Shamrock Rovers 5 Bray Wanderers 1
Three goals in the last six minutes saw Bray go down to an EA SPORTS MU15 LOI Academy Group B opening day defeat against Shamrock Rovers.
The Seagulls were very much in the game at 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Roadstone until the Hoops’ late flurry of scores.
In an extremely competitive high tempo game, both teams created chances early on.
It needed a series of fine saves by Wanderers goalkeeper Alex Forde to keep the tie level. Although at the other end, Billy O’Neill and Cristiano Bramley were a threat for the Seagulls.
The Dubliners went ahead in the 22nd minute through Charles Akimrintoyo. But the visitors were level just six minutes later.
After good play on the right flank by O’Neill, he was the provider for Bramley to convert.
The Seasiders went close before the end of the first third with O’Neill linking up with Sean Hennelly on the right to only see his shot saved by home custodian Alex Noonan.
In a tight middle third, Wanderers have a number of opportunities. But could not find a way past the impressive Noonan.
The hosts then regained the lead in the 36th minute when Maxim Kovalevskis found the net.
In the final third of 30 minutes, the game was nip and tuck. Bray pressed through the central midfield duo Adrian Kane and Ethan Cheese while wide attacking players James Seberry and Hennelly were still a danger going forward.
But with the final whistle approaching, Kovalevskis notched his second of the encounter before Brody Lee contributed a quick-fire double.
The final score-line didn’t reflect the performance and work rate that both teams put in over a competitive 90 minutes.
Bray Wanderers: Alex Forde; Ryan Bell-Mihaila, Callum Kenna, Noah Byrne, Evan Lynch; Aidan Kane, Ethan Cheese; Sean Hennelly, Cristiano Bramley, James Seberry; Billy O’Neill.
Subs: Max Free, Darragh Sherlock, Jake Fulton, Adam Keene, Joshua O’Leary, Sean Howard, Liam Billings.
* Bray are at home to Drogheda United on Saturday March 5 next. Kick-off at Ballycorus is set for 2.30pm.