Date: 7:45 p.m. June 2, 2009
Venue: Carlisle Grounds
Att: 500 (est)
It was Sligo who started the game better and it was somewhat against the run of play when Bray had the first chance of the night after ten minutes. After Darren Forsyth played the ball out to Coughlan, the winger ran down the right and dribbled past Sean Holmes before shooting wide from the edge of the box.
Sligo forced a fine save out of Wanderers’ keeper Chris O’Connor in the 19th minute. Brian Cash crossed from the right-hand corner and Steve Feeney powered a header at goal from six-yards but O’Connor was able to get down to make the save.
30 minutes in, the Bit o’Red had claims for a penalty turned down. When Owen Morrison played Cash through on goal, O’Connor rushed off his line to block Cash’s effort. The ball rebounded to Cretaro 25-yards out, and with an open goal at his mercy, heopted to charge into the box. He was tackled by Derek Foran and the ball bounced out for a goal-kick, despite Sligo protests that Cretaro had been fouled.
The penalty incident was quickly forgotten as the Bit 'o' Red went ahead in the 36th minute through Rafael Cretaro. Conor O’Grady pulled the ball back from the goal-line for the midfielder on the penalty spot. He went to shoot first time but miss-hit the ball. After composing himself and collecting the ball, the 27-year-old was able to calmly fire the ball across O’Connor and into the far corner.
However, the lead only lasted two minutes as Bray equalised with a stunning strike from Daire Doyle. Stephen Brennan played a short free out to Doyle on the right-hand side, he took a touch before shooting at goal from nearly 40 yards. His shot took a deflection off Danny Ventre and sailed into the top right corner to level the tie.
Right on the stroke of half-time, the Seagulls nearly took the lead. When Gary McCabe had been fouled by O’Grady on the edge of the area, Jake Kelly lifted the ball over the ball with a powerful strike that hit the crossbar before going out of play for a goal-kick.
The Seagulls started the second half much stronger and seven minutes in they had a great chance to take the lead. Chris Shields played the ball behind Holmes and Gareth Coughlan ran in to collect it, he advanced on goal before blasting the ball over from eight yards.
In the 55th minute, a similar move set Coughlan up again and the result was a goal. Darren Forsyth headed the ball down to Jake Kelly who then played the ball in behind the Sligo defence and from a similar position to his earlier chance, Coughlan opted to place the ball rather than blast it. This time he was able to score as he lifted the ball over Richard Brush.
Rovers almost equalised through Owen Morrison with ten minutes to go. He picked up on the loose ball at the edge of the Bray area and his shot crashed back off Chris O'Connor's left-hand post before being cleared.
Wanderers had a chance to seal the game in the 90th minute through substitute Paul Byrne. Jake Kelly passed the ball to Byrne on the right-hand side of the Sligo area. He moved in on goal before side-footing the ball goalwards. However, his effort was saved by Brush and struck the far post before going out for a corner.
The game was put beyong all doubt in the final seconds when Gary McCabe converted from the penalty spot. He was fouled by Danny Ventre and the 20-year-old dusted himself down before placing the ball into the bottom right corner. It was a well deserved three points for Bray which takes them above Dundalk who they face on Friday night while Sligo return to the Showgrounds to host Derry City.
Bray Wanderers: O'Connor; Doyle, Massey, Foran, Webster; Coughlan, McCabe, Brennan, Shields; Jake Kelly, Forsyth (Byrne, 81)
Subs not used: Mulroy, O'Neill, Pender, Kane
Sligo Rovers: Brush; Keane, Holmes, Peers, Ventre; O'Grady, Cash, Ryan, Morrison; Cretaro, Feeney (Keohanne, 78)
Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly
Referee: Tom Connolly
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Jake Kelly - it’s hard to pick out a single Bray player who was better than the rest but Kelly was one of their top performers tonight.