|13 May 2022||7:45 pm||First Division||2022|
Bray Wanderers twice came from behind, as Paul Fox's late looping half-volley saw them snatch a point against Treaty United at the Markets Field in the First Division tonight.
The result means both remain as they are in the standings, their winless runs continuing, having failed to take their best chances just like during last month's reverse fixture.
Four goals were scored this time around, but were borne more from a mixture of sloppy defending and first-time finishing than anything.
Profligacy was again the buzzword here, with Treaty forward Dean George missing two promising opportunities before Jack Lynch had a goal correctly disallowed for offside.
In first-half stoppage-time, Conor McManus made an excellent last-ditch sliding challenge to deny Enda Curran as he bore down on goal at the near post.
Having broken the deadlock eight minutes in with a sweetly struck effort, his sixth goal this term, he was denied by a perfectly-timed defensive intervention.
This all happened before half-time. Bray, to their credit, battled back and would've been enthused by their narrow deficit - deceiving how poorly they had played in the first hour or so.
Curran, having tried unsuccessfully to play through pain, limped off just before the hour mark. Joe Collins, who created the hosts' opener, was also replaced. It felt like more than just coincidence that two minutes later, they conceded.
Bray were finding success down the channels and repeatedly stifling their hosts in transition, with Darragh Lynch showing great control and awareness to tee up an onrushing Kieran Marty Waters - who kept onside - before firing low and hard to the far post.
Just when it felt like Pat Devlin's men were beginning to establish control, Treaty retook the lead. Having been denied by the offside flag in the first-half, their overlapping captain Lynch wouldn't be denied a second time as he combined with substitute Conor Melody to slam home from close-range.
Treaty, who have shown a tendency to concede goals in spurts, saw their defensive frailties return late on and they were ultimately fortunate to come away with a point. Fox pounced on a cross, spotting Jack Brady in no man's land, to loop the ball over him and into the far corner.
That wasn't all, as a frantic goalmouth scramble ensued in stoppage-time, with goalline clearances and a loose ball causing havoc - without eventual reward - as Bray probed for a remarkable turnaround.
Sean Guerins' last-ditch block proved priceless, with the hosts again crumbling under pressure as they did against Galway a fortnight ago.
Somehow, this spectacle finished 2-2, but on the balance of this display, neither side will earn promotion through the play-offs if they continue defending as they have.
Devlin took positives from a frenzied finish, revealing post-match that four players - including Rob Manley and Vilius Labutis - were unavailable as they are currently doing their exams.
All things considered, this was a gritty point to take home for a youthful side who haven't got going yet this season, but one which will feel like another two points dropped as far as Treaty are concerned.
|19. Enda Curran||8'|
|32'||26. Ben Feeney|
|60'||10. Kieran Marty Waters|
|44. Jack Lynch||79'|
|84'||11. Paul Fox|
|85'||24. Darragh Lynch|
|86'||18. Zak O'Neill|
|86'||Kieran Marty Waters|
Ugo Anny Nzekwue
|Markets Field, Limerick City, County Limerick, Munster, V94 AY9C, Ireland|