Leinster Senior Cup Report: Bray Wanderers 2 - 0 Shelbourne
James Byrne reports from the Carlisle Grounds
Bray Wanderers have advanced to the quarter-finals of the Leinster Senior Cup as group winners following a 2-0 win at home to Shelbourne.
Two first-half wonder strikes from Shane Griffin and Cristian Magerusan gave the Seagulls a 2-0 lead at half-time, which they held onto very comfortably during the second half.
Damien Duff did not make the short trip to Carlisle Grounds as Shelbourne sent out an under-20 team to face the Wanderers.
The Reds young guns - captained by Irish underage international and Bray native Lewis Temple - had the opening chance of the game.
Tyreik Sammy used his pace to fire a cross towards Fiachra Coffey who headed just over from eight yards out.
However, it was all one-way traffic for the rest of the half as Bray racked up nine corners in total and should have been further ahead at the interval.
Captain Kilian Cantwell’s shot from the game’s first corner was saved well by the busy Jamie Gamble.
The quality of ex-Waterford midfielder Shane Griffin’s right foot was on show after just five minutes when he whipped in a delicious cross to Magerusan.
But Gamble got down sharply to save magnificently from the former Longford striker.
Following further dominance from Bray, thanks to Cantwell’s excellent marshalling of his defence and 17-year-old Shamrock Rovers loanee Freddie Turley’s presence in midfield, Bray finally broke the deadlock in the 25th minute.
Magerusan linked up brilliantly with Griffin on the edge of the box and the 24-year-old shifted the ball wonderfully onto his left foot and curled a beauty into the far left-hand corner.
Three minutes later Magerusan went one better than Griffin when his rocket of a shot from 20 yards hit the underside of the crossbar as it flew into the top right-hand corner.
Ian Ryan commented that “the quality of the goals was important”.
Shels first real chance since the opening minute came again from Sammy’s pace down the left wing, however his cross missed everyone in red.
Ben Feeney’s persistent running in behind Shelbourne’s three centre-backs kept the young side under constant pressure.
Ryan admitted that the trio of Feeney, Magerusan and Griffin “looked dangerous” as “It is the first time we’ve had that three play together”.
The Seagulls boss used four of his seven substitutes at half-time with Bray’s four key men from the opening 45 minutes being called ashore. They then switched to a back three.
Bray almost found their all-important third goal on 53 minutes when Zach Nolan displayed his attacking instincts and beat Coffey before finding Feeney at the front post.
When Feeney got the ball out of his feet his effort beat Gamble but somehow didn’t cross the line.
On 61 minutes, Cole Omorehiomwan found Max Murphy with a lovely, floated pass down the right flank, Murphy’s powerful attempt was saved well by Ireland under-17 international Gamble.
Shelbourne’s first big chance of the game arrived on 71 minutes when Aaron Maloney found Daragh Murtagh with a lovely outside of the foot pass inside the box.
However, Kilpedder native Stephen McGuiness made a smart double save to deny the teenager.
Gamble was called into action again with a quarter of an hour remaining when local lad Josh McGlone broke through. The Red’s shot-stopper almost came to the 18 yard-line to save the 20-year-old’s attempt.
New signing from UCD Jamie Duggan impressed at right-back throughout the game and his ball down the line to McGlone on 86 minutes was exquisite.
19-year-old Thomas Morgan almost had his fourth goal in three games, but Gamble was out quickly to collect McGlone’s cross from his toes.
Shelbourne substitute Daniel Bergin troubled McGuiness a minute later, which was the final action of the afternoon as Rob Hennessy blew for full-time after a brief single minute of stoppage time.
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness, Max Murphy, Killian Cantwell (Cole Omorehiomwan, 45), Zach Nolan, Jamie Duggan, Callum Thompson, Shane Griffin (Caleb O’Neill, 45), Freddie Turley (Alain Kizenga, 45), Guillermo Almirall, Ben Feeney (Josh McGlone, 64), Cristian Măgeruşan (Thomas Morgan, 45).
Unused Subs: Ben Clark, Kieran Cruise.
Shelbourne: Jamie Gamble, Luca Cailloce, Lewis Temple, Taylor McCarthy, Fiachra Coffey, Aaron Maloney, Cian Doyle, Seán Cummins, Leo Healy (Cormac O’Donoghue, 45), Daragh Murtagh (Daniel Bergin, 79), Tyreik Sammy (Mark Isong, 79).
Unused Subs: Rocco Byrne, Dylan Atanda
Referee: Rob Hennessy.
Attendance: 600 (estimate).
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Shane Griffin (Bray Wanderers)
Full Time at the Carlisle— Bray Wanderers FC (@BrayWanderers) February 5, 2024
We win 2-0.
The result means that we top Group C with seven points from three games. pic.twitter.com/NNlkINsK57