Bray Wanderers get perfect lift in every sense
Seagulls off the bottom of the table after victory over Saints
St Patrick’s Athletic goalkeeper Brendan Clarke was sent off in stoppage time at the end of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division defeat to Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Bray Wanderers 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 0
A first-half goal from Ger Pender gave managerless Bray Wanderers a lift in every sense to move them off the foot of the Premier Division table.
The night ended in farcical fashion for St Patrick’s as they had goalkeeper Brendan Clarke sent off in stoppage time for pulling down Bray’s Andrew Lewis, with central defender Seán Hoare having to go in goal as they had used all three substitutes.
A slow burner of a game finally sprung to life as half-time approached with Peter Cherrie excelling to keep St Pat’s out on 39 minutes.
It proved all the more important as Bray stung their visitors to take the lead a minute before the interval for what proved the game’s only goal.
Striker Pender was alert to pounce on a defensive mistake to race in and confidently slip the ball past Clarke to the net for a composed finish.
St Pat’s brought on Dinny Corcoran to replace Fagan early in the second half as they chased the game hard. But it was Bray who came very close to extending their lead on 58 minutes.
Andrew Lewis did well on the right to intercept an attempted clearance. His low cross saw Dylan Connolly just fail to connect dead in front of goal.
Cherrie then made his second telling stop of the night 10 minutes later when diving low to his right to push out St Pat’s substitute Jamie McGrath’s shot.
And the Bray goalkeeper was there again on 78 minutes to tip another McGrath shot round a post.
A minute later Lewis blew a chance to add a second for Bray when skying over the top after a brilliant break by Connolly on the right.
St Pat’s were inches from an 88th minute equaliser. Hugh Douglas was caught out by McGrath whose lob came down off the underside of the crossbar before the Bray defender retrieved the situation by getting back to bravely head off the line.
BRAY WANDERERS: Cherrie; Douglas, McNally, Kenna, Harding; Moore, Creevy, Brennan, Connolly (Marks, 86 mins); Pender (McDonagh, 81 mins), Lewis.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; Barker, Hoare, Desmond, Bermingham; Kelly, Cawley; Byrne (McGlade, 72 mins), Timlin (McGrath, 61 mins), B Dennehy; Fagan (Corcoran, 52 mins).
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).