Longford Town 0 Bray Wanderers 2 (Pender 41, Noone 87)
Premier Division, City Calling Stadiu, 10 Sep 2016
A two-goal victory in Longford tonight surely puts any remaining relegation worries the Seagulls might have to bed, with the possibility of their being caught by any two of the three teams below them now only mathematical.
With exquisite timing, Ger Pender struck just minutes before the break and Darragh Noone did likewise as the final whistle approached.
The loss of John Sullivan to injury with only ten minutes gone puts a niggling doubt in the mind over Bray’s defensive formation, but Harry Kenny will be happy to deal with that from his freshly inflated cushion.
Just before the quarter hour, Pat Flynn managed a well-timed challenge to prevent Dylan Connolly breaking into the danger area.
Conor Powell was next to stymie a Bray attack midway through the first period, blocking an attempt by the Bray winger to fire.
The Town’s first opportunity came just after that, when Eddie Dsane just failed to get on the end of a Don Cowan cross from the right before Conor Kenna and Peter Cherrie between them got the ball clear.
The Seagulls squandered a threatening Kevin Lynch free when Karl Moore couldn’t keep his shot down.
But minutes later, the visitors pounced when Connolly saw his header from a Lynch cross rebound from the bar, and Pender was first to the loose ventolin ball, rifling it into the net.
Despite their efforts, Longford failed to create a second-half chance until 74 minutes in, when Kevin O’Connor got onto Powell’s feed, but shot high.
A run in from the left by Powell three minutes later resulted in a weak shot that failed to trouble Cherrie.
Midfielder Darragh Noone made the points safe on 87 minutes when he fired home after Ryan Coulter had parried a shot from Extratime player of the month Connolly.
Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 2 Hugh Douglas, 5 Alan McNally, 4 Conor Kenna (c), 19 Kevin Lynch (yc); 3 John Sullivan; 10 Karl Moore, 8 Mark Salmon (yc), 22 Darragh Noone, 16 Dylan Connolly (yc); 17 Gerard Pender
Subs: 11 Jason Marks (for Sullivan 10 inj), 13 Daniel Blackbyrne, 15 Alan Kehoe (for Pender 70), 20 Paul Finnegan, 23 Gareth McDonagh (for Noone 89, yc), 24 Sean Harding, 40 Lee Stacey (gk)
Longford Town: 18 Ryan Coulter; 2 Jamie Mulhall, 20 Patrick Flynn (yc), 17 Yann Mvita Nkelu (yc), 3 Conor Powell (c, yc); 8 Peter McGlynn, 11 Kevin O’Connor, 21 Philip Gannon, 7 Kealan Dillon; 9 Don Cowan, 22 Eddie Dsane
Subs: 1 Paul Skinner (gk), 12 Tristan Noack-Hofmann, 14 Gaius Makouta (for Gannon 83), 15 David O’Sullivan (for Dsane 55), 19 Kaleem Simon (for O’Connor 89), 24 Rhys Gorman, 25 Karl Chambers
Referee: Robert Rogers
Compiled by Mícheál Ó hUanacháin