Friday, March 18, 2011

Bray Gain a valuable Point

There were no goals but plenty of action in an entertaining stalemate at the Carlisle Grounds as league hopefuls Sligo Rovers were held by Bray Wanderers.

Both teams struck the goal frame early in each period but couldn't find the vital score. The visitors dominated possession only to be met by a staunch rearguard action by their Wicklow opponents.

Sligo started brightly and were denied by the woodwork after just five minutes.

The unmarked John Russell was allowed time and space to size up a 25-yard shot that smacked off the crossbar and landed on the top of the net.

As the game settled down, the visitors had another chance in the 25th minute.

From a Bray free kick, Brendan Clarke's quick throw released John Dillon on the halfway line.

His measured through ball saw Eoin Doyle beat the offside save only for Matt Gregg to make a block save.

Despite all of Sligo's early dominance, Wanderers almost went in front on the half-hour mark. Gary Dempsey's pin-point pass saw Jake Kelly's placed lob on the run from 20-yards drop just over Brendan Clarke's bar.

Seconds later and from Clarke's goal kick, the FAI Cup holders then went close as Russell burst clear, but the former Galway man lobbed over the on-rushing Gregg to find the top-netting.

Just after the resumption, it Wanderers turn to be thwarted by the upright. Matt Gregg's 47th minute clearance was brilliantly controlled by John Mulroy. His clever flick on the spin created the opportunity to shot from 20-yards only to see his effort crash off the outside of the post.

The Seagulls had a big let-off in the 55th minute as Ryan whipped in a corner which was met by the diving Gavin Peers. The defender's header appeared to be going in only for team-mate Doyle to divert the ball into Gregg's arms on the goal line.

Sligo had another chance to take the points in the closing stages. Substitute Raffaele Cretaro snuck in behind the home defence, but he chipped wide of the target as the goalkeeper charged out.