Date: 7:45 p.m. Sept. 24, 2010
Venue: Carlisle Grounds
UCD, fresh from a morale-boosting victory over St. Patrick's Athletic in their previous league game, made a bright start to the game with Chris Mulhall in particular making a lively start to the tie. He shot just over after two minutes with a powerful 20-yard drive, and he was put through one-on-one with Bray goalie Matt Gregg four minutes after that, but Gregg was quick off his line to deny the midfielder a clear chance to shoot.
It was clear that The Students were coming out to hit the home side where it hurt though, and they came agonisingly close to taking lead on nine minutes when Evan McMillan found Karl Moore with an excellent 50-metre pass, and he crossed beautifully for David McMillan whose header was tipped onto the crossbar by Gregg, before eventually going over for a corner.
This was something of a let-off for Bray, as UCD were looking the most likely of the two sides to take the lead in these early stages. They did start to settle down a bit after this however, with Wexford-native Gary Dempsey proving to be a prominent figure for the Wicklow men in the middle of the park.
Zambra went close with a left-footed shot from outside the box on 16 minutes, and Prendergast also headed just wide on 20 minutes, as Bray were starting to display the type of confident play that has seen them pick up ten points from their last four games in the Premier Division. They went close to an opening goal on 28 minutes as well when Danny O'Connor made an excellent run from midfield, and unleashed a firm shot that forced UCD shot stopper Billy Brennan into a fine save.
The first goal of the game came just two minutes after this, but it went to the visitors, as the outstanding Mulhall sought out David McMillan with a pass, and the returning striker had his initial shot saved by Gregg, before heading the rebound into an empty net.
This came as a major disappointment to Pat Devlin and his Bray side, who had really come into the game as the half wore on. After the concession of the goal, they did respond well with Dempsey once again making his presence felt in the middle-third, but they couldn't muster up the opportunity that would bring them level at the break, which meant that Martin Russell was the happiest of the two managers going in at the break.
On the resumption, Bray were starting to look bright again, and seemed like they might cause some problems for Martin Russell's side, although they were missing the dynamic wing play of Jake Kelly. UCD were simply more clinical than their opponents though, and this was evident on 53 minutes when David McMillan got his second goal of the evening, with a neat finish from close-in following good approach play from Mulhall and Ciaran Kilduff.
The game now looked primed for UCD to push on for victory, but Bray had other ideas and they gave themselves a lifeline on the hour when a Dave Webster throw on the right-hand side was nodded on by O'Connor, leaving Daire Doyle with the simplest of tasks to head home from six yards out. This set the game up for a thrilling final 30 minutes and, given the good form that both sides showed in their last games, it really was anyone's for the taking.
How well the two sides responded to this goal was clearly going to have a big bearing on this game, and certainly it was last year's First Division Champions that came up with the appropriate answer, as they started to take over the game in terms of possession. They didn't create too many chances during this period (give Bray credit for that), but they were keeping their close rivals on their toes at the same time.
Bray did put on a good deal of pressure in the closing stages though, and this eventually led to Doyle's second of the game in the first minute of injury-time as he unleashed an incredible strike from 30 yards into the top-corner of the net. After the way the game panned out, a draw was probably a fair result from the game and, even though UCD will feel they should have held out, both sets of players will probably be happy with a share of the spoils from this game.
Bray Wanderers: Gregg; Webster (Shaw '66), Mitchell, Prendergast (Brennan '62), Doyle; Zambra, Dempsey, D O'Connor (Tuohy '83), Shields, Massey; O'Neill.
Subs not used: S O'Connor, Kane.
UCD: Brennan; O'Conor, Leahy, E McMillan, Russell; Mulhall, Corry, Bolger, Moore (Creevy '70); Kilduff, D McMillan (Ward '79).
Subs not used: Boyle, Wilson, Barron.
Referee: D. Tomney (Dublin).
Extra Time Man Of The Match: Chris Mulhall (UCD).