Bray Wanderers 3 Kerry FC 1
Cole Omorehiomwan’s first senior goals helped Bray win their opening two league matches of the season for the first time since the 2019 campaign.
Although newcomers Kerry scored their first ever goal through Leon Gaxha, Wanderers ran out deserved 3-1 winners at a packed Carlisle Grounds on Friday night.
The Wicklow side retained the same starting 11 that had defeated Treaty United 1-0 last week – meaning nine players made their home debut.
As for the visitors – who gone down 2-0 on their debut last week at home to Cobh Ramblers – they made two changes. Leon Gaxha and Andy Quaid started in place of Graham O’Reilly and Ronan Teahan.
In front of an estimated crowd of over 1,300, the Seasiders hit the front on 16 minutes.In the first ever meeting if the two clubs, from Conor Crowley’s deep corner from the left right footed, Omorehiomwan registered his first senior goal by losing his marker and guiding a downward header into the ground and up into the net.An apparent injury to left-back Len O’Sullivan saw head coach Ian Ryan reshuffle his pack in the 24th minute. With Jack Hudson brought on in central defence, captain Dane Massey moved to the left of the rear-guard.
The second half was just three minutes old when Bray doubled their lead.
Ger Shortt rode a tackle on the right then picked out Chris Lyons who stooped to score with angled diving header from ten yards.
In now what is his third spell at his home town club, it was the striker’s first Wanderers goal since August 2016.
But the team from the Kingdom responded in the 50th minute with their first ever League of Ireland score. Gaxha embarked on a mazy run. Space opened up for him to slot low past Alex Moody.
But the home outfit were not to be denied.
From another Crowley corner on 57, central defender Omorehiomwan rose highest in a crowded penalty area to steer in a bullet header.
The hosts gave Conor Davis his debut as a late substitute. But it was fellow reserve Joe Power who went close to a fourth score in the 80th minute.
Sub Ben Feeney won a foot race to set up Power. But with the goal at his mercy, the Greystones native couldn’t get his shot on target.
Bray Wanderers: Alex Moody; Max Murphy, Cole Omorehiomwan, Dane Massey, Len O’Sullivan (Jack Hudson 24); Conor Crowley (Joe Power 79), Guillermo Almirall (Luca Lovic 63), Harry Groome; Ger Shortt, Walker (Ben Feeney 63), Chris Lyons (Conor Davis 79).
Subs not used: Eoin Farrell, Callum Thompson, Conor Knight, Stephen McGuinness.
Booked: Almirall 58, Groome 73.
Kerry FC: Wayne Guthrie; Kevin Williams, Shane Guthrie, Kalen Spillane (Ronan Teahan 54), Sean O’Connell; Andy Quaid (Samuel Aladesanui 54); Sean McGrath, Matthew Keane; Kennedy (Stephen McCarthy 83), Trpimir Vrljicak (Nathan Gleeson half time), Gaxha.
Subs not used: Alex Ainscough, Jonathan Hannafin, Graham O’Reilly, Cian Brosnan, Callan Scully
Booked: Gaxha 37, Quaid 45 + 2.
Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan (Cork).
Pictures by Des O’Connor.