Shamrock Rovers and Bray Wanderers drew for the second time in the Airtricity Premier League this season. A 0-0 draw at the Tallaght Stadium on Friday night will probably please Pat Devlin more than it will please Stephen Kenny.
In a game which was played in the summer sunshine, Bray created the first chance of the game and should have taken the lead in the 9th minute. After a fine passing movement on the right Kevin O'Connor played in Adam Hanlon but Hanlon somehow hit his shot high and wide from eight yards out.
Ronan Finn had Rovers first real effort on goal in the 15th minute. He turned away from Kevin O'Connor and hit a fine shot from 30 yards out. Bray goalkeeper Darren Quigley dived high to his left to keep the ball out.
Soon after Daryl Kavanagh missed a great chance for the home side. Stephen O'Donnell played the ball to Finn who found Billy Dennehy. Dennehy crossed from the left with his right foot. He picked out Kavanagh but the former Pats striker headed wide from close range when it seemed easier to score.
In the 33rd minute Dennehy missed an open goal for Rovers. Finn put in a perfect cross from the right and Dennehy got to it first but he managed to put the ball over the bar, although he was under pressure from Adam Mitchell.
The busy Dennehy created another chance for Rovers in the 3rd minute of injury time. Once again he crossed from the left. This time he picked out Gary O'Neill. However O'Neill just like Kavanagh before him headed wide from 6 yards out.
After Kavanagh came close again for Rovers early in the second half, Dennehy created another chance for O'Neill in the 63rd minute. The former Cork City player crossed from the left and found Rover's number 10 who somehow miskicked form six yards out.
Bray were giving as good as they got though, and Jason Byrne almost scored another league of Ireland goal in the 71st minute. Adam Hanlon made an excellent run down the right and his cross found Byrne who rose highest. The Bray striker's header would have found its' way into the bottom corner but for an excellent fingertip save from Oscar Jansson. From the resultant corner Adam Mitchell headed straight at the Shamrock Rover goalkeeper.
The visitors almost scored on the counter attack in the 75th minute. After a poor corner from Dennehy the ball found its way to John Mulroy on the Bray left. Mulroy's outstanding reverse pass found Byrne. This time the experienced striker hit a low shot towards the bottom corner but his effort just shaved the post.
The chances continued to come. In the 78th minute Shamrock Rovers substitute Gary McCabe cut in from the left and hit a stunning right foot shot from 25 yards out which hit the crossbar.
In the 87th minute Dennehy created another opportunity. His corner from the right picked out Colin Hawkins. Hawkins headed it down to Killian Brennan but Brennan who was under pressure from the Bray defence could only hit his half volley over the top.
That was the last chance of an entertaining encounter. Some Shamrock Rovers fans were chanting “we want Kenny out” at the end of another frustrating home draw for the champions. Stephen Kenny looked agitated throughout the second half and on this form his team will struggle to retain their league title. Bray deserved a point and will be encouraged by the fact that they have now drawn away to Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers in their last two away games.
Shamrock Rovers: Oscar Jansson; Pat Sullivan, Ken Oman (c) (Conor McCormack 35), Colin Hawkins, Conor Powell; Daryl Kavanagh (Gary McCabe 61), Chris Turner, Ronan Finn, Stephen O'Donnell (Killian Brennan 37), Billy Dennehy; Gary O'Neill.
Subs not used: Reyaad Pieterse, Ciaran Kilduff, Stephen Rice, Kerrea Gilbert.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; Shane O'Connor, Danny O'Connor, Adam Mitchell, Dane Massey; Adam Hanlon (Jonathan Kelty 82), Kevin O'Connor, Dean Zambra, John Mulroy, Sean Houston; Jason Byrne (Ismahil Akinade 88).
Subs not used: Brian Kane, Daire Doyle, Graham Kelly, Lee Dixon, Pat Seery.
Booked: K O'Connor (77).
Referee: Alan Kelly.
Attendance: 2,100 (estimate).
Extratime.ie man of the match: Adam Mitchell (Bray Wanderers).