0 - 2
FT

Scored: 68'
- Colm Whelan 68'

Scored: 86'
- Paul Doyle 86'


First Division Playoff Final Preview: Bray Wanderers -v- UCD

Fri, Nov 19 2021

Liam Kerrigan of UCD holds Treaty United's Marc Ludden off the ball during their promotion playoff second leg on Sunday, 7 November 2021. Credit: Paul Dolan

BRAY WANDERERS

The Seagulls and the Students face off at Dalymount Park on Friday night for an opportunity to face off against the ninth placed Premier Division side – Finn harps or Waterford, for a place in the top tier in the League of Ireland (kick-off 7.45pm).

Bray Wanderers might be considered somewhat of a surprise packet to have made it to the promotion play off final having only finished in fifth place in the league table on 37 points.

 In addition, they lost their last three league games of the season, conceding seven goals in those matches, and then could only manage a 0-0 draw in the home leg of their promotion play off semi-final match against Galway United.

A single goal in the away leg at Eamonn Deacy Park was enough to propel them into the final, Brandon Kavanagh’s excellent strike capping a great season for the Shamrock Rovers loanee.

The Seagull’s manager Gary Cronin is well aware of the important of this fixture and he spoke to the media this week of his squad’s preparation, saying, “Training has been good. The last week in particular; you’re just ticking over and trying to be mindful of not getting any injuries in training because we want as many people as possible available for the game.

“There has been a good atmosphere and a good buzz and we’re just looking forward to the game on Friday because it’s an even bigger game. These are the kinds of games that the lads want to be involved in.’’

“You’ve got to be confident going into these games and I’m sure UCD will be the same. You have to have that air of confidence,” he added.

“You don’t want any negativity around the squad or anything like that. We’ll be prepared and we’ll leave no stone unturned going into the game.

“We’ll prepare the very, very best we can and then on the night; you’ll need your plan to fall into place and obviously it doesn’t always go that way so you might need a bit of luck and a few decisions to go your way; that’s the nature of football and sport.

“Whether it’s 90 minutes or 120 minutes, we’ll do everything we can to be victorious by the end of it.”

UCD

UCD finished the season on 46 points and in third position and so were paired with fourth placed Treaty United at the promotion play off two-legged semi-final stage.

They really wrapped up their place in the final with a comprehensive 3-0 win in the away leg down in the Markets Field in Limerick, goals from Paul Doyle and Colm Whelan (2) giving them a huge advantage for the home leg.

The game at the Belfield Bowl turned out to be anything but straightforward however as a rejuvenated Treaty side went on the offensive from the outset and had one goal clawed back as early as the fourth minute with a fine Conor Melody strike from the edge of the box.

An upset certainly seemed on the cards in the 51st minute when defender Anthony O’ Donnell scored their second goal but all the good work was undone in the 54th minute when Tommy Barrett’s side had a player red carded and were reduced to ten men.

The numerical disadvantage proved too much for the Limerick side and UCD went on to restore their two-goal advantage when Adam Verdon scored an insurance goal on the 68th minute.

The last two league games between the sides this season produced 11 goals in total and with Colm Whelan in particular in fine goal scoring form this season, manager Andy Myler will be home their attacking prowess will be sufficient to enable them to win this final and take them one step closer to the Premier Division. UCD were relegated from the Premier Division back to the First Division in the 2019 season.

Referee: Oliver Moran

MATCH STATS

The honours between these two sides have been very even this season, each side recording one win each with the first fixture back in April being a 0-0 draw.

Wanderers had a great 4-0 win at home in June, a Joe Doyle brace and goals from Darren Craven and Conor Clifford sealing the three points.

Bray also scored three goals in the match in Belfield in September, however they were mere consolation goals as they all came very late in the match courtesy of a Gary Shaw hat trick. UCD dominated that match and scored four goals through Harvey O’ Brien, Sam Todd, Liam Kerrigan and Eoin Farrell to secure a 4-3 victory.

PREDICTION

UCD 2-1 Bray Wanderers

BETTING

Bray Wanderers 2/1; Draw 11/5; UCD 6/5

Bray Wanderers

Injured: None

Doubtful: Sean Callan, Gary Shaw

Suspended: None

UCD:

Injured: None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None.


Bray
LOct. 22, 2021
Galway 1 - 0 Bray
LOct. 29, 2021
Wexford 4 - 2 Bray
DNov. 3, 2021
Bray 0 - 0 Galway
WNov. 7, 2021
Galway 0 - 1 Bray
LNov. 19, 2021
Bray 0 - 2 UCD
Brian Maher 1
Goalkeeper
Andrew Quinn 4
Defender
Mark Byrne 8
Defender
Aaron Barry 5
Booked: 23'
Defender
© Dylan Barnett 3
Defender
Richie O'Farrell 14
Midfielder
Luka Lovic 17
80'
80Subbed Off: Steven Kinsella 80'
Midfielder
Brandon Kavanagh 11
Midfielder
Darren Craven 16
75'
75Subbed Off: Sam Verdon 75'
Midfielder
Ryan Graydon 7
Booked: 89'
Forward
Joe Doyle 9
Forward

Substitutes
Sam Verdon
75'
75Subbed On: Darren Craven 75'
Forward
Jack Ross
Goalkeeper
Darragh Lynch 19
Forward
Steven Kinsella 22
80'
80Subbed On: Luka Lovic 80'
Forward
Daniel Jones
Midfield
Sam Hayden
Midfield
Kian Clarke 25
Goalkeeper
Sean Callan 18
Defender
Jamie Bowden
Unknown
UCD
DOct. 29, 2021
Shels 1 - 1 UCD
WNov. 3, 2021
Treaty United 0 - 3 UCD
LNov. 7, 2021
UCD 1 - 2 Treaty United
WNov. 19, 2021
Bray 0 - 2 UCD
WNov. 26, 2021
Waterford 1 - 2 UCD
1 Lorcan Healy
Goalkeeper
22 Sam Todd
Defender
Booked: 14'
3 Evan Osam
Defender
6 Jack Keaney ©
Defender
2 Michael Gallagher
Defender
24 Harvey O'Brien
Midfielder
17 Dara Keane
Midfielder 89'
89Subbed Off: Mark Dignam 89'
21 Paul Doyle
Midfielder
Booked: 57'
Scored: 86'
89'
89Subbed Off: Adam Verdon 89'
27 Sean Brennan
Midfielder
10 Colm Whelan
Forward
Scored: 68'
7 Liam Kerrigan
Forward
Booked: 89'

Substitutes
16 Carl Williams
Goalkeeper
15 Adam Verdon
Midfield 89'
89Subbed On: Paul Doyle 89'
12 Adam Lennon
Midfield
Lennon Gill
Forward
14 Eoin Farrell
Midfield
8 Mark Dignam
Midfield 89'
89Subbed On: Dara Keane 89'
Evan Caffrey
Midfield
5 Luke Boore
Defender
11 Ciaran Behan
Defender

MATCH INFO

Competition: 2021 League of Ireland Playoff

Date: 7:45 p.m. Nov. 19, 2021

Venue: Dalymount Park

Referee: Oliver Moran

Attendance: Unknown

#LOI