Bray Wanderers 4 Longford Town 1
Don O’Toole’s first goals for the club helped Bray’s U19’s end a three-game losing streak in the U19 EA Sports National League of Ireland Phase 2 (Tier 2).
The Seagulls led 3-0 after an impressive first 45 minutes at a rain-drenched Ballycorus on Sunday afternoon before running out 4-1 winners against Longford.
Left-back Daniel O’Boyle saw his goal-bound drive superbly tipped over by ‘Town custodian Thomas Bourke in the sixth minute.
The resulting corner was cleared. Ben Clark sent the ball back to the far post. Centre half Callum Goad laid it back to fellow defender O’Toole whose angled effort nestled in the far right bottom corner of the net off Bourke’s fingertips.
Striker Evan Harte side footed wide at the near post in the 14th minute off O’Boyle’s delivery before the hosts doubled that lead in the 16th minute.
Clark played a brilliant slide-rule pass to release Josh McGlone who guided in a low first time right-footed finish from 15-yards.
After a 34th minute press on Bourke, Wanderers went close to a third in the 34th minute. But Clark curled just off target from the edge of the box.
But a third score did arrive two minutes before the interval. Clark sent in a free-kick near the right corner flag. It was deflected on at the neat post and came to O’Toole who buried to the roof of the net close in at the back stick.
The Midlanders did start the second period well. In the first few seconds, sub Emmanuel James rounded Jack Ross. But the covering Ben Houton got back before the line to concede a corner. From the resulting dead-ball, James headed over.
Ross denied Ethan Mills in the 51st minute. But the winger fired a low drive past the net-minder in the 69th minute to make it 3-1.
Having netted twice in the away fixture back in July at the City Calling Stadium in which Bray won 3-0, sub Jack Murray came off the bench to register the Green and Whites fourth goal in the 79th minute.
Murray won possession off the right-wing with sub Brandon Nangle finding McGlone. His rolled pass sent Murray free. With Bourke rushing from his penalty area, Murray curled in low from 22-yards to an empty net.
Just three minutes from the end of normal time, McGlone evaded the away keeper just outside the right of the box. His effort towards the open goal went to the back post where sub Zach Donohue could only find the side-netting.
Then right on full-time, Houton’s throw came to Murray. He passed to Nangle who slipped McGlone in. But his rising drive struck the bar from 15-yards.
Bray Wanderers: Jack Ross; Ben Houton, Callum Goad, Don O’Toole, Daniel O’Boyle; Ben Clarke, Jack Kehoe; Thomas Downey, Gavin Doyle, Josh McGlone; Evan Harte.
Subs: Zach Donohue, Jamie Callaghan, Brandon Nangle, Jack Murray, Jamie Molloy.
Longford Town: Thomas Bourke; Samuel Mulhern, Callum Kelly, Gbolahan Adejumobi, Sam Murray; Michael Akerele, Samuel Mulhern; Moses Alabi, David MacHugh, Ethan Mills; Marvin Ikharo.
Subs: Cian Clancy, David Ayoola, Emmanuel James, Alex Melvin, Josh Musueni, Milosz Konczarek, Roberto Grimaudo.
Referee: Sean Stephens. Assistants: Shane O’Brien, Glen Geraghty.
* Bray are idle next weekend. Their next scheduled fixture is away on Sunday September 25 to Drogheda United at Head in the Game Park.