Ronan Coughlan 20, 22 pen

Ben Feeney 46+

Max Murphy 75

Chris Conn-Clarke s/o 28

First Division

18 Mar 2023

Yet again, the Seagulls escaped with a point, when their one-man advantage for an hour of the ninety minutes should really have allowed them to win the game.

The hosts had gone ahead twenty minutes in when former Bray player Ronan Coughlan hit the back of the net, and the same man got the better of Alex Moody again two minutes later, this time from the spot.

But inside the half-hour, Chris Conn-Clarke got his marching orders from Referee David Connolly for a second caution, and the game became a nightmare for the hosts, who did well to salvage a point in the end.

Ben Feeney clawed one back for Bray in first half time added, and Max Murphy scored a superb equaliser from distance with only a quarter hour remaining in the game.

But try as they might, the visitors were unable to break through a spirited Waterford defence in a game that was marred by somewhat fussy decision-making by the officials. "Cards" not listed below were also issued to Bray's Ian Ryan (a caution) and Waterford's Danny Searle (a dismissal).

An early flurry by the Waterford side culminated in a fine cross into the Bray area, but both Ronan Coughlan at the near post and Roland Idowu at the far failed to meet it, and what the home fans thought would be a corner just inside the quarter hour was given as a goalkick.

Moments later, Cole Omorehiomwan did concede a corner, but Barry Crowe Baggley's shot tap returned to him and he shot short of the near.

The opening goal came from a Waterford throw, which was eventually cut back by Shane Griffin and fell handily to Coughlan to stroke home.

Bray head coach Ian Ryan was seriously irritated by the foul called when Conn-Clarke went down in the area, but Coughlan stepped up and sent Alex Moody left and the shot right.

Three more cards were issued in the next six minutes, ending in a second for Conn-Clarke who had to leave the field.

Just befor the half hour - still - a Bray free from about 20m taken by Joe Power came back off the woodwork, and though Bray were pressing, Coughlan came close with a high effort that lobbed the keeper but failed to come down left for the target,

In the dying moments of the first period, Baggley just missed an Idowu cross, but then Power pressed with a cross that Paul Martin touched away, and the ensuing flag-kick led to the first Bray goal, Power's short touch coming back to him, and his cross again half-cleared, the next forward ball finding Feeney in a position to find a shot past Martin.

The early part of the second half saw Bray pressing without success, though Baggley managed an off-target chip when Coughlan broke through in a counter-attack that was half-cleared by Cole.

Eddie Nolan cleared a shot by the Bray defender off the line following a Seagulls corner on 57 minutes and five minutes later a cross by substitute Len O'Sullivan flew past the Waterford goal unimpeded.

The visitors continued to dominate proceedings (if not by much), and with little more than a quarter if an hour left, a Power corner was headed away amd reached Max Murphy, whose brilliant shot from 30m looped over Martin for the equaliser.

Tempers flared soon after, and cards followed for players, and for Waterford Manager Danny Searle, though the game had not been acrimonious unntil then. A hotly contested Bray free saw a further card flashed, but despite two more corners Wanderers were unable to find the net in the remaining time.

Indeed, Shane Griffin had a shot come back off the post in time added, although Oluwa had been flagged offside in the buildup, and two further cautions were issued before the final whistle.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Alex Moody; 2 Eoin Farrell, 12 Cole Omorehiomwan , 14 Dane Massey (c), 18 Max Murphy ; 7 Conor Crowley, 8 Harry Groome; 15 Ben Feeney , 6 Luka Lovic; 19 Jake Walker, 23 Joseph Power
Subs: 3 Len O'Sullivan (for Farrell H/T), 4 Jack Hudson, 9 Chris Lyons (for Lovic 66), 10 Conor Davis (for J Power 89), 11 Gerard Shortt (for Crowley H/T), 16 Callum Thompson, 20 Conor Knight, 21 Guillermo Amiral (for Walker 89), 25 Stephen McGuinness (gk)
Waterford: 1 Paul Martin ; 2 Darragh Power, 22 Giles Ene Malachi Phillips (c) , 6 Eddie Nolan, 3 Ryan Burke; 11 Christopher Conn-Clarke ; 4 Niall O'Keeffe , 8 Barry Crowe Baggley, 20 Roland Idowu ; 19 Ronan Coughlan , 7 Shane Griffin
Subs: 9 Thomas Oluwa (for Coughlan 71) , 10 Connor Parsons, 12 Tunmise Sobowale (for Baggley 59), 14 Charles Ondo, 24 Killian Cantwell, 27 Dean McMenamy, 29 Wassim Aouachria, 31 Tom Donaghy (gk), 34 Dean Larkin
Referee: David Connolly

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