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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020
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Shamrock Rovers close the gap on top-four with well-deserved victory over Seagulls

The Hoops scored two unanswered goals against Bray Wanderers at Tallaght Stadium this evening.

The Rovers players celebrate Gary Shaw's goal.
The Rovers players celebrate Gary Shaw's goal.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 2
Bray Wanderers 0

Ben Blake reports from Tallaght Stadium 

SHAMROCK ROVERS WERE worthy winners over Bray Wanderers on a fine summer’s evening in south-west Dublin.

First-half goals from Brandon Miele and Gary Shaw proved enough, although they really should have had at least a couple more given the number of goalscoring opportunities spurned.

The result moves Stephen Bradley’s side to within three two points of the third-placed Seagulls and level with Derry City ahead of a Dublin derby with St Patrick’s Athletic this Friday.

The 1,758 present at Tallaght Stadium were treated to a goal inside five minutes. Former Hoops defender Conor Kenna, these days the Seagulls captain, didn’t deal with Shaw’s ball into the box — allowing Miele to nip in and steal possession.

The Rovers number 10 then composed himself before slotting past Peter Cherrie.

Another man playing against his former employers, Gary McCabe, was looking to add his 12 league goals this season and forced Tomer Chencinski into a save from the edge of the box minutes later.

Rovers looked well up for it and Graham Burke had a couple of chances in quick succession. The former Aston Vila youngster made room for himself to drag an effort wide, then sent a glancing header off-target.

But they found themselves with a two-goal cushion on the 20-minute mark. Finn threaded a pass through to Shaw and the striker slipped the ball underneath the onrushing Cherrie.

It could easily have been three when great work from full-back Simon Madden teed up Burke but, again, his header wasn’t an accurate one.

Finn had to show his defensive capabilities before the half was out as the Hoops skipper nodded a well-struck McCabe free-kick off the line.

Ronan Finn and Aaron Greene Ronan Finn holds off Aaron Greene. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Ger Pender, leading the line for the Seagulls, volleyed over after controlling Tim Clancy’s ball into the box nicely shortly after the restart.

Burke was a constant creative presence for Rovers and he was central to an attack also involving Trevor Clarke and Ryan Connolly that ended in a wayward attempt from Miele.

Chances were exchanged at either end with Clancy headeing over and Burke’s volley kept out by the Bray keeper.

On 71 minutes, the outstretched leg of substitute Derek Foran was the only thing preventing Miele doubling his tally. McCabe’s miserable return to Tallaght continued as he shot over, while Rovers sub Michael O’Connor was desperately unlucky to see his cheeky strike come back out off the post.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Tomer Chencinski; Simon Madden, David Webster, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne; Ryan Connolly, Ronan Finn, Brandon Miele, Graham Burke (Sam Bone 87), Trevor Clarke; Gary Shaw (Michael O’Connor 63).

BRAY WANDERERS: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan (Derek Foran 63), Conor Kenna (c), Tim Clancy, Karl Moore; Mark Salmon (Darragh Noone 85), Ryan Brennan, Aaron Greene, Gary McCabe, Dylan Connolly, Ger Pender (Jason Marks 72).

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Ben Blake

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