Date: 8 p.m. Aug. 10, 2016
Venue: Carlisle Grounds
Att: 1,253

Mark Salmon 39' -
Scored: 39'

Karl Moore 80' -
Scored: 80'

Scored: 12'
- Daryl Horgan 12'

Red: 90'
- Daryl Horgan 90' + 3'

League Report: Bray Wanderers 2 - 1 Dundalk FC

Wed, Aug 10 2016

Daryl Horgan scored and was then sent off late on in another defeat for Dundalk. Credit: Al Robinson

A disappointing 2-1 defeat for Dundalk in Bray leaves the champions six points clear of Cork City at the summit of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table following Wednesday night’s game at the Carlisle Grounds.


Strikes from Mark Salmon and Karl Moore earned Bray the win and ensured that Stephen Kenny’s men suffered back-to-back defeats coming off arguably the most memorable win in the club’s 115-year existence after their 3-0 annihilation of BATE Borisov in last Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier.


Having going down 1-0 in Galway last Friday, they deservedly lost against Harry Kenny’s struggling Seagulls in Wicklow, despite Daryl Horgan opening the scoring in the 11th minute.


The result moves Bray five points clear of the relegation play-off place, while it marks the first time that Dundalk have suffered successive league defeats since September 2014. The defeat was compounded by the dismissal of Horgan in the final minute of stoppage time for an inexplicable challenge on Connolly.


The Lilywhites, backed by a strong vocal following, performed without established regulars in Brian Gartland, Ronan Finn and Patrick McEleney through injury and instead gave Robbie Benson and former Bray powerhouse Chris Shields starts in midfield.


Perhaps more significantly, Wanderers were without the services of Drogheda native, and arguably their player of the campaign, Ryan Brennan through an injury sustained against Shamrock Rovers in their last league outing.


Ger Pender replaced Brennan in midfield, while Chris Lyons took his place on the bench for Harry Kenny’s team following his return to the club earlier this week.

An interesting opening half was produced despite the blustery conditions and tricky surface, as both sides got on top at different stages. Dundalk began the brighter, moving the ball and the Seagulls around as they saw fit, with birthday boy Daryl Horgan the most prominent of their wealthy attacking options.


It was indeed Horgan who opened the scoring 11 minutes in. Having kept the ball, playing it nonchalantly across the back four and through midfield, right-back Sean Gannon lofted a ball down his flank.


Skipper Stephen O’Donnell aggressively attacked and flicked it on to John Mountney despite the vocal claims from Bray’s Kevin Lynch for a free-kick to be awarded.


The ball was transferred to David McMillan, the striker seeking a third league hat-trick in succession, and he in turn played the raiding Robbie Benson in behind the home sides stretched defence. The goal looked inevitable and it duly arrived as Benson unselfishly found Horgan at the back post and the Galweigan slammed it home.


Horgan saw another effort collide with the post soon after, as Dundalk continued to harass the Bray defence. Their midfield paring of O’Donnell and Chris Shields were extremely efficient bodyguards for the Lilywhite back-four as Bray failed to disturb Dundalk’s rear-guard during the match’s opening third.


However, Bray poured forward with intent prior to half-time. John Sullivan became more influential and his excellent passing range was on show as he found Dylan Connolly in behind Barrett and Boyle, only for the former Ipswich man to fire over from close range.


Harry Kenny’s men were growing in confidence though, and their equaliser came on the back of several half chances. The exciting Connolly was hacked down rashly by Paddy Barrett when heading into the oblivion beside the corner flag. From Kevin Lynch’s delivery, Mark Salmon blasted past Gary Rogers despite the desperate attempts of Shields on the goal line, with Hugh Douglas’ header providing the assist. One apiece at the interval.


Bray and the champions traded chances on the re-start. Goalscorers Salmon and Horgan both missed opportunities as the sides continued their offensive approach into the second period.


As the half progressed, Bray were finding gaping holes at the back of an untypically generous Dundalk defence. Connolly was finding acres of room both, on his left flank and on the other occasions when he decided to maraud across the periphery of the 18-yard area.


The introduction of Jason Marks on the right gave the Bray danger man yet another outlet to pick out passes.


On the other hand, Bray were placing 10 men within 30 yards of their own goal when out of possession as the Lilywhites grew anxious.


Horgan was pacing his wing as their full-backs advanced without a second thought. Ciaran Kilduff was introduced with 24 minutes remaining as Dundalk attempted to find an alternative route around Bray’s stubborn cover.


The game continued to ebb and flow. Marks had a Bray goal ruled out for offside, while Dundalk introduced urgency into their play. However, in truth they lacked their usual offensive sparkle.


McMillan saw an acrobatic effort saved by Peter Cherrie and he would rue that miss as moments later Bray took the lead. Dane Massey’s overly robust challenge on Bray’s Connolly saw the left-back cautioned and a 25-yard free-kick awarded.


From the resulting set-piece, Karl Moore whipped a superb left-footed effort, which curled away from the sprawling Rogers and into the top right-hand corner to the delight of all associated with Wanderers. The tenth placed team were now in pole position to secure their first victory over the Lilywhites since a 1-0 win at the same venue in early 2014.


Bray held out, despite late Dundalk pressure with Darren Meenan missing a gilt-edged chance, and thus gained an unexpected three points, while Daryl Horgan was sent-off for Dundalk in the final moments.


Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Conor Kenna, Tim Clancy, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan, Mark Salmon, Gareth McDonagh (Jason Marks 61), Karl Moore, Dylan Connolly; Ger Pender (Chris Lyons 80).

Subs not used: Lee Steacy (gk), Kieran Butler, Alan Kehoe, Sean Harding, Paul Finnegan.

Booked: Karl Moore (54), Mark Salmon (71).


Dundalk FC: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Paddy Barrett, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Stephen O’Donnell, John Mountney (Darren Meenan 70), Robbie Benson (Ciaran Kilduff 66), Daryl Horgan; David McMillan (Michael O’Connor 83).

Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (gk), Shane Grimes, George Poynton, Ciaran O’Connor.

Booked: Sean Gannon (72), Dane Massey (78).

Sent-off: Daryl Horgan (90).


Referee: Neil Doyle.

Attendance: 1,253. Man of the Match: Dylan Connolly (Bray Wanderers).


Bray Wanderers
Peter Cherrie
John Sullivan
Kevin Lynch
Conor Kenna
Hugh Douglas
Tim Clancy
Mark Salmon
39Scored: 39'
68Booked: 68'
Karl Moore
55Booked: 55'
80Scored: 80'
Gareth McDonagh
61Subbed Off: 61'
Dylan Connolly
Ger Pender
81Subbed Off: 81'

Lee Steacy
Jason Marks
61Subbed On: 61'
Chris Lyons
81Subbed On: 81'
Alan Kehoe
Sean Harding
Paul Finnegan
Kieran Butler
Gary Rogers
Paddy Barrett
Andy Boyle
Sean Gannon
72Booked: 72'
Dane Massey
79Booked: 79'
Robbie Benson
Midfielder 66'
66Subbed Off: 66'
Daryl Horgan
12Scored: 12'
90Sent off: 90'
John Mountney
Midfielder 71'
71Subbed Off: 71'
Stephen O'Donnell
Chris Shields
David McMillan
Forward 83'
83Subbed Off: 83'

Shane Grimes
CiarĂ¡n Kilduff
66Subbed On: 66'
Darren Meenan
71Subbed On: 71'
Ciaran O'Connor
Michael O'Connor
83Subbed On: 83'
George Poynton
Gabriel Sava