Waterford FC 1 Bray Wanderers 0
From the second time this season, Bray suffered a 1-0 SSE Airtricity League First Division loss to away to Waterford at the RSC.
Louis Britton again proved a thorn in the Seagulls side yet again this term as he scored for third match between the clubs in 2022 season.
There was six changes to the Wanderers side who were defeated by Galway United last week.
Stephen McGuinness returned between the posts. Free from suspension, Eoin Massey lined out at right back while Conor McManus came back at left full.
Zak O’Neill slotted in on the right flank with Karl Manahan starting in central midfield. Having recovered from an ankle knock, Ben Feeney lined out behind Rob Manley in attack.
That saw Michael Kelly, Jack Hudson, Conor Levingston, Callum Thompson and Kieran Marty Waters dropping to the bench.
The visitors started well and went close to scoring after seven minutes. Eoin Massey drove a free from his own half. Manley arched his body divert it goal-wards with his head. But Brian Murphy reacted with a dive to gather the ball before the line as he was almost wrong-footed.
Both Phoenix Patterson (20) and Shane Griffin (24) fired over from outside the box as the hosts came into the tie.
Then in the 28th minute, Richard Taylor sent a glancing header wide off Junior Quitirna’s corner. On the half hour, Yassine En-Neyah scuffed his initial shot in the box with his second effort being deflected out for a corner.
Soon after, the rain descended with thunder also at the venue.
Under the wet conditions, Stephen McGuinness needed two attempts to gather Quitirna’s drove on 35. Moments later, the same player flashed a shot wide.
The start the second period was delayed by 15 minutes as the Munster club fixed the floodlights which had failed to come on. It also saw referee Alan Patchell change from lack to a yellow jersey to avoid confusion with Murphy who was also in black.
Despite the hold-up, the Wicklow outfit came out well for the start of the second half.
In the 47th minute, Feeney embarked on a solo run from left across the pitch to the right. He fed O’Neill whose cross low into the six out of the area just missed the fire post. Just four minutes later, stand-in skipper Conor Clifford took a 25-yard free that took a deflection off the wall and dropped narrowly wide of the right post.
Within moments at the other end with the corner being cleared, the Blue’s took the lead.
A low right-wing cross by Roland Idowu saw Britton get a touch ahead of a tackle to divert the ball just inside the far post.
Waterford pressed for a second score but came up against an in-form Seagulls stopper.
McGuinness thwarted Quitirna on 62 then pushed Patterson’s effort around his post on 65.
The custodian raced from his line with a quarter of an hour remaining to kick clear ahead of the breaking Patterson.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Clifford’s long range strike deflected for a corner. But the away side could not capitalise.
In stoppage time, En-Neyah looked set to score after the ball broke in the box. But McManus somehow made a block before goal to divert the ball wide.
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness; Eoin Massey, Dan Blackbyrne, Kevin Knight, Conor McManus; Zak O’Neill (Callum Thompson 69), Conor Clifford (Vilius Labutis 84), Karl Manahan, Paul Fox; Ben Feeney (Kieran Marty Waters 83); Rob Manley (Darragh Lynch 83).
Subs not used: Conor Knight, Eoin McPhillips, Darragh Levingston, Michael Kelly.
Booked: Clifford (34)
Waterford FC: Brian Murphy; Tunmise Sobowale, Eddie Nolan, Kilian Cantwell, Richard Taylor (Darragh Power 90); Shane Griffin, Yassine En-Neyah, Junior Quitirna; Roland Idowu (Callum Stringer 82), Phoenix Patterson; Louis Britton.
Subs not used: George Forrest, Kevin Joshua, Jeremie Milambo, Nigel Aris, Owen Oseni, Romeo Akachukwu, Paul Martin.
Booked: Taylor 13, En-Neyah 51.
Referee: Alan Patchell (Dublin).