Bray Wanderers 2 Cobh Ramblers 2
Bray made it four games unbeaten in the SSE Airtricity League First Division on Friday evening to remain third in the table.
But they had to come from behind and play the final 25 minutes with ten players at a sun-kissed Carlisle Grounds to share the spoils with fourth placed Cobh.
With just a single point separating the teams before kick-off, it finished that way at the final whistle in an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Both teams led at one stage in the contest. The home side went 2-1 up in the 57th minute with a stunning strike.
Conor Crowley’s initial cross came back to him on the left of the box. He burst into the penalty area to hit a brilliant shot into the top right hand corner of the net for his first league goal for the Seagulls.
There was a strong hint of controversy about the lead up to the Cork side’s leveller in the 61st minute.
Jack Hudson seemed to win the ball when challenging Wilson Waweru. But referee David Connolly deemed it a foul and booked the defender.
Jason Abbott’s free was only cleared only to drop to Lee Desmond on the edge of the box. He turned well to lash low to the net from 16-yards through a crowded area.
But then in the 65th minute, the Wicklow outfit were reduced to ten players when Ger Shortt was sent off – on the advice of fourth official David Dunne – for an apparent off the ball incident.
With the visitors unchanged from the team who’d drawn last week with Athlone, Wanderers made three changes from the win over Kerry with Eoin Farrell, Hudson and Crowley (after an injury lay-off) coming into.
The away side twice went close through Wilson Waweru (5 and 6) before Lee Steacy thwarted Ben Feeney with diving save in the 12th minute.
Ramblers then took a 16th minute lead. A ball from the left was cleared to the waiting Desmond who controlled and drilled low from 16-yards with the ball squeezing past Alex Moody.
When the teams met last March at St. Colman’s Park, an own goal brought the Green and White’s level.
There was a repeat performance as the hosts equalised in the 23rd minute. Darren Craven centred low from the right that evaded Steacy. But rebounded off Michael McCarthy bounced into the net.
Bray also took the lead 90 seconds later. But skipper Dane Massey’s effort clipped the bar.
Bray Wanderers: Alex Moody; Max Murphy, Jack Hudson, Cole Omorehiomwan, Dane Massey; Eoin Farrell (Luka Lovic 73); Conor Crowley (Callum Thompson 62), Harry Groome; Darren Craven, Ben Feeney (Dave Webster 81), Ger Shortt.
Subs not used: Len O’Sullivan Chris Lyons, Conor Davis, Conor Knight, Joseph Power, Stephen McGuinness
Booked: Murphy 58, Hudson 61, Massey 90 + 3, Groome 90 + 4, Omorehiomwan 90 + 5.
Sent off: Shortt 65.
Cobh Ramblers: Lee Steacy; Michael McCarthy (David Bosnjak 90), Brendan Frahill, Charlie Lyons; Dale Holland (Claudio Osorio 84), Tiernan O’Brien, Jason Abbott, Daragh O’Sullivan Connell (Cian Brown 84); Lee Desmond; Wilson Waweru (Jake Hegarty 76), Conor Drinan (Liam Kervick 76)
Subs not used: Callum Stringer, Charlie O’Brien, Justin Eguaibor, Darragh Burke.
Booked: Holland 28, Hegarty 90 + 5.
Referee: David Connolly (Kilkenny).
Pictures: Graeme Fryer.