Dunbar saves bigger defeat
Wanderers rule in U19 tie
Wexford Youths' poor run in the SSE Airtricity Under-19 League Southern Elite section continued in Ferrycarrig Park on Monday of last week as Bray Wanderers strolled away with the points.
Wexford Youths 1 Bray Wanderers 3
The hosts had shipped five goals in both of their last two games before the break and they looked like a side short of confidence throughout this match.
Bray were undoubtedly the better team and without several fine saves from captain Adam Dunbar it could have been another five in this game.
There was no real cohesion to Youths'play. The passing wasn't crisp enough and they struggled to get behind the visitors' defence and create decent chances.
Their plans were hit by an ankle injury to influential midfielder Dan Brennan in the early stages. The Youths talisman limped around for a while, scored a superb goal but eventually had to come off.
Youths came into the game a disappointing last in the table with just one win in nine games.
However, their opponents weren't exactly high-flyers either, sitting just three points better off in mid-table.
Yet Wanderers started with more purpose. They looked dangerous in and around the box early on, without creating a great chance. They took the lead in the tenth minute when Nathan Brennan was nudged over and Shane Barnes sent a stunning 30-yard free-kick past Dunbar to the net.
Dylan O'Connor forced Dunbar to save low when Bray got in on the right while Dan Brennan was down injured. The Youths midfielder would last just long enough to hobble onto a Davy Doyle through-ball in the 21st minute, force his way past the last defender and beat Ronan Browne with a low strike.
With Brennan limping off after the equaliser, Youths rarely threatened. The closest they came during the remainder of the half was when Adam Rochford beat Browne to Davy Doyle's pass but his header wasn't powerful enough to get close to the gaping goal behind the beaten Bray 'keeper.
Paul McMahon twice went close late in the half while Christian Dietz missed with a pot-shot when he had options left and right. Level at the break, Youths' Paul Brennan got away on the left after the change-around but his cross was fired wide by Rochford under duress.
Bray took the lead in the 50th minute when an untouched Cian Gilson powered McMahon's left-wing corner to the net. Wanderers went close several times with Dunbar exceptional during the third quarter. Youths' best chance saw Owen McCormack volley Davy Doyle's corner wide at the back post in the 66th minute.
A soft second yellow card for a high-foot on a ducking Cian Doyle saw Pádraig Murphy dismissed for the visitors. A succession of nothing bookings followed as the game became fragmented. Youths huffed and puffed but never looked like grabbing the equaliser.
Bray defender Nathan Brennan hit the crossbar in the 88th minute but ten-man Wanderers did settle the tie just before the end when Barnes cut in from the left and fired home his second.
Wexford Youths: Adam Dunbar (capt.); Martin O'Connor, Owen McCormack, Neil Murphy, Paul Brennan; Conor Sutton, Dan Brennan; Adam Rochford, Vincent Quinlan, Eoin Donnelly; Davy Doyle. Subs. - Paul Carton for D. Brennan, inj. (21), Cian Doyle for Murphy (65), Danny Doyle for Donnelly (70), Eric Quinn for Rochford (81), also Dylan Furlong.
Bray Wanderers: Ronan Browne; Dylan O'Connor, Conor McGuire, Cian Gilson, Nathan Brennan (capt.); Luke Clucas, Pádraig Murphy, Seán Quinn, Christian Dietz; Shane Barnes, Paul McMahon. Subs. - Paddy Obijuru for Dietz, inj. (46), Paul Murphy for Clucas (70), Ryan Kavanagh for McMahon (81), Jake Daly for Barnes (90), also Seán Fogarty.
Referee: Seán Grant (Wexford).