Honours even as Bray respond to Barron's goal
Bray Wanderers 1 Wexford F.C. 1
It took 83 minutes for this SSE Airtricity Under-17 league tie to serve up a goal in Sallynoggin on Sunday, and then the second one came within two minutes.
Patrick Barron put Wexford F.C. into the lead against the run of play with a header from a set-piece which spurred Bray Wanderers into action, and Daniel Madaghjian was on hand to provide the equaliser.
Both sides had wonderful chances to break the deadlock throughout the match but either the shooting boots weren't up to working order or both goalkeepers earned their stripes.
Wexford F.C. looked the more dangerous in the first-half, with strike duo Liam Berry and Adham Masood causing the Bray defence all sorts of problems when they got the ball. They were given lots of time on it and allowed to take a touch or more in around the box before unleashing a shot.
They deployed a classic counter-attacking gameplan as Bray controlled the middle third without breaching the goal and the Wexford defence generally found Berry and Masood when possession was regained. They made life uncomfortable for the Bray defence without being able to hit the net either.
The second-half was a different story, as Wexford barely registered a shot in anger whereas Bray had chance after chance. Still, nobody could score.
The 83-minute wait for a goal almost never materialised as Wexford had a glorious chance after only a few seconds. Bray were caught napping and Craig O'Reilly was allowed to control a quick throw-in in the box without anyone near him, but his shot flashed just the wrong side of the post.
It was quite the rude awakening for Bray who settled into the match with a couple of chances, the best falling to Byron O'Gorman whose header forced Colum Feeney into an excellent save.
Bray didn't have many more shots in the first-half though they will feel aggrieved that one of the Wexford players wasn't sent-off for a last-man challenge. It appeared like Patrick Barron fouled Jake Ellis who was bearing down on goal but the referee only brandished a yellow card rather than red.
Masood and Berry continued to cause the Bray defence trouble when they got the ball, forcing them into last-ditch tackles or beating them to take a shot. The best chance fell to their team-mate Craig O'Reilly who arguably had too much time on the ball.
Masood played him in and O'Reilly took a touch in the box and looked up before dragging his shot wide. A little less time and he might have hit the net.
That was the first-half, and in the second period Bray was the only side creating chances to score, save for a couple of occasions.
Time after time Jake Ellis got the ball down the right wing and used his skill and physicality to terrorise the Wexford defence. It would lead to a corner or a ball going across the face of goal, just waiting for somebody to touch it into the net. It eventually came.
On other occasions it was Ellis' team-mate Eoin Darcy's turn to run at the defence, and when he won a corner for his team, Wexford F.C's Cian Foley was at full stretch to head the ball away.
Wexford's couple of chances in the second-half were as a result of some poor defending. First the Bray defence let the ball bounce in the box and then they were at sixes and sevens Craig O'Reilly was let in behind but shot wide again.
The deadlock was broken when Patrick Barron rose highest to head the ball into the bottom corner from a free-kick. This only served to renew Bray's efforts however, and the equaliser came quickly.
Ellis went on another one of his runs from the right wing and his shot was parried into Daniel Madaghjian's path for the simplest of tap-ins. It was honours even in a match that never caught fire.
Wexford F.C.: Colum Feeney, Cian Foley, Nathan O'Connor, Reece Murphy, Patrick Barron, Caellum Travers-Devlin, Liam Berry, Adham Masood, Brandon Deady, Stephen Kearns, Craig O'Reilly. Subs. - Conor Signorelli for Deady, James Esser for Berry, Oscar Smith for Kearns, Kian Kerr for O'Connor.
Bray Wanderers: Dylan Davis, Liam Moore, Jamie Crilly, Jake Byrne, Cian Walsh, Daniel Madaghjian, Cian Maher, Byron O'Gorman, Jake Ellis, Eoin Darcy, Darragh Kelly. Subs. - Conor Dowling for Cian Maher; Evan Dunne for Darragh Kelly.