Bray Wanderers 4 CK United 1
A Max Colbert second half hat-rick ensured Bray got their first home points of the 2023 season in the LOI Academy U17 Group B.
The match was score-less at the break at Ballycorus on Saturday afternoon. But the Wicklow team ran out 4-1 winners over the Carlow/Kilkenny side.
Despite treacherous conditions, which deteriorated just after kick-off, both clubs created some good chances in the opening period.
Colbert hit the crossbar for the home team, while Dylan Ryan forced a good save out of Osgar Croke Staunton after being played through by Ethan Cheese.
United also went close with two good efforts from the right hand wing flashing just wide of the post.
When the teams met back in March at St. Patrick’s Boys in Carlow in the reverse fixture, Colbert came off the bench to score twice in a 5-0 triumph.
As the weather picked up a bit in the second half, and so did Wanderers performance.
Colbert opened his account on 51 minutes, converting Rhys Knight’s cut back.
The same combination made it 2-0 just three minutes later.
The Green and White’s broke from their ow backline and Knight played a lovely right footed pass around the visiting defence for Colbert to race onto and fire to the net.
CK were given a way back into the game with 20 minutes to go.
Home custodian David Winkler was adjudged to have brought down Troy Sinnott in the box with the striker converting the resulting penalty.
However, Bray’s bench would go on have a big influence on the end result.
Phil Cooney saw his effort hit the underside of the bar and bounce down onto the line but back out. Then Kian Dowling’s back post header saved well by Croke Staunton.
But Wanderers sealed victory in the 87th minute. Dowling’s in-swinging corner found Cooney free at the back post to make it 3-1.
Then two minutes in stoppage time, Colbert completed his treble. He raced onto Ronan Langan’s through ball to score with a precise finish.
Elsewhere in the section, Waterford FC defeated Shelbourne 3-1 at the SETU Arena while Wexford FC overcame Klub Kildare 2-1 at Maynooth Town.
The results mean Waterford lead the way on 16 points with two games remaining. Shels are on 15; Bray are third on 13. Then come Klub Kildare (10) and Wexford (9).
Bray Wanderers: David Winkler; Alain Kizenga, Alex Baines, Ronan Langan, Roddy Cotter; Paddy Kildee-Doolan, Harry Sherlock; Dylan Ryan, Rhys Knight, Ethan Cheese; Max Colbert.
Subs: Kian Dowling, Luke Smith, Aidan Kane, Ronan Dawson, Jack Nolan, Phillip Cooney, Adam Reid, Alexander Kearney.
CK United: Osgar Croke Staunton; Aaron Fox, Keane Howick, Luca DeMange, Patrick O’Connor; Philip Yeates, Charlie Murray, Reuben Fitzgerald, Kyle O’Reilly; Troy Sinnott, Jack Pierce.
Subs: Eoin Sheppard, Logan Cullen, Matthew Drought, Rhys Johnson, Ross Shields, Deon Fielding, Dylan Murphy, Evan O’Neill
Referee: Cillian O’Reilly. Assistants: Rueben Collins, Joe Byrne (all Wicklow).
* Bray are away to Klub Kildare on Saturday May 6 next with kick-off at Tougher Park set for 3.30pm.
Goalscorers Philip Cooney and Max Colbert (3)