Bray Wanderers 0
Waterford FC 1
Waterford’s hoodoo over Bray continued on Friday with a hard fought 1-0 SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division success.
The Munster side had not lost to the Seasiders in 13-games since July 2007.
And they extended that run thanks to an early penalty.
Despite the poor weather before kick-off, the Carlisle Grounds pitch– for the second week in a row – stood up to rain.
From the team knocked out by Dundalk in the FAI Cup last week, the Wicklow side made two changes.
With goalkeeper Matt Connor ineligible under the terms of his loan from Waterford, Alex Moody took over between the posts. Striker Chris Lyons returned after a two-game absence to lead the line.
Conor Davis returned after injury to take his place amongst the substitutes. Player/goalkeeping coach Stephen McGuinness was also included on the bench.
With their talisman Ronan Coughlan out, the visitors took a third minute lead.
Cameron Cresswell took over the penalty duties. He slotted in from 12-yard dead-ball in the third minute after Conor Parsons had been fouled in the box.
It took a fine Seán Quinn block to deny Cresswell’s drive in the 11th minute.
But the Blue’s were up in arms as the striker went down in the 32nd minute inside the box under pressure from Guillermo Almirall.
However, instead of awarding a penalty, referee Oliver Moran produced a second yellow for Cresswell (for apparent simulation) who had earlier been booked for a 27th minute foul on Cole Omorehiomwan.
That snapped Bray into life with Conor Crowley flashing a shot wide of the target on 37.
Dane Massey’s low cross-shot brought a smart smother out on Sam Sargeant five minutes after the interval.
The Seagulls went close to an equaliser in the 54th minute when Darren Craven’s 22-yard drive rattled the bar.
On 68, Craven’s corner was only cleared to the waiting Max Murphy. But his long range attempt went over the bar.
In the 78th minute, some intricate passing ended with Davis’ effort being blocked out for a corner.
Despite over eight minutes of stages time, the hosts were unable to find the vital equaliser.
Bray Wanderers: Alex Moody; Max Murphy, Seán Quinn (Dave Webster 76), Cole Omorehiomwan, Dane Massey (Jake Walker 60); Callum Thompson, Conor Crowley (Harry Groome half time), Darren Craven, Guillermo Almirall, Len O’Sullivan (Zach Nolan 85); Chris Lyons (Conor Davis 76).
Subs not used: Jack Hudson, Conor Knight, Daniel Chukwu, Stephen McGuinness.
Booked: Murphy 54, Groome 58, Quinn 62
Waterford FC: Sam Sargeant; Darragh Power (Andrew Baker 56), Killian Cantwell, Giles Ene Malachi Phillips, Ryan Burke; Niall O’Keeffe, Romeo Akachukwu (Shane Griffin 79); Serge Atakayi (Samuel Perry 90 + 3), Dean McMenamy (Rowan McDonald 56), Connor Parsons; Cameron Cresswell.
Subs not used: Harvey Warren, Adam Queally, Ronan Mansfield, Anthony Adenopo, Paul Martin
Booked: Keith Long 36, Cantwell 81, Malachi Phillips 90 + 7.
Sent off: Cresswell (booked 27 and 330.
Referee: Oliver Moran (Dublin).
Pictures: Gerry Kelly (Bray Camera Club).