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A Season in Review - Bray Wanderers

Mon, Dec 31 2012

 

Final League Position: 10th

 

FAI CUP: Second Round

 

EA Sports Cup: Quarter-finals

 

Player of the season: Jason Byrne

 

Young player of the season: Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters

 

Top scorer: Jason Byrne

 

Goal of the season: 

David Webster vs Dundalk

 

Highlight of the season 


When the influential Jason Byrne received his marching orders for an incident with Sean O’Connor, Waters took the game by the scruff of the neck. After nearly providing an assist for Dean Marshall, Waters pops up in the 87th minute with a screaming effort to derail the Supersaints title challenge.

 

Lowlight of the season 


Bray won only one game between the second week of June and the end of the season. This is very poor form that really had them in the relegation dogfight despite taking points of Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and St. Patrick’s Athletic throughout the campaign.

 

A look at 2012

After competing in the Setanta Sports Cup for the first time in their history, Bray took on the challenge of this year’s league with added vigour and hope than would usually hover around the Carlisle Grounds with the addition of the heroic Jason Byrne dampened the blow felt by the loss of the departure of Jake Kelly.

 

Failing to register points in the first two games, Bray opened their Airtricity League account for 2012 with a come from behind 3-2 win away to UCD. They continued to stumble through the season, before hitting form knocking Shelbourne out of the EA Sports Cup in extratime, and once again proving to be the thorn in the side of Shamrock Rovers after they took points from the then champions at home in Bray in an entertaining 2-2 draw. 

 

This form continued, with two wins on the bounce against Bohemians and Dundalk and 3-3 titanic struggle with St. Patrick’s Athletic in the Carlisle Grounds in mid May. After being knocked out of the FAI Ford Cup and obtaining two more substandard results in the league, Bray got what was to be their second last win of the season on the 1st of June in a 3-1 dismissal of UCD. 

 

They were knocked out of the EA Sports Cup before putting up a spirited performance against league champions Sligo Rovers in which they were unlucky to leave the Showgrounds with only a point. Another loss to Shelbourne was followed by more valiant draws away to Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and Dundalk before they recorded their final league victory away to Pats, thanks to an 87th minute winner from Waters.

 

Bray then collapsed, collecting only three points from the final 27 and those were all through draws.  They held Derry to a stalemate, took yet more points from a top four side by holding Sligo Rovers to a draw and got their final point of the season against Shelbourne in late September.

 

The failure of Bray to bring the same level of performance to games against lower sides as they do to those higher up the table is something that must be eradicated if they are to stay away from the relegation fight next season.

 

In a season that saw them only pick up five league victories it’s hard to fathom that they beat Pats in Richmond Park and held both Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers to two draws.

 

Bray will do as they always do though. Recruit well from around the Dublin region and blood some youngsters that will fast become league stars in years to come. 

 

Bray need to hold onto Jason Byrne, Kevin O’Connor and Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters if they are to progress as a club. Darren Quigley produced some great games between the sticks for the Seagulls and he’s also a vital part in the spine of that team, providing much needed experience. We saw that experience was key to Bray at times this year, and it’s the key to jumping away from the bottom two next year.