Bray Wanderers 6 Sligo Rovers 1
Bray ended a recent run of poor run U17 EA Sports Phase 2 National Underage League of results by powering past Sligo.
Max Mason’s double helped the Seagulls to a 2-0 first half lead as Rovers were reduced to ten players on Saturday afternoon at Ballycorus.
Conor O’Gorman added another brace – and an assist – as the Wicklow side ran out 6-1 winners.
When the teams met last July at the Showgrounds, it finished 3-3.
But a similar result never looked likely as the hosts hit the front after just 82 seconds.
From Daniel Lee’s throw near the right corner flag, Max Hennessey sent in a cross. Mason gathered and span off his marker to shoot with the ball finding the net off the palms of goalkeeper Matthew Fox.
That lead was doubled in the 20th minute. Skipper Joshua Kerr threaded a pass in from the left flank into the box. A Sligo defender won possession, but Mason reacted to win back possession. He then guided a low shot – under pressure from two opponents – to the far-right bottom corner of the net from 16-yards.
The Bit O’Red suffered another blow two minutes into first half stoppage time when striker Michael Clifford was dismissed.
Just like the first half, Bray didn’t wait for long to find the net with just 90 seconds gone on the clock in the second period.
Joshua Kerr’s corner was cleared. O’Gorman gathered, skipped past two tackles near the right end line and cut the ball back for Lewis Jacobs to score from six yards out.
It became 4-0 in the 51st minute. Jake Murray’s pinpoint cross field ball left to right picked out O’Gorman. He controlled with a first touch then buried a low drive to far bottom corner of the net with his second from 15-yards.
Sligo pulled one back in the 62nd minute. From a short corner, captain Daniel Kelly delivered a cross from the right wing which was turned into the net from virtually on the line by Luke Mavrak.
But with 20 minutes to go, Wanderers notched a fifth.
Gorman sent Mason scampering cleared. He was blocked off inside the penalty area. But O’Gorman followed up and made no mistake from 14-yards with a low finish.
A sixth goal arrived five minutes deep into stoppage time.
Substitute Dylan Ryan swung in a corner from the right. Fellow reserve Daniel Chukwu stooped to score with a near post header.
Bray Wanderers: Jamie Molloy; Daniel Lee, Zach Nolan, Caleb O’Neill, Paddy Kildee-Doolan; Max Hennessy, Jake Murray; Conor O’Gorman, Joshua Kerr, Lewis Jacobs; Max Mason.
Subs: Eoghan O’Hanlon, Daniel Chukwu, Dylan Ryan, Harry Sherlock, Samuel Safaei.
Sligo Rovers: Matthew Fox; Matthew Langan, Conor Reynolds, Daire Patton, Daniel Kelly; Luke Mavrak, Kyle McDonagh, Reid Kelly, Callum Lynch; Michael Clifford, Shea Malone.
Subs: Zach Gilligan, Eoin Stinchon, Sam Tuohy, Conor Cannon, Kyle Gabbidon, Lee Conway, Thomas Morley.
Referee: Joe Byrne. Assistants: Joe Hillman, Cillian O’Reilly (Wicklow ISRS).
* Bray are away to Bohemians on Saturday September 24. They will take on the Gypsies at St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall at 1.00pm.