Bray Wanderers 2 Longford Town 4
Bray’s SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division play-off hope were dealt a blow as Longford came from behind to claim all three points.
With the two previous games between the clubs in the 2023 season having been drawn, Bray looked on course for their first win in six matches on Monday afternoon at the Carlisle Grounds when they led 2-0 in the 48th minute.
But the Bishopsgate based outfit rallied to score twice in three minutes to draw level before sub Jordan Adeyemo’s late cameo brace saw them move above their Wicklow opponents on goal difference.
Wanderers made three changes form the team they had drawn 2-2 at home to Athlone the previous Friday.
Defender Jack Hudson along with the midfield pair of Harry Groome and Seán Quinn all came in. U19 player Callum Goad was included amongst the substitutes.
The Seagulls hits the front in the 23rd minute.
Former ‘Town player Darren Craven struck a 22-yard swerving shot that was parried by Jack Brady. Chris Lyons reacted to the loose ball and was brought down by the goalkeeper.
The striker picked himself him to convert his third goal in fours days having bagged a brace against Athlone at the same venue last Friday.
But the visitors should have levelled maters in the 41st minute. Kyle O’Connor whipped in a cross from the left flank. But inside the six-yard box, the unmarked Cristian Magerusan headed into the ground with the ball bouncing up and over the bar.
They were made to pay for the miss three minutes into the second period.
Craven’s free-kick wasn’t cleared and Groome twice challenged in the air. Ben Feeney reacted to hit a 14-yard low drive that was brilliantly saved by Brady. But Dane Massey followed up to rifle the rebound into the roof of the net.
But the match effectively turned one two instances.
The Red and Black’s made a triple substitution in the 65th/66th minutes as they brought on Gary Armstrong, former Bray player Adam Wixted and Mohammed Boudiaf to give impetus to their attack.
They pulled one back in the 68th minute as Magerusan dispossessed home netminder Matt Connor and tapped into an empty net.
The away side then restored party two minutes later.
Boudiaf found Magerusan who cushioned a header into Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh’s path to score with a 15-yard right-footed half volley.
Another substitution by the Midlanders reaped rewards.
The comeback was completed in the 81st minute. Shane Elworthy’s slide rule pass saw Jordan Adeyemo beat the offside., And slot low past Connor.
The ‘Town wrapped up matters as Olajuwon Adeyemo set up his brother Jordan in the 91st minute to round Connor and roll into an empty.
Bray Wanderers: Matt Connor; Max Murphy, Jack Hudson, Dane Massey, Guillermo Almirall; Seán Quinn (Jake Walker 85); Darren Craven, Harry Groome (Conor Crowley 55); Ben Feeney (Yoyo Mahdy 85), Chris Lyons (Daniel Chukwu 55), Callum Thompson (Len O’Sullivan 85).
Subs not used: Conor Knight, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Callum Goad, Alex Moody.
Booked: Quinn 45, Massey 90 + 3.
Longford Town: Jack Brady; Shane Elworthy, Lewis Temple, Dylan Hand; Viktor Serdeniuk (Gary Armstrong 65), Gavin O’Brien; Josh Giurgi (Adam Wixted 65), Derek Daly (Mohammed Boudiaf 66), Kyle O’Connor; Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh (Jordan Adeyemo 74), Cristian Magerusan (Olajuwon Adeyemo 86).
Subs not used: Ross Fay, James Doona, Charles Mutawe, Jack Harrington.
Booked: Stephen Henderson 34, Serdeniuk 61.
Referee: Declan Toland (Midlands).
Pictures: Grame Fryer (Bray Camera Club).