Two goals in quick succession secured the points for Rovers. 20/4/2015

Shamrock Rovers keep pace with top two as Hoops enjoy stroll by the seaside

It’s nine games unbeaten now for Pat Fenlon’s side.

Bray Wanderers 0

Shamrock Rovers 3

Ryan Bailey reports from the Carlisle Grounds

IT WAS THREE and easy for Shamrock Rovers by the seaside as Pat Fenlon’s side strolled to a comfortable victory which ensures they keep pace with the top two in the SSE Airtricity League.

Mikey Drennan’s sixth goal of the campaign broke Bray’s dogged resistance on the half hour mark and from that moment on, the Hoops were able to go through the gears as the Seagulls suffered their first defeat under caretaker boss Maciej Tarnogrodzki.

In truth, the hosts offered very little in a one-sided encounter and once Drennan headed Brendon Miele’s cross home from close range, it was a mere formality.

Any hope Bray had of changing the pattern of the game after the interval were quickly dispelled as Ryan Brennan and then Maxime Blanchard, both unmarked, met Keith Fahey set-pieces to settle the contest.

It’s now nine games unbeaten for Rovers and they’re unlikely to have a more comfortable evening than this.

Bray were content to sit deep, in a rigid formation, and absorb the pressure but when Keith Fahey, recalled as one of four Rovers changes from Friday’s draw with Dundalk, sits deep and orchestrates proceedings, there’s only going to be one outcome.

Pat Fenlon Inpho Inpho

The Republic of Ireland international dictated the tempo from the outset and despite a disjointed start to the game, Rovers soon stamped their authority.

Brennan should have done better when Fahey’s knock-down set him through and Drennan fluffed his lines after a measured ball from midfield.

But, having scored twice against the Lilywhites, Drennan is in fine form and needed no second invitation to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Rovers enjoyed the majority of possession and as the half wore on and began to find more and more pockets of space between the lines. Brennan, in particular, was picking holes in the Seagulls rearguard at will.

Since the acrimonious departure of Alan Mathews last month, Bray have collected seven points from their previous three outings but were never likely to pick-up anything on Monday evening.

Mikey Drennan Inpho Inpho

David Cassidy was tasked with leading the line but was out-muscled as the ball kept coming back at Bray’s overworked defence.

Tarnogrodzki sacrificed holding midfielder Luke Gallagher at half-time in search of a route back into the contest but Cassidy’s half-chance just before the break apart, Craig Hyland had little to do.

Rovers ensured there would be no slip-up by the seaside with two goals, both from set-pieces, in quick succession. Firstly, Fahey’s inswinging free was clinically finished by Brennan and then Blanchard enjoyed similar freedom inside the six-yard box as he powered a corner past McGuinness.

BRAY WANDERERS: Stephen McGuinness; Michael Barker, Alan McNally, Hugh Douglas, Daniel O’Reilly; Emeka Onwubiko (Daniel Blackbyrne 83′), Ryan McEvoy, Luke Gallagher (Gareth McDonagh 45′), Graham Kelly (David Scully 65′), Peter McGlynn; David Cassidy.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Craig Hyland; Simon Madden, David Webster (Gavin Brennan 71′), Maxime Blanchard (David O’Connor 65′), Luke Byrne; Patrick Cregg (Kieran Marty Waters 60′), Keith Fahey; Gary McCabe, Ryan Brennan, Brandon Miele; Michael Drennan.

Man-of-the-match: Ryan Brennan

Referee: Ben Connolly

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