Jake Kelly 64' -
Bray Wanderers inflicted a second defeat of the season on Shamrock Rovers as the Seagulls won 1-0 at the Carlisle Grounds in Thursday night's Airtricity League Premier Division match. Jake Kelly's third goal of the season was enough for Wanderers as they held firm to deny Rovers who controlled the game for long periods.
It was Wanderers who had the first attempt in the second minute through Chris Shields. Dan Murray failed to clear a long ball forward and from the edge of the area, he curled the ball towards goal with his right foot. Alan Mannus was untroubled in the Rovers goal, however, as Shields' shot sailed wide of the far post.
On seven minutes, Rovers had their first strike at goal. Gary Twigg picked up a loose ball about 25-yards out but his shot was weak and dribbled wide of Matt Gregg's right-hand post.
With 12 minutes gone, the Seagulls went close through Danny O'Connor who combined with Daire Doyle and John Mulroy on the right corner of the Rovers area before taking the ball on and shooting from 25-yards. His effort ran across goal and past the diving Mannus but also missed the far post by several inches.
Two minutes later, Conor McCormack's free from the right went into the Bray area but was nodded clear. The ball fell for Pat Sullivan and his half-volley sailed through a sea of players before trickling past the far post.
On 28 minutes, Billy Dennehy couldn't make the space for a shot and instead found Gary Twigg unmarked inside the Bray area. Twigg controlled and curled the ball at goal with his left foot from 15 yards but he couldn't get it on target.
A minute later, a free kick from the halfway line was launched into the Rovers box by Joe Kendrick. Chris Shields ran across his marker to meet it but his weak connection couldn't direct the ball on target and it rolled wide of the Hoops goal.
On 36 minutes, O'Connor, Doyle and Mulroy combined once again and, after a neat series of passes in the Rovers area, Mulroy shot into the side-netting from the angle of the six-yard-box.
In the 42nd minute, the Hoops defence failed to deal with Daire Doyle's cross from the right. Jake Kelly failed to connect with his first attempt and John Mulroy couldn't direct the ball either as Rovers' defenders couldn't clear the bouncing ball. Kelly then fired at goal but his effort flew over the bar from ten-yards out.
Just before half-time, Karl Sheppard crossed low from the right, his cross running across the face of the Bray goal. Billy Dennehy slid in but his effort was blocked brilliantly by Adam Mitchell before being cleared by Derek Prendergast.
Rovers began to take charge of the game after the break and should have opened the scoring in the 53rd minute through Gary O'Neill. He was played through and Matt Gregg ran out to charge him down. From just outside the box, O'Neill lifted the ball over Gregg but his effort bounced wide of the near post.
Five minutes later O'Neill was involved once again as he charged down the left-wing and pulled the ball back for Gary Twigg. He laid the ball off for Dennehy who shot straight at Gregg from 18-yards. Then, on 61 minutes, Pat Sullivan again drove at goal from distance and once again his shot failed to hit the target.
Three minutes later, Rovers were stunned as Bray scored against the run of play. Gary Dempsey passed the ball into the area for Jake Kelly who cut back onto his right foot and slotted the ball past Alan Mannus and into the far corner.
Rovers then created three chances in two minutes. First Gary McCabe crossed from the left for Dan Murray but his header looped over the crossbar. A minute later, Enda Stevens laid the ball off for Chris Turner but his strike from distance went over. A minute after that another McCabe cross, this time from the right, was met by the head of Twigg but his effort was straight at Gregg.
The Hoops did have the ball in the net on 84 minutes when Gary Twigg shot past Gregg from the edge of the area but it was ruled out for offside. Twigg had been behind the home defence when Gary O'Neill flicked the ball on for him.
Rovers continued to keep the home side pegged back in their half but failed to create any further chances and suffered only their second defeat of the season, both coming against the Seagulls.
Bray Wanderers: Matt Gregg; Shane O'Connor, Adam Mitchell, Derek Prendergast, Joe Kendrick; Daire Doyle, Gary Dempsey (Dane Massey, 95), Danny O'Connor, Jake Kelly (Graham Kelly, 95); John Mulroy, Chris Shields (Sean Houston, 87).
Subs not used: Brian Kane, Stephen Last, Dean Zambra, Dan McGuinness.
Bookings: Adam Mitchell (9), Jake Kelly (76).
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Pat Sullivan (Chris Turner, 66), Dan Murray, Ken Oman, Enda Stevens; Conor McCormack, Stephen Rice (Stephen O'Donnell, 66), Billy Dennehy; Karl Sheppard (Gary McCabe, 73), Gary Twigg, Gary O'Neill.
Subs not used: Ryan Thompson, Ciaran Kilduff, Craig Sives, Dean Kelly.
Bookings: Stephen Rice (57), Enda Stevens (59), Pat Sullivan (62), Chris Turner (91).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Attendance: 3,000 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Gary Dempsey - Bray's captain ran the show for the hosts and was excellent in both attack and defence.