|15 April 2022||7:45 pm||First Division||2022|
A superbly organised Bray Wanderers kept league leaders Cork City at bay as the sides played out a cagey 0-0 draw at Turners Cross this evening in the SSE Airtricity First Division.
Having lost 6-0 at home to Cork in their season opener, Bray looked a team transformed as they pressed all game to allow the Rebels very little space or chances in front of goal.
City got forward more as the game went on but Bray's hard work resulted in the sides playing to a stalemate despite late penalty calls from Cork.
Both sides got forward in the early stages of the game without creating any chances.
Having been heavily defeated by Cork on matchday 1, Bray looked much improved in defence.
The Rebels held most of the possession but really struggled to pick passes going forward as Wanderers pushed for turn-overs high up the field.
Cork resorted to long balls to beat the Bray defenders but had little success as the visitors showed superb organisation in dealing with whatever was thrown at them.
Bray themselves looked unsure going forward and relied on set-pieces to pose a threat but couldn't find their men from 2 corners and a free-kick outside the box.
The best chance of the half came on 25 minutes when Cork's Matt Healy picked out Ruairi Keating with a beautiful through ball to send the winger through one on one with the Bray keeper Stephen McGuinness, who made a brilliant block to keep Keating out.
The remainder of the first-half was entirely unexceptional with no clear chances for either side and they went in for half-time on level terms at a subdued Turners Cross.
Cork came out flying for the second-half and Ruairi Keating again had a good chance but opted to go too late and was closed down by Bray keeper McGuinness.
Play was more open and Bray managed to get forward too at times, Rob Manley missing a good headed chance for the visitors, but it was Cork who kept surging forward.
The visitors kept working though, and Paul Fox made a couple of vital interceptions to keep things level as they tried to force Cork wide.
As the half progressed it reverted to the cagey format of the first 45 but some late drama for City sparked the game back into life.
Ruairi Keating crossed the ball across goal on 85 minutes and it looked to be a certain goal for the home side as Barry Coffey and Cian Murphy awaited free inside. The players collided however and Coffey blazed the ball over in what appeared to be an unmissable chance.
Bray slowed play right down in the following moments and the game appeared to be heading for a draw as Cork made a final dramatic foray into the visitors' territory.
In the box, Cian Murphy looked to be brought down and the home fans shouted for a penalty but play was waved on. Seconds later Ally Gilchrist was on the ground and the ref blew his whistle. It looked certain to be a penalty only for the a free-out to be awarded for a clash of heads with Bray defender Kevin Knight.
Cork tempers were fired and handbags followed with Knight booked for Bray and Gilchrist and keeper David Harrington for Cork.
When all was calm, 96 minutes was on the clock and the full-time whistle was blown shortly after to the boos of the home support while Bray could be happy with a point earned from their visit.
|Beaufort Park, Turner\'s Cross C, Cork, County Cork, Munster, T12 E3H5, Ireland|