Bray's good run comes to a controversial end

 

The First Division promotion race tightened up again as leaders Bray Wanderers lost at Kilkenny and Dundalk needed a late equaliser to snatch a point from Longford Town as the top four met on Saturday night.

Bray's excellent run of four straight wins came to an end in a controversial 1-0 defeat at Buckley Park.

The game turned on an incident ten minutes into the second-half when Bray goalkeeper Eddie van Boxtel was sent-off for handling the ball outside the area.

Jonathan Prizeman got the only goal on 77 minutes when running onto Ray Carolan's pass to shoot beyond stand-in keeper, John Ryan.

Noel Melvin rescued second-placed Dundalk with a 91st minute goal at Strokestown Road.

The central defender got forward to volley home Derek Delaney's cross from the right.

In fairness, it was no more than Dundalk deserved as they had run the first-half but wasted a host of chances with young striker Anton Reilly spurning the chance of a hat-trick.

From not having been in the game, Longford came out to play after the break and took a 55th minute lead.

Stephen Gavin was allowed to get in a looping cross from the right and Keith O'Connor outjumped Paul Whelan at the back post to head home his eleventh goal of the season. A win over Kilkenny in their back match tomorrow night will put Longford joint-top.

Fifth placed Cobh Ramblers maintained their good run to make it three wins in succession with a 31st minute goal from Pat Keane giving them a 1-0 win over Home Farm/Fingal.