Alan McNally picks a fine time to open Bray account

Defender’s goal helps side leapfrog Sligo out of relegation places

Bray Wanderers 1 Sligo Rovers 0

A first goal for the club from central defender Alan McNally saw Bray Wanderers leapfrog managerless Sligo Rovers out of the Premier Division relegation places at the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday night.

A purposeful start from Bray brought them the lead following an incisive passing move on seven minutes. Ryan McEvoy swept the ball wide right to skipper David Cassidy whose fine cross picked out Chris Lyons.

And though the striker's shot came back off a post, McNally scrambled home the loose ball with the help of a deflection off Jake Dykes.

Sligo responded positively and could have been level within three minutes.


First, Gary Armstrong burst through one-on-one with Stephen McGuinness, forcing the Bray goalkeeper into a good stop with his feet. Visiting captain, David Cawley, was then not too far wide with a low drive from distance.

Sligo maintained the pressure with McGuinness having to be well positioned to bat away a fierce drive from Dane Morten Nielsen on 23 minutes.

Two minutes later the Bray goalkeeper excelled when somehow getting a left hand to Raffaele Cretaro’s left-foot shot that looked destined for the top corner.

Bray centre half Niall Cooney then twice came to his side's rescue with some last-ditch defending. Cooney first cleared off the line from Eoin Wearen after Wanderers failed to clear Danny Ledwith's free-kick into their area on the half hour.

Minutes later Cooney was there again to clear off the line from 18-year-old Liam Flatley’s shot as Bray’s goal continued to live a charmed life.

Having survived until the interval, Bray were better on the resumption and Gareth McDonagh brought a good save from Richard Brush with a deflected drive on 60 minutes.

Brush was again well-placed to make a save at the butt of a post from another McDonagh effort four minutes later after the winger worked a one-two with John Sullivan.

Sligo came back into the game as they chased an equaliser in the final quarter, but the most they could muster was an angled shot from Armstrong that McGuinness comfortably pushed away.

BRAY WANDERERS: McGuinness; Douglas (Gallagher, 80 mins), McNally, Cooney, Barker; McDonagh, Kelly, McEvoy, Sullivan, Cassidy; Lyons (Onwubiko, 86 mins).

SLIGO ROVERS: Brush; Cretaro, Peers, Dykes, Ledwith; McManus (Corcoran, half-time); Cawley, Wearen; Nielsen (Ward, 55 mins), Armstrong, Flatley (Keane, 65 mins).

Referee: Ray Matthews (Westmeath).