Cork City 4 (Morrissey 13, Holohan 39, Browne 54, Maguire 56 pen) Bray Wanderers 0
Premier division, Turners Cross, 30 Aug 2016
Cork made some ground on Dundalk with a comfortable demolition of Bray Wanderers in the Southern capital tonight. If the outcome was not unexpected, the extent of the scoring perhaps was.
It took City less than a quarter hour to break down a strangely reticent Seagulls defence through Gearóid Morrissey.
Five minutes from the break Gavan Holohan turned their lead into a mountain ahead of the visitors’ attack.
Although Bray looked revitalised for a time after the break, a rapid-fire brace from the home side, Kenny Browne from play and Seán Maguire from the penalty spot, put the game to bed.
That it was at best not going to be a cake-walk was clear when Dylan Connolly’s early charge into the danger zone was met with a challenge from Steven Beattie which left him on the ground and about to pick up a caution.
Maguire made a foray forward but found himself without support, and Morrissey had a reasonable attempt on goal that failed to trouble Peter Cherrie.
Chris Lyons, working as a sole striker for Bray, tried a long-range effort that flew left of target, and a Bray corner came to nothing, before Cork claimed first blood.
Holohan and Maguire worked up the right before Holohan evaded the attention of Kevin Lynch to cut neatly back to Morrissey, who took a touch before firing left-footed beyond the reach of the Seagulls’ keeper.
Cherrie did well to block a Stephen Dooley effort soon after, and at the other end, just on the half hour, Mark Salmon’s shot from the edge of the area needed Mark McNulty to tip it away.
Good attacking play from the home side was falling just short of dangerous, the Bray defence holding up well.
But with a single goal looking like the half-time score, a good ball into the area from Kevin O’Connor just inside half way found Holohan who headed to the left corner of the Bray net.
It had, in fact, started with a pass from Holohan himself to Garry Buckley, who fed the full back for his left-side approach.
The visitors looked fired up as they emerged into the falling mist, and this time when Connolly went down it was challenger Morrissey who felt the ire of the Referee.
Minutes later, the nippy Bray winger was dispossessed by Buckley as he burst in goalwards, but things were about to get bleak for the Wicklow side.
A shot from Kevin O’Connor was blocked by Bray skipper Conor Kenna at the cost of a corner. Stephen Dooley’s flag-kick targetted Browne, who rose above the defence to power home.
Within a minute, the visitors were staring at the eleven-metre spot, Tomás Connolly having decided that though Dooley seemed to go down rather easily under Hugh Douglas’s challenge, a spot-kick was deserved.
Maguire made no mistake, sending Cherrie right and the ball left.
Whatever chance the Seagulls might have had even at two-nil, there was little they could look forward to at that point.
Nevertheless, substitute Ger Pender came close twice, Alan Bennett having to clear his header from a Karl Moore free off the line with less than twenty minutes left, and the Bray man hitting McNulty’s crossbar in the brief time added.
Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 21 Tim Clancy, 2 Hugh Douglas, 4 Conor Kenna (c), 19 Kevin Lynch; 3 John Sullivan; 10 Karl Moore (yc), 8 Mark Salmon, 22 Darragh Noone, 16 Dylan Connolly (yc); 27 Chris Lyons
Subs: 5 Alan McNally, 11 Jason Marks (for Noone 83), 15 Alan Kehoe (for Lynch 63), 17 Gerard Pender (for Lyons 63), 20 Paul Finnegan, 23 Gareth McDonagh, 40 Lee Stacey (gk)
Cork City: 1 Mark McNulty; 10 Steven Beattie, 3 Alan Bennett (c), 22 Kenny Browne, 14 Kevin O’Connor; 16 Gearóid Morrissey, 8 Gavan Holohan, 19 Karl Sheppard, 26 Garry Buckley; 24 Seán Maguire, 11 Stephen Dooley
Subs: 7 Colin Healy (for Morrissey 60), 9 Danny Morrissey, 13 Matthew Connor (gk), 15 Dave Mulcahy (for Browne 60), 18 Michael McSweeney, 20 Chiedozie Ogbene, 23 Mark O’Sullivan (for Maguire 65)
Referee: Tomás Connolly
Compiled by Mícheál Ó hUanacháin