Leinster Senior Cup Report: Bray Wanderers 2 - 1 Shamrock Rovers

Conor Davis slotting home Bray's opener in  their 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers

Conor Davis slotting home Bray's opener in their 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers Credit: Al Robinson (ETPhotos)

Macdara Ferris reports from the Carlisle Grounds

Bray Wanderers eased by Shamrock Rovers and into the semi-final of the Leinster Senior Cup on Monday evening following a 2-1 win over the Hoops at the Carlisle Grounds.

First half goals from Conor Davis, from the penalty spot, and Joe Power proved crucial for the Seagulls. A late Justin Ferizaj goal was all that the Hoops could take from their trip to the seaside.

Stephen Bradley went with a team of five teenagers as Sean Gannon skippered the side as the most senior man in his starting XI.

It was soon six teenagers on the pitch as Onesime Tembe came on to replace the luck-less Simon Power who went off injured after just 16 minutes and it was his brother Joe, playing for Bray, who was the one with the significant contribution on the pitch in the opening half.

Ian Ryan went with a reasonably strong starting side and named seven substitutes (compared with Rovers’ four).

Jack Hudson playing at centre back for Bray had done well to get back to challenge Power fairly just as the Hoops striker went to shoot – and that was the Rovers player’s last involvement in the game.

Justin Ferizaj started the match for the visitors and he was on set piece duty with Jack Byrne not part of the match day squad but the Hoops couldn’t make their first half corners count.

Hudson was on hand to halt the Hoops as a timely boot prevented the ball reaching Liam Burt, deflecting the ball safely back to Stephen McGuinness in the Bray goal.

A set piece gave the Seagulls the lead as Conor Davis won a penalty kick on the half hour mark. He slotted the resulting spot kick home powering home the penalty by Leon Pohls in the Hoops goal.

Five minutes from the break, Ian Ryan’s side doubled their lead. Joe Power whipped a ball in from wide on the left. Cole Omorehiomwan, against his former club, rose to head but the ball beat him and curled into the net beyond Pohls for Power to claim the goal.

The Hoops upped their game in the second half with Ferizaj coming into the match more. He set up both Burt and Tembe for shots on goal inside the first five minutes of the second period.

With only two outfield players available to him off the bench in the second half there was little that Bradley could do to change it up as they chased the game.

Meanwhile Bray were happy to soak up the Hoops pressure and get forward on the counter when they could with Pohls required to pull off saves from Feeney who led the line well for the home team all night.

Rovers were wasteful with their shots on goal – Burt blazed over 15 minutes from time as he got in at the back post onto a Ferizaj cross.

It was Ferizaj who got a late goal to halve the deficit three minutes from time. He did well to create space for himself to shoot and he drilled by ball by McGuinness but it was all too little to late for Rovers.

The deserved win makes for an excellent start to the season for Ian Ryan’s side. This quarter-final victory goes with their unbeaten start to the season in the First Division where they have picked up eight points from the dozen on offer so far.

The result won’t please Rovers but their youthful side certainly played a part in it as Bradley gave game time to 16-year-old players Orlandas Jakas and John O’Sullivan (off the bench). Next up for them is a  St. Patrick’s Day league clash with St. Patrick’s Athletic.

Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness; Max Murphy,  Cole Omorehiomwan, Jack Hudson, Zach Donohue (Len O'Sullivan 72); Luka Lovic ©, Joe Power (Conor Crowley 64); Conor Knight (Scott Browne 72)., Guillemo Almirral (Darren Craven 82), Conor Davis (Callum Thompson 81); Ben Feeney.
Subs not used: Jack Ross (gk), Leon Ajala.
Booked: Conor Davis (26), Luka Lovic (84).

Shamrock Rovers: Leon Pohls; Sean Gannon ©, Carl Lennox, Orlandas Jakas (John O'Sullivan 78); Sean Jones-Carey (Cian Curtis 61), Justin Ferizaj, Darragh Nugent, Kieran Cruise; Conan Noonan, Simon Power (Onesime Tembe 16), Liam Burt.
Subs not used: Toms Leitis (gk).
Booked: Sean Jones-Carey (61).

Referee: Paul Norton.
Attendance: 1172
extratime.com Player of the Match: Jack Hudson (Bray Wanderers)