Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO Bray Wanderers' Brandon Kavanagh.
# Wrap
Cork City's early season struggles continue away in Bray
Wanderers had the best of the chances but couldn’t find a breakthrough.

Bray Wanderers 0
Cork City 0

Andrew Dempsey reports from the Carlisle Grounds

BRAY WANDERERS’ WINLESS start to the season continued on Friday evening as they were held to a scoreless draw by Cork City at the Carlisle Grounds.

The Seagulls enjoyed the majority of the first-half chances, but they were unable to score. Both sides then failed to break the deadlock in a dour second-half.

Both Bray Wanderers and Cork City came into the 2021 First Division with their eyes firmly on promotion – but their slow starts have put that in jeopardy already.

City came into the game after losing their last four on the spin, while the Seagulls were yet to pick up a win in their opening five games of the season.

Gary Cronin’s side went with two changes from their draw away to Cobh, while the Rebel Army made five alterations from their recent reversal away to league new-boys Treaty United.

It was Bray however who started the better of the teams, with Brandon Kavanagh at the heart of some excellent play. But Cork City had the first meaningful effort on goal of the game, as Jack Walsh failed to capitalise on some hesitant Seagulls defending, shooting wide.

Kavanagh then saw his free-kick crash off the post with the aid of a deflection, before Richie O’Farrell saw his rebound saved smartly by Mark McNulty.

Walsh then went close again for City, but his headed effort was well saved by Ireland under-21 keeper Brian Maher from Ronan Hurley’s cross.

Kavanagh’s influence continued as the half wore on, and he pierced open the Cork defence with a through ball to Joe Doyle who failed to find the back of the net.

The Shamrock Rovers loanee then found Aaron Barry at the back post – but the former Leeside defender could only head wide as the sides went in scoreless at the break.

Following a rip-roaring first-half, the game calmed down quite substantially in the second-half, with both defences coming out on top.

In a half of few chances, Walsh should have worked Maher harder in the Seagulls goal, but his header went just over the bar.

Mark Byrne then had a shot of his own, but his stary effort was never going to trouble the City rear-guard.

And that was how the game finished, with neither side able to break the deadlock despite the best efforts of Gary Shaw who had his shot cleared off the line at the death by Ronan Hurley.

Elsewhere, UCD had a big win on the road, with Colm Whelan scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 victory at Wexford Youths.  

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Cabinteely were 2-1 winners at Athlone while Shelbourne played out a dramatic draw with Treaty United at Tolka Park. Shels were trailing 1-0 heading towards the full-time whistle, but Ryan Brennan netted a 90th minute equaliser for the home side before Yousef Mahedy put them 2-1 up in stoppage time. Shelbourne failed to hold on their lead however, with Treaty striking back through Clyde O’Connell to secure a 2-2 draw.

Bray Wanderers: Brian Maher; Mark Byrne, Andrew Quinn, Aaron Barry, Dean O’Shea: Conor Clifford: Richie O’Farrell, Luka Lovic, Cian Maher (Gary Shaw, 56), Brandon Kavanagh: Joe Doyle.

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Cian Coleman, Jonas Hakkinen, Gordon Walker, Ronan Hurley; Cian Bargary, Alec Byrne, Jack Baxter (Dale Holland, 90+2), Darragh Crowley; Jack Walsh, Cian Murphy (Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh, 82).

Referee: Michael Connolly. 

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