Lilywhites Win In Bray
Dundalk returned to the top of the SSE Airtricity League table on Friday evening with a 3-1 win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
First half goals from Robbie Benson and Patrick Hoban were added to by Dylan Connolly to seal the win. Jake Kelly pulled one back for the Seagulls.
Dundalk started brightly and Patrick Hoban almost found the top corner when his angled shot on the turn was pushed away by Enda Minogue in the Bray Wanderers goal.
Robbie Benson was next to try when his chip went goalwards but Minogue held on well before Patrick McEleney’s shot from the edge of the area was blocked down by Sean Heaney.
The lead goal did come in the 17th minute when Jamie McGrath’s outstanding cross from the right found the head of Hoban and it looped into the corner past the reach of Minogue.
Bray Wanderers almost responded immediately when Sean Harding’s free-kick whistled past the post.
It was 2-0 on 27 minutes when McGrath’s corner on the left was met by captain Brian Gartland and it fell to Benson who powered to the net from six yards.
Dundalk were in full control but didn’t create much between then and the end of the half.
Daniel Cleary got his head on a Duffy cross but it went wide and McGrath was played in by Duffy on the edge of the area but his shot was gathered by Minogue at the second attempt.
Immediately after half-time Bray were given a lifeline. Chris Shields played a loose ball back towards Rogers but it was intercepted by former Lilywhites Jake Kelly and he fired to the net.
Dundalk responded well when Ronan Murray’s free-kick was blocked into the path of Duffy and he superbly teed himself up before catching the ball on the volley but it went inches over the crossbar from 30 yards.
Duffy and Hoban then had snapshots after some good build up play on both occasions but they went well wide.
The Lilywhites did make it 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining though when Hoban showed terrific strength to hold off Kenna and played a superb ball across the six yard area for Dylan Connolly who slid home to find the net.
Connolly almost got in behind once more but his first touch let him down at the vital moment.
That proved to be the final action as referee Damien MacGraith blew the full-time whistle and we move onto Sligo Rovers on Monday.
BRAY WANDERERS: Enda Minogue; Sean Harding (Cian Walsh 46), Sean Heaney, Conor Kenna (capt), Kevin Lynch; Paul O’Conor, Dragos Mamalinga (Darragh Noone 71), Byron O’Gorman (Jake Ellis 80), Rhys Gorman, Jake Kelly; Ger Pender.
Substitutes not used: Jack Kelly (GK), Jamie Crilly, Cian Maher, Alex Rafferty.
Booked: Kenna (60), Heaney (74), Lynch (76)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Daniel Cleary, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson; Jamie McGrath (Dylan Connolly 46), Patrick McEleney (Ronan Murray 61), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 85).
Substitutes not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Sean Hoare, John Mountney, Stephen Folan.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Damien MacGraith