Gary McCabe was on target for Bray (file pic). Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Setback for high-flying Waterford as Bray secure last-gasp point

The Blues trailed after just three minutes to a Dan McKenna header.

Bray Wanderers 2

Waterford FC 2

Daniel Gorman reports from the Carlisle Grounds

WATERFORD FC FAILED a stern test as they coughed up two points at the death at the Carlisle Grounds and did not move to joint second as a result.

The Blues trailed after just three minutes to a Dan McKenna header, but levelled on the stroke of half-time, before taking the lead thanks to Courtney Duffus’ excellent 69th minute strike.

But former Seagull hero Dave Webster turned to Waterford villain as his slip saw Dan Kelly tripped by Vigouroux and Gary McCabe blasted home the penalty.

McKenna wasn’t even supposed to be playing on Monday but he was wedged into the starting line-up as a late replacement for Rhys Gorman and it proved a masterstroke.

McCabe left his man chasing a shadow before laying it back to Dylan Hayes whose first-time cross was met by McKenna, and the on-loan Wolves man managed to bend his header beyond the despairing dive of Lawrence Vigouroux.

Ex-Seagull Ismahil Akinade had a wonderful chance to level matters when Paul Keegan pinged a free kick deep into the Bray area and Akinade rose unchallenged but powered his header wide.

A chipped pass forward then found Akinade, who had Heaney on toast. He crossed it for strike partner Duffus, who laid it onto Bastien Hery, but the mifielder blazed it over from a great position.

On Friday against Bohs, it was Bray who scored on the stroke of half-time, but on Monday, they conceded. Keegan delivered the corner and Holohan supplied the finish to level matters.

Waterford almost grabbed the lead within the first minute of the second period as Stanley Aborah collected Paul O’Conor’s headed clearance, but his curler narrowly missed the top corner.

Waterford thought they’d landed the decisive blow on 69 minutes and all credit must go to Duffus for the goal. There was little danger when he picked it up, but he hustled and then escaped several men, before rifling it to the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

But there was a sting in the tail as Webster slipped and Dan Kelly was tripped by Vigouroux as he raced through in second-half stoppage time. McCabe then brilliantly dispatched the spot kick.

BRAY WANDERERS: Evan Moran; Dylan Hayes, Conor Kenna, Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch; Paul O’Conor, Dan McKenna; Daniel Kelly, Gary McCabe, Cory Galvin; Ronan Coughlan.

WATERFORD FC: Lawrence Vigouroux; Sander Puri, David Webster, Rory Feely, Dylan Barnett; Paul Keegan; Gavan Holohan, Bastien Hery; Stanley Aborah; Ismahil Akinade, Courtney Duffus (Dean O’Halloran, 86).

REFEREE: Anthony Buttimer.

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