League Preview: Shelbourne 3 - 3 Bray Wanderersby Philip Morrissey
Title in the first division, Shelbourne, are yet to experience their first victory of this campaign. Twice they were in front, but their visitors pegged them back both times before getting in front.
A late penalty ultimately allowed the home side a share of the points, but neither manager will be entirely happy with the defending on display.
Both teams saw changes to their line-ups as they each played out scoreless draws.
Glen McAuley was suspended after his sending off last weekend in Galway. Gerado Bruna suffered a late knock and missed out. Michael O’Connor stepped into the fray to help lead the line. For Bray, Gary Shaw came in for Luka Lovic.
It was the home side who started the brighter. A number of crosses threatened, while there was a penalty shout ignored for a block on JJ Lunney.
Bray’s early discomfort was made worse on two fronts. Gary Shaw went down holding his leg after attempting to run onto a through-ball. Lovic replaced him.
Not long after that early switch, Shels went in front. George Poynton was allowed the space to cut inside from the left before bending his shot inside the post.
If they were on top, an equaliser came from their own error. Maxim Kouogun played a ball across his own area to allow Brandon Kavanagh to capitalise.
The game swung back in Shelbourne’s favour again though. Former Seagull Ryan Brennan latched onto a loose ball to lob the ball over a stranded Brian Maher.
Kevin O’Connor almost added to the lead, but his free-kick was just wide. Maher was in the wars after taking a knock. He was able to continue though.
Bray came out in determined fashion. Richie O’Farrell had an effort saved before they drew level yet again.
Ryan Graydon picked up a through-ball from Aaron Barry to net past Clarke. Barry then saw a chance blocked as they tried to get in front.
It would not be long before this occurred. Kavanagh found some space outside the area before letting fly with a cracking effort into the bottom corner. They were now the side with their tails up and begun to dominate proceedings.
Shelbourne desperately tried to get back into the game with a number of changes. When the chance did arise, it came in slightly dubious circumstances.
A foul occurred in the box was awarded as a penalty. Bray players protested but to no avail. Poynton just about scoring the spot kick.
Both teams went back to forth as neither seemed content to settle for a point. Shels carved out a few chances on set-pieces while Bray remained a constant threat on the break.
Tempers frayed on occasion as both gave away fouls due to tiredness and desire not to lose. Frustration at the final whistle for the home-side, but they would be relieved in the end to have gotten at least a point.
Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke; Ally Gilchrist, Maxim Kouogun, Kevin O'Connor, John Ross Wilson (Dayle Rooney 80); Ryan Brennan (Alex Cetiner 61), JJ Lunney, George Poynton, Sean Quinn; Yoyo Mahdy (Denzil Fernandes 61), Michael O'Connor.
Subs not used: Michael Barker, Jack Brady, Shane Farrell, Brian McManus, David Toure.
Booked: Michael O’Connor, Denzil Fernandes (83).
Bray Wanderers: Brian Maher; Andrew Quinn, Richie O'Farrell, Aaron Barry (c), Dylan Barnett; Brandon Kavanagh, Darren Craven, Conor Clifford, Mark Byrne; Gary Shaw (Luka Lovic, 15), Ryan Graydon.
Subs not used: Dean O'Shea, Cian Maher, Steven Kinsella, Glen Hollywood, Charlie Gallagher, Joe Doyle, Kian Clarke, Sean Callan.
Referee: David Keeler
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Brandon Kavanagh (Bray Wanderers).