Bray Wanderers 3 Sligo Rovers 1
Two first half Ethan Cheese goals paved the way for Bray to claim all three U17 LOI Academy Phase 2 Tier Two (North) points.
The Seagulls led 2-0 at the break on the all-weather at the Woodlands in Greystones on Saturday afternoon.
But were reduced to ten men just before the hour mark. Sligo then pulled one back with 17 minutes to go.
However, substitute Dylan Ryan came off the bench to register Wanderers’ crucial third score in the 88th minute to seal victory.
Rovers had won the reverse fixture 1-0 at the Showgrounds back in June. But their recent four-gaming winning streak in the league was brought to an end as Cheese scored twice in a five-minute spell.
The first came in the 16th minute. Philip Cooney played a superb reverse slide rule pass to put Cheese in off the left fank to finish low to the far bottom corner with a cracking drive.
It became 2-0 in the 20th minute.
Kian Dowling dinked on a ball off the right wing which Cooney gathered. He laid the ball back to Dowling whose pinpoint low delivery went across the face of goal.
Cheese ghosted in off the left to score from an acute angle with a first-time placed effort that went into the net off goalkeeper Kyle Gabbidon.
Having been booked in the opening period, Bray midfielder Aidan Kane picked up a second yellow card in the 57th minute.
With the extra man advantage, the Bit O’Red reduced their arrears in the 73rd minute.
Sub Reuben Gillespie sent over a low cross from the right which was met by Niall Kenny’s right-footed shot to the net from inside the box.
Approaching the end of normal time, Alexander Kearney’s booming kick was helped on by sub Sean Hennelly. Ryan latched onto it and burst past an opponent before slotting in low under Gabbidon from 15-yards.
Elsewhere in the section, St. Patrick’s Athletic defeated leaders Bohemians 6-1 at TU Blanchardstown; and Drogheda United overcame Athlone Town 1-0 at the Athlone Town Stadium.
The results mean Bohs lead the way on 27 points from 12 games (total 14 to play). Sligo are two points behind having played one game less. St. Pat’s are third on 24 points off 12 matches.
Bray are fourth on 16 points but only 11 fixtures completed Athlone are fifth on 15 points from 12 games.
Bray Wanderers: Alexander Kearney; Paddy Kildee-Doolan, Ronan Dawson, Luke Smith; Kian Dowling, Ronan Langan, Aidan Kane, Ethan Cheese; Rhys Knight; Adam Reid, Phillip Cooney.
Subs: Jack Nolan, Dylan Ryan, Sean Hennelly, David Winkler.
Sligo Rovers: Kyle Gabbidon; Alan Hegarty, David Jonathan, Cead McGrath; Callum Lynch; Niall Kenny, Thomas Morley, Daire Patton, Keelan Mullin; Corey McCay-Lavery; Conor Cannon.
Subs: Calvin Hogge, Reuben Gillespie, Cathair Tighe, Oran Murphy, Oluwaemi Olajide, Jack Brehony.
Referee: John Hanney. Assistants: Liam Byrne, Eduardo Salcido Tapia
* Bray are scheduled to face Longford Town on Saturday September 30 next at Bishopsgate.
Bray goal scorers Dylan Ryan and Ethan Cheese (2).