Ryan Brennan scored twice as Bray Wanderers secured their first win of the season with a resounding 4-0 victory over Sligo Rovers at the Carlisle Grounds.
Despite being a very tight first half, Bray scored four in the second half as a brace from Ryan Brennan plus goals from Karl Moore and Andrew Lewis finished off a miserable night for the Bit O 'Red
During the week the Bray Wanderers groundsmen had got into bother for painting a 1916 Mural in the centre circle of the pitch. It subsequently surfaced that according to Fifa rules its forbidden to have any 'non-football' markings within the boundaries of the pitch, and thus it was removed before kick-off.
Before the game got underway there was a minute’s silence for Josh Daniels, Johan Cruyff, the recent Brussels attacks and for all who lost their lives making Ireland a free state. This was then rounded off with the National Anthem being sung in a genuinely nice touch from all at the club.
It was Rovers that the opening moments of the half belonged too. Just three minutes had passed when Sligo midfielder Kieran Sadlier found space just outside the box but shot wide of Peter Cherrie in the Wanderers goal.
Moments later again it was Sligo pressing when neat play from Jordan Richards and former Seagulls man Chris Lyons played Craig Roddan into the box but the ball just over ran and Sligo defender Curtis Murphy cleared.
There was also a long delay in the starting moments as a heavy tackle on Mark Salmon saw him replaced by Alan Byrne.
Further chances for Rovers followed. Defender Tobi Adebayo-Rowling's cross found Lyons in the box but he missed the target. On 20 minutes it was a clever passing move that saw a good chance go a begging as Jimmy Keohane put the ball over the top for Liam Martin to run onto but he couldn't keep his shot down and the ball flew over the crossbar.
It wasn't until midway through the first half that the home side finally found their feet in the game. A Ryan Brennan effort from the left of the box saw the ex-Shamrock Rovers man whistle his shot over the bar. Further flashes of good play from Dean Kelly and Karl Moore came to nothing as we went into the break with the score and the game evenly balanced.
We were expecting a tight start to the second half as the teams embarked from the tunnel. But it was The Seagulls that looked sharp, alert and fit. Within four minutes Wanderers found themselves in front.
Bray won a corner and as it was swung into the penalty area by Jason Marks the ball seemed to hit Ryan Brennan's foot and with a hint of a slight deflection poor Ciaran Nugent in the Bit O'Red goal was left stranded as the Seagulls took the lead.
Next on the score sheet was Karl Moore. After sixty minutes he retrieved the ball from Dean Kelly down the right and quickly turned the Sligo defence to rifle past Nugent, doubling Bray’s lead in the process.
Then just six minutes later the Sligo Rovers defence went missing again. A corner was returned by Marks with interest and Brennan was on hand to sweep the ball home for his second and Bray's third of the evening.
The Bit O'Red Manager Dave Robertson threw on both Jordon Richards and Raffaele Cretaro in a desperate search for impetus but sadly for their travelling fans it wasn't to be.
In the closing stages the Seasiders got their fourth when young Englishman Andrew Lewis found himself unmarked in the box and he duly slotted home.
A great night for Bray gaining their first win of the season as well as their first clean sheet of the campaign, while Sligo head back to The Showgrounds rueing on the missed chances from a pretty even first half.
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie, Hugh Douglas, Curtis Murphy (Gareth McDonagh 83), Conor Kenna, Alan McNally, Ryan Brennan, Mark Salmon (Alan Byrne 3), Dean Kelly (Ger Pender 81), Karl Moore, Jason Marks, Andrew Lewis
Subs Not Used: Aaron Shanahan, Sean Noble, Sean Harding, Paul Finnegan
Booked: McNally (64)
Sligo Rovers: Ciaran Nugent, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Gavin Peers, Tim Clancy (Mick Leahy 45), Regan Donelon; Jimmy Keohane, Criag Roddan, John Russell (Jordon Richards 75), Kieran Sadlier; Chris Lyons (Raffaele Cretaro 65), Liam Martin.
Subs not used: Micheál Schlingermann (GK) , Phil Roberts, Gary Boylan, Janaai Gordon, Gary Boylan.
Referee: Michael O’Connor.
Attendance: 600 (estimate).
Extratime Man of the Match: Ryan Brennan (Bray Wanderers).