Two goals from Kieran Marty Waters ensured that Bray Wanderers claimed a 2-1 victory against Longford Town after the visitors went ahead at the Carlisle Grounds on Monday night. The win sees the Seagulls safely into the quarter finals of the Leinster Senior Cup.
Both teams had early chances to open the scoring. Right from kick off, Longford created an opportunity to score as Jamie Duffy was played in just inside the Bray penalty area. Dane Massey was quickly across to block Duffy’s effort.
The action moved to the opposite end of the pitch only a few minutes later. A Jonathan Kelty corner evaded Town goalkeeper Paul Hunt and dropped onto Adam Hanlon’s head, but the Bray winger could not get his header on target.
Some harmless handbags between Graham Kelly and James O’Brien after ten minutes did not prompt referee Adriano Reale to show any cards but some abusive dissent from Waters on the half an hour mark did.
And Reale showed Duffy a yellow for similar behaviour to that which saw Waters booked, before putting a first half that was largely ‘good to soft’ out of its misery.
The second half opened with a bang as Tony Cousins’ side went in front. A free kick from a few yards outside the box on the right hand side was taken by Jacques Morley. The Bray wall went to pieces and Morley’s low cross evaded everyone and went straight in.
But the lead was short lived. Barely a minute later Adam Hanlon broke down the right and whipped in a beautiful cross. Waters powered in and headed it past Hunt with aplomb to level the game.
Waters then put his side in front on the 58 minute mark. After receiving the ball from the lively Hanlon, the in form striker dodged a tackle and scrambled it past Hunt before wheeling away in celebration.
Longford tried to press for an equaliser but could not make a breakthrough. James O’Brien showed his team’s frustration, ploughing into Kelly to earn himself a yellow card with twenty minutes to go.
It was not until the final minutes that Bray looked in any genuine trouble. A Duffy cross came off substitute Effe Sodje and then appeared to hit the arm of Adam Mitchell, who had been introduced for the evergreen Colm Tresson only ten minutes earlier.
Protests from the men in red and black were waved away by Reale though, and the final few minutes saw the Town huff and puff but to no avail.
The Seasiders advance in a competition that may look like a genuine opportunity at unearthing some silverware, while Longford go back to concentrating on gaining promotion so they can make meetings like this more regular.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; Colm Tresson (Adam Mitchell, 78), Stephen Last, Dane Massey, Conor Butler; Adam Hanlon, Graham Kelly, Dean Zambra, Jonathan Kelty (Ger Pender, 83); John Mulroy, Kieran Marty Waters (Ian Byrne, 75).
Subs not used: Brian Kane, David Webster, Jason Byrne, Kevin Knight.
Booked: Kieran Marty Waters (28).
Longford Town: Paul Hunt; Graham Dowling, Des Hope, Gary Cronin, Mike Lee; Jamie Duffy, James O’Brien, Colm James, Sean Skelly, Jack Morley; Dan Purdy (Effe Sodje, 61).
Subs not used: Chris Deans, Noel Haverty, Thomas Crawley, Craig Hyland.
Booked: Jamie Duffy (44), James O’Brien (65).
Referee: Adriano Reale.
Attendance: 100 (estimate).
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Marty Waters for his two goals.