“Look at injury time, they’re in our box and 10 seconds later we’re in their box. I’m sure it was an enjoyable game to watch.”
This is how Seagulls manager Gary Cronin summed up the thrilling nature of last night’s 3-3 draw against Shelbourne at Tolka Park but while the entertainment levels were high in the First Division encounter, so was the feeling of frustration at the final whistle.
Bray went in at the break 2-1 down after a Brandon Kavanagh strike on 23 minutes was sandwiched by goals from George Poynton and former Seagull Ryan Brennan. The visitors flew out of the blocks in the second half with Ryan Graydon equalising before Kavanagh completed his brace in brilliant style but all that hard work was unravelled when a penalty decision went against us in the 75th minute. Poynton converted from the spot, leaving Cronin to rue the decision of referee David Keeler. “I felt the decision for the penalty was poor and I’ve had a chat with the referee about that. He’s gone with it, fair enough but unfortunately we don’t win the game because of it,” said Cronin post-match.
In terms of the performance of his side, Cronin was impressed, particularly with how they came out in the second half. “The energy was there at half time,” he said. “We just felt we had to come out really strongly and we did. There’s a lot of leaders in the group that pushed us on and we were good for our two goals. I thought we had some really excellent play in the second half with some nice, intricate football. It was just unfortunate the way it ended. I think we edged it, to be honest.”
Social media was alive last night with praise for the performance of Shamrock Rovers loanee Kavanagh and Cronin expects fans to see plenty more of that as the season develops. “Brandon was brought in to do that. He was brought in to score goals but I was giving out to him for his defending for the first Shels goal!
“We brought Brandon in and he can score fantastic goals like that second strike but we’ve also been at him to score the tap-ins, like his first one. He’s produced today and I’ve no doubts he will throughout the season. He’s a fantastic player but we had really good performances from all the players, particularly in that second half.”
Cronin was quick to dismiss thoughts of being happy with taking a point away to one of last season’s relegated Premier Division sides, saying: “I think it’s an easy way out to say we would have been happy to come back with a point. We had to find ways to try and win that game. I felt we did that but we didn’t come out with the three points in the end.”
Still undefeated but without a win in the opening two league games, thoughts for The Seagulls now turn to next Friday’s trip to UCD.