Bray Wanderers 1 Cork City 1
Bray began their EA SPORTS U19 National League of Ireland Cup campaign with an opening Group C draw with Cork.
Wanderers took a first half lead at Ballycorus on Sunday afternoon. City levelled after the break but finished the game with ten players.
The Leesiders had won 4-1 when the teams played in Group A of the EA Sports National Underage League at Bishopstown Stadium back in March.
And they went close with Franco Umeh hitting the post in the tenth minute after Kajus Aksamitas’ fine parried save.
The Seagulls hit the front after 18 minutes though. Sam Hayden’s superb defence splitting pass released Cillian Melwani who beat the offside. Cutting in from the right wing, he bore down on goal and fired to the net from 14-yards.
The Rebels almost equalised on 26. Umeh’s slide rule pass put in Alex Healy-Byrne off the right. But Aksamitas produced a stunning tip-over save.
Yet, the hosts spurned a great opportunity to double that lead in the 33rd minute.
Again, Melwani was played in off the right channel. He cut the ball back to Josh McGlone but his scooped effort close in agonisingly dropped over the bar.
In a tight second period, the away side levelled in the 52nd minute.
After a foul on Umeh on the edge of the right side of the box, Bradley Walsh stepped up to rifle in a stunning free-kick into the far top corner of the net.
But with 17 minutes remaining, Walsh was sent off following an altercation.
Bray are scheduled to play Waterford FC away on Sunday May 15 next. Kick-off is set for 2.00pm at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
Bray Wanderers: Kajus Aksamitas; Ben Houton, Evan Laughlin, Jamie Callaghan, Dan O’Boyle; Ben Clarke, Séan McLean, Sam Hayden, Cillian Melwani, Zach Donoghue; Josh McGlone.
Subs: Evan Harte, Kieran Mitchell-Lee, Gavin Doyle, Hayden Roche, Thomas Downey, Samuel Safaei.