Bray Wanderers 4 Wexford FC 1
Bray got their EA SPORTS MU14 LOI Eddie Wallace Cup campaign off to a winning start as they overpowered Wexford.
The Seagulls won 4-1 Saturday afternoon in their opening Group A fixture at the Carlisle Grounds.
It could have been even more for the Wicklow outfit have it not been for a exceptional goalkeeping performance by the visitors’ Luke Carr.
He pulled off a series of saves to deny the home side who dominated throughout.
In a remarkable ten-seconds sequence in the fourth minute, Daniel Oluwadara Olusola then Charlie Byrne and then Joshua Henderson Finn all hit the crossbar before the Green and White’s were awarded a penalty.
Byrne scored off his first effort. But before referee Ruben Collins blew his whistle. From the re-take, Carr produced a fine save.
On 18, the netminder tipped Olusola’s shot over the bar. Bray then had two goals correctly ruled out for offside.
In the 20th minute, Carr denied Byrne with the covering Callen O’Grady clearing off the line.
But the dead-lock was broken moments later. From Emanuele Vaticone’ surging left wing run and cross, Olusola steered in a brilliant header.
Then right on the whistle to end the period, Carr tipped Sean Howard’s 22-yard shot onto the bar and over.
However, against the run of play, the Slaneysiders levelled matters two minutes into the middle period. Martim Ferreira sent over a corner and substitute Jonathan Nuzum converted at the back post.
In the 34th minute, it took a sublime tip-over save by Carr to stop Joshua O’Leary restoring Wanderers lead when the midfielder left four opponents in his wake after a cracking solo run.
But the home team hit the front again in the 39th minute.
From a break off the left wing, sub Harry Grainger linked with Olusola.
Grainger’s then centred low were the inrushing Olusola slotted in from close range.
On the hour, Bray made it 3-1. Sub Alexander Emakhu slipped fellow reserve Matt Dennehy along the right flank. He showed great strength to hold a defender before firing high into the far left corner of the net.
Carr made another fantastic save by pushing O’Leary’s shot over the bar on 62.
But in the 64th minute, Emakhu delivered from the right wing. It picked out Byrne whose initial shot was blocked. But the rebound came back him to stroke to the net from 14-yards.
Elsewhere in the section, Waterford FC beat CK United 3-2 at Killeshin FC while Cobh Ramblers and Kerry FC played out a score-less draw at Mayfield United.
Bray Wanderers: Kai McSwiggan; Ryan Butler, Albie Tormey, Joshua O’Leary, Emanuele Vaticone; Aaron Egan, Sean Howard; Joshua Henderson Finn, Charlie Byrne, Aaron Kelly-Mladin; Daniel Oluwadara Olusola.
Subs: Jamie Lynch, Harry Grainger, Alexander Emakhu, Matt Dennehy, Nate Long.
Wexford FC: Luke Carr; Oisin Larkin, Elliot Ramsey, Samuel Cole, Callen O’Grady; Sohrab Yanbekov, Eoghan Waters, Larry Sludds; Tadgh O’Rourke, Charlie Guilfoyle; Martim Ferreira.
Subs: Eoin Bates, Jonathan Nuzum, Kyle Sheil
Referee: Ruben Collins (Wicklow).
* Bray are away to Waterford FC on Saturday May 27 next at the SETU Arena.
Bray goalscorers Charlie Byrne, Daniel Oluwadara Olusola (2) and Matt Dennehy.