Dean Kelly’s equaliser against Bray Wanderers helps Shelbourne extend their unbeaten run
Former Shels striker Jason Byrne on target again aganst his former club – but this time it’s not enough to claim full points
Bray Wanderers’ goalscorer Jason Byrne gets ahead of Graham Gartland of Shelbourne at the Carlisle Grounds. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.
Bray Wanderers 1 Shelbourne 1: Dean Kelly scored for the second match running as Shelbourne extended their unbeaten run to five games in coming from behind to take a point from the Carlisle Grounds.
As he did when scoring the winner on the opening day of the season, Jason Byrne’s goal early in the second half looked to be enough to give Bray a third victory of the season over his former club, and a first win in seven games.
But a foul by Bray right-back Eoin Hyland on Adam Hanlon allowed Shelbourne back into the game on 76 minutes. Sean Brennan’s free kick was met at the near post by Kelly who flashed a header past Quigley.
On the balance of the 90 minutes, neither side could have much complaint with the result which moves both clubs two points above Bohemians at the foot of the table.
Shelbourne should have brought an end to a disjointed opening to the game by taking a 12th minute lead. Kelly dinked a ball through for the run of Brennan, but Bray goalkeeper Darren Quigley read the situation well, coming off his line promptly to save at the winger’s feet.
Bray were having to work hard defensively as Shelbourne’s directness had them in on goal again on 25 minutes. This time Adam Hanlon got in behind on to Brian Shortall’s diagonal ball with Niall Cooney having to get across sharply to take the ball off the striker’s toe for a corner.
But it was Bray who might have been in front by the interval as their two veterans combined well on 42 minutes.
A delightful ball over the top from midfielder Gary Dempsey was exquisitely controlled by Byrne. The striker’s shot lacked power, though, and was also directed straight at Shelbourne’s well-positioned goalkeeper Lee Murphy.
Then, in stoppage time, a poor defensive clearance gifted the ball to Dean Zambra, but the Bray midfielder drilled his snap shot wide.
Having missed that earlier chance, Byrne quickly rediscovered his scoring touch within five minutes of the second half to give Bray the lead.
Zambra’s free kick on the right was helped on by John Mulroy and Byrne swept the ball home at the near post for his 12th league goal of the season.
Bray then came close twice to doubling their lead eight minutes later. First Murphy went full stretch to turn the ball round a post following Kieran Marty Waters’s surging run and shot.
The woodwork then saved Shelbourne from Zambra’s resulting corner when the ball came off the outside of a post having struck Bray defender Niall Cooney on the knee.
BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Hyland, Webster, Cooney, Early; Zambra, Dempsey (Noble, 85), K. O’Connor, Mulroy (Akinade, 85); Water; Byrne.
SHELBOURNE: Murphy; Shortall (Cornwall, 71), Ryan, Gartland, Flynn; Brennan, Cronin, Hurley (Gannon, 71), Doyle (Andrews, 85); Hanlon, Kelly.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).