five-man back line, and their plan succeeded. For a second game in a row, Bray failed to penetrate their opponents' goal, and despite remaining unbeaten to date, this must count as another two points lost.

Indeed, notwithstanding a clear advantage in territory, their passing let them down, and too many balls went straight to Town players rather than the intended Seagull recipients.

Somewhat erratic decisions didn't help, although Referee Michael Connolly and his assistants erred pretty much evenly between the sides, except in the matter of cautions, the home side gathering six to the visitors' three.

Deep in time added, Bray's Jake Walker came closest to breaking what seemed by that stage a conclusive deadlock with a well-executed overhead kick that rebounded off the woodwork, and seemed to cross the line at least in part, but failed to convince the officials.

A cagey start on both sides, featuring close marking verging on the physical at times, which might help to explain the high caution count in the game, saw an early Dane Massey free sail not far over the bar and a Colin Davis shot blocked by Jack Brady.

But little of note was achieved by either sde until Harry Groome took a rushed opportunity that flew left of target, and a Longford free following a foul by Cole Amorehiomwan was headed well wide.

Another Longford attack was frustrated by the offside flag when they seemed to be in a strong position, and Brady did well to keep the ball in play at the end of a Seagulls counter.

In the late minutes of the first half, Gary Armstrong shot after the flag, but his effort was left of target in any case. Jamal Ibrahim was flagged moments later, though his run was less threatening.

In time added, Groome shot straight at Brady, and Walker skied the rebound.

Loose play was the pattern of the early part of the second period. Brady tipped a Bray ball over in case the offside flag hadn't been spotted, and ;unched away a Bray corner midway through.

Both teams were frustrated by 50/50 calls and unpenalised fouls as the game wound down, and in the rare attacks Ibrahim's cross following a rare error by Bray substitute Luka Lovic was glanced narrowly wide with little more than a quarter hour to go.

Joe Power shot just right of the post inside the final ten minutes, but Bray's best chance came in time added, with Walker left to rue the slight misdirection that kept his delightful effort out of the net.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Alex Moody; 2 Eoin Farrell , 12 Cole Omorehiomwan, 14 Dane Massey (c), 18 Max Murphy; 7 Conor Crowley, 21 Guillermo Amiral, 8 Harry Groome ; 10 Conor Davis, 19 Jake Walker, 23 Joseph Power
Subs: 3 Len O'Sullivan (for Farrell 72) , 4 Jack Hudson, 6 Luka Lovic (for Amiral 60), 15 Ben Feeney (for Crowley 60) , 16 Callum Thompson (for Davis 60), 20 Conor Knight, 24 Zach Donohue, 25 Stephen McGuinness (gk), 26 Scott Browne (for Power 84)
Longford Town: 1 Jack Brady; 20 Kyle O'Connor , 13 Cian Byrne, 19 Mohammed Boudiaf, 5 Oisín Hand , 2 Shane Elworthy (c); 11 Jamal Ibrahim , 16 Aodh Dervin, 18 Viktor Serdeniuk; 10 Gary Armstrong, 7 Joshua Giurgi
Subs: 6 Adam Verdon, 8 Ross Fay (for Armstrong 76), 12 Jack Harrington (gk), 14 James Doona (for Boudiaf 68), 17 Stephen Meaney (for Ibrahim 87), 21 Gavin O'Brien, 22 Francis Campbell (for Giurgi 89), 23 Evan Farrell, 24 Darragh Lynch
Referee: Michael Connolly

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