Bray Wanderers -v- UCDThu, May 31 2012
In form Bray Wanderers will be hoping to pull away from the bottom half of the table as they welcome UCD to the Carlisle Grounds on Friday evening.
The Seagulls have lost just once in their last six league outings and as a result find themselves second in the form table, only behind leaders Sligo Rovers. Eleven points from a possible eighteen means Pat Devlin’s side are within touching distance of the top half of the Airtricity League and the home side will be hoping to extend their run of victories over the Students to six games on Friday as they look to put their FAI Cup exit at the hands of Shelbourne behind them.
They key to Bray’s recent success has been the consistency in their line-up and once again Director of Football Pat Devlin will have a fully fit squad to pick from with who to leave out being the only worry ahead of the game.
Despite their fine recent record over their near neighbours, Devlin is taking nothing for granted; "They are a very good side, there is not a lot between us, it could go either way but we will be looking for the three points.”
After a decent start to the season, things have gone downhill for Martin Russell’s UCD. They are yet to record a victory away from the UCD Bowl and they are currently bottom of the form chart with just three wins to their name thus far.
A 2-2 draw in Tallaght is the only reward that the Students have to show so far on their travels in what has been an inconsistent first half of the season which was emphasised by Monday’s defeat to St Pats CY in the Leinster Senior Cup. The Students currently lie in 10th position but are within touching distance of Bohemians and indeed Bray. Three points on Friday could move UCD as high as eight, a position which all in Belfield would have taken at the mid-season break.
They have been severely hampered by injuries throughout and the problems haven’t eased for Martin Russell ahead of their trip to the seaside. Top scorer and main marksman Graham Rusk, who has netted seven times so far, is a doubt with a calf injury and he joins defenders David O’Connor and Ciaran Nangle on the doubtful list. Ger Barron (foot), Chris Mulhall (groin) and Cillian Morrison (hip flex) also remain side-lined as the UCD squad is down to its bare bones.
The recent win against Sligo Rovers in the league helped to bring a run of seven games without a win to a halt and Russell is keen to enter the break on a high; "We are focused on the Bray game and would very much like to enter the break on a high. We all know that Pat Devlin's side are competitive and that it will be a tough game, however we will be looking to play our brand of football and come away with all the points."
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Since U.C.D. defeated Bray 4-0 and 6-0 in the 2010 season Bray have won six of the last seven meetings between the sides.
UCD have conceded at least 2 goals in 15 of their last 16 away matches in the Airtricity League.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Bray Wanderers’ last 6 home games in the Airtricity League.
Bray Wanderers evens; Draw 12/5; UCD 5/2.
It’s going to be a lot closer than the form book or table suggests but UCD’s injury problems coupled with Bray’s confidence means the home side should prevail. 3-1 Bray
Bray Wanderers Injury News: None.
Bray Wanderers Suspension News: None.
UCD Injury News: Graham Rusk, David O'Connor and Ciaran Nangle (all doubtful); Ger Barron(foot), Chris Mulhall(groin), Cillian Morrison (hip flex), Sean Russell(back).
UCD Suspension News: None.