Shelbourne 3 (Poynton 14, 26, Brennan 26)
Bray Wanderers 3 (Kavanagh 22, 56, Graydon 51)
Tolka Park, First Division, 2 April 2021
Bray Wanderers and Shelbourne played out a trilling six goal thriller in Tolka Park with Brandon Kavanagh and George Poynton both bagging a brace for their respective sides.
Bray made one change to the starting eleven from the team that drew with Treaty United last week. Gary Shaw started in place of Luka Lovic. Shaw’s return only lasted a quarter of an hour as he limped out of play to be replaced by Lovic.
JJ Lunney had a great chance to open the scoring on 7 minutes, but Brian Maher saved well. Maher brilliantly turned a free kick from Kevin O’Connor over the bar on 13 minutes. A minute later, the home side took the lead. George Poynton ran at the home defence and his shot took a slight deflection to deceive the unsighted Maher.
Wanderers were level on 22 minutes. Darren Craven picked up the ball on the left of the area after Kouogun had allowed it to pass him. Craven’s shot was parried by Clarke and the inrushing Brandon Kavanagh fired the loose ball to the net.
Wanderers’ joy was short lived as Shels re-took the lead four minutes later. A long ball into the area was headed on and ex-Wanderer Ryan Brennan flicked past Maher. Just past the half hour, Kavanagh’s cross from the left just missed the inrushing Graydon in front of goal. O’Connor fired a free kick just wide for Shelbourne as the play flowed from end to end.
Darren Craven fired a shot straight at Clarke just after the break. On 51 minutes, Kavanagh played Grayson in and he fired low past the advancing Clarke to equalise. Five minutes later, Wanderers went in from through a spectacular shot from Brandon Kavanagh. Kavanagh picked the ball up just inside the Shels half before advancing and firing a long range shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Sean Quinn fired over for Shels after the ball broke to him in the area with a quarter of an hour remaining. A minute later, the home side were awarded a soft penalty for an apparent push in the area. Poynton shot straight down the middle and Maher was unlucky not to save.
Played flowed from both ends in the closing stages as both sides tried for a winner in a very entertaining clash.
Shelbourne: 1 Brendan Clarke; 4 Ally Gilchrist, 15 Maxim Kouogun, 3 Kevin O’Connor, 16 John Ross Wilson: 10 Ryan Brennan, 6 JJ Lunney, 26 George Poynton, 19 Sean Quinn; 11 Yoyo Mahdy, 9 Michael O’Connor.
Substitutes: 21 Alex Cetiner (for Brennan, 60), 12 Denzil Fernandes (for Mahdy, 60), 18 Dayle Rooney (for Wilson, 78), Michael Barker, 25 Jack Brady (Gk), 17 Shane Farrell, 14 Brian McManus, 24 David Toure.
Booked: Michael O’Connor (71), Denzil Fernandes (85).
Bray Wanderers: 1 Brian Maher; 8 Mark Byrne, 3 Dylan Barnett, 4 Andrew Quinn, 5 Aaron Barry; 6 Conor Clifford, 14 Richard O’Farrell, 7 Ryan Graydon, 16 Darren Craven, 11 Brandon Kavanagh; 10 Gary Shaw.
Substitutes; 30 Kian Clarke (Gk), 9 Joe Doyle, 17 Luka Lovic (for Shaw, 15), 12 Dean O’Shea, 18 Sean Callan, 20 Charlie Gallagher, 22 Steven Kinsella, 23 Glen Hollywood, 24 Cian Maher,
Booked: Quinn (37), Barry (76), Cronin (80)
Match Report: Michael Duffy
Pictures: Peter Minogue