U20 Match Report – St. Patrick’s Athletic 5 Bray Wanderers 3

St. Patrick’s Athletic 5 Bray Wanderers 3

Despite a superb second half showing, Bray suffered an opening day U20 EA SPORTS LOI Group A defeat.

The Wicklow outfit trailed 4-0 at the break on Saturday afternoon at TU Dublin Blanchardstown.

But Wanderers rallied after the interval before falling to a 5-3 loss.

The visitors gave five club debuts in the fixture while Zach Nolan and Thomas Morgan also featured having travelled to Kerry the night before with the first team squad.

There was also three new additions on the bench which included several players stepping up from U17 level.

Bray started well had a couple of early chances from Stefan Ugbesia and Alex Nolan.

But it was the Saints who broke the deadlock after 17 minutes when a short back pass to away netminder Jack Ellis saw Micheal Noonan nip in and be brought down. The striker stepped up and slotted in the penalty.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 34th minute when the Green and White’s failed to clear, and Aaron Pettifer hit a volley into the roof of the net.

The Dubliner’s added a third just two minutes later when Matthew O’Hara delivered a cross from the right to back post where Jason Oyenuga had a free header.

A fourth goal arrived in the 44th minute through Aaron Pettifer.

With a mountain to climb in the second period, the Seagulls pulled one back in the 532nd minute when Ugbesia was on the scoresheet.

But St. Pat’s grabbed a fifth goal in the 63rd minute when O’Hara scored direct from a corner kick.

Wanderers kept going with Destiny Avenbuan thwarted by keeper Matthew Boylan.

But Bray netted again in the 78th minute when Alan Seruga was upended in the box with substitute Luca Mulhare converting the spot-kick.

Soon after, Oluwatofunmi Afolabi broke clear in a one-on-one and was tripped. But referee John Hanney waved play on.

Four minutes into time added on, Seasiders sub Sam Collins weaved past three opponents and fired a pinpoint shot into the bottom corner.

Elsewhere in the section, Shelbourne beat Finn Harps 6-0 at the AUL Complex while Drogheda United defeated Dundalk 2-1 at the Drogheda Institute.

Bray Wanderers: Jack Ellis; Zach Nolan, Caleb O’Neill, Leon Ajala, Destiny Avenbuan; Alex Nolan, Abdurahman Bouderbala, Joshua Kerr, Alan Seruga; Stefan Ugbesia, Thomas Morgan.

Subs: Tomás Ainsworth, Luca Mulhare, Samuel Collins, Paddy Kildee-Doolan, Oluwatofunmi Afolabi, Dylan Ryan, Alexander Kearney.

Pictures: Ethan Finnerty.

* Bray are due to have home advantage next week against Finn Harps on Saturday March 2 with a time and venue to be confirmed.