Cobh Ramblers 3 Bray Wanderers 3
Guillermo Almirall’s first ever league goal for Bray claimed a SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division point.
With the contest into the 92nd minute, after good work by sub Jake Walker, Yoyo Mahdy was felled on the edge of the box.
That saw the Spaniard step up to expertly curl in a stunning 20-yard free kick to see the match finished 3-3 to keep our play-off hopes alive.
Amid blustery conditions on a awfully bobbly pitch at St. Colman’s Park on Friday evening, the Wicklow outfit came from 1-0, 2-1 and then 3-1 down to salvage what could be a crucial draw come the end of the season.
The Seasiders can also be thankful to on-loan goalkeeper Matt Connor who put in a man of the match display with a string of top-notch saves.
The visitors made three changes to the side who’d gone down at Longford Town last Monday. Defender Cole Omorehiomwan, midfielder Conor Crowley and striker Mahdy were recalled.
With Dane Massey captaining the team from left-back, Seán Quinn was selected at centre half.
On the bench, U19 player Zach Nolan came into the panel.
After Mahdy headed wide after just 40 seconds, Ramblers used the strong wind to their advantage from the resulting goal kick.
Former Seagull Lee Steacy’s long punt saw Jack Doherty brought down by Quinn. Doherty slotted in the resulting penalty in the second minute.
Twice in four minutes, Connor then came to the rescue. The custodian thwarted Wilson Waweru in the eighth and 11th minutes in one-one-one situations at the expense of corners.
Wanderers drew level in style on the half hour. Darren Craven sent over a cross from the right.
It came out left for Callum Thompson who teed up Massey. He then chipped a sublime 20-yard left footed shot that dipped into the far corner of the net for the 35-year-old’s fourth league score of the campaign.
But Cobh went back ahead just three minutes later.
From Cian Browne’s raking pass, Waweru beat the offside. He then evaded Connor and slotted to the net from an acute angle.
With their wind at their backs, Wanderers pressed to draw level after the interval.
But despite a series of corners, free-kicks, and half chances, they couldn’t restore parity.
They almost fell further behind on 72. Doherty charged down a clearance, but his placed effort was superbly parried by Connor.
It did become 3-1 seconds later.
Mikie Rowe crated space wide left to send over a cross. The ball came to the unmarked Waweru who lifted ten-yard half volley to the roof of the net.
Yet, the Green and White’s pulled one back with quarter of an hour to go.
Almirall intercepted and Ben Feeney broke. He slipped Craven in off the right flank to skip inside a defender. His low pinpoint centre to the near post saw Feeney get there first to poke in low from close range.
In doing so, the 20-yard-old became the first Bray player to score ten goals in all competitions since 2019.
Cobh Ramblers: Lee Steacy; Michael McCarthy, Brendan Frahill, Charlie Lyons, Cian Browne; Jason Abbott; Tiernan O’Brien (Justin Eguaibor 82), Mikie Rowe, Pierce Phillips (Dale Holland 84); Wilson Waweru, Jack Doherty (Dean Larkin 88).
Subs not used: Jake Hegarty, Alec Byrne, Luke Desmond, Liam Kervick, Luke Casey, Darragh Burke.
Booked: O’Brien 71, Shane Keegan 90 + 3.
Bray Wanderers: Matt Connor; Max Murphy, Cole Omorehiomwan, Seán Quinn, Dane Massey (Len O’Sullivan 79); Conor Crowley, Guillermo Almirall; Darren Craven; Ben Feeney, Yousef Mahdy, Callum Thompson (Jake Walker 79).
Subs not used: Jack Hudson, Harry Groome, Chris Lyons, Conor Knight, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Zach Nolan, Alex Moody.
Booked: Quinn 2, Murphy 25, Thompson 75, O’Sullivan 89.
Referee: Paul Norton.
Captain Dane Massey notched his fourth league score of the 2023 campaign
Ben Feeney became the first Bray player to score ten goals in all competitions since 2019.
Guillermo Almirall scored his very first league goal for the club through his stunning injury time free-kick