Shamrock Rovers close the gap on Bray with dominant display
Brandone Miele and Gary Shaw on scoresheet in Tallaght for Stephen Bradley’s side
Shamrock Rovers players celebrate their win over Bray Wanderers. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Shamrock Rovers 2 Bray Wanderers 0
Having described their loss in Bray last month as his side’s worst display of the season, Stephen Bradley saw his Shamrock Rovers clinically put that right on Tuesday night with a dominant riposte at Tallaght Stadium.
Victory moves Rovers level on points with fourth-placed Derry City, two points behind Bray in third.
Showing impetus from the start, Rovers gratefully availed of a dreadful defensive blunder to take a fourth minute lead.
There appeared little danger as Hoops’ skipper Ronan Finn’s ball forward came off striker Gary Shaw to fall into the path of Bray’s Conor Kenna.
But under no apparent pressure, the Seagulls’ captain allowed the ball to run to the lurking Brandon Miele who punished the error, driving his shot past Peter Cherrie.
Such was their dominant start, it was little surprise when Rovers doubled their lead on 20 minutes.
Finn threaded the perfect ball through for the run of Shaw down the inside right channel and the striker side footed past Cherrie to watch the ball trickle over the line.
It might have have been 3-0 to Rovers just before the half hour. Simon Madden crafted a one-two with Miele to cross for Burke who glanced his header wide.
Bray then finally mustered a threat from their first corner of the game minutes later as defender Dave Webster headed Gary McCabe’s curling delivery off the line at the back post.
Finn then did even better to head clear under pressure at the same post from McCabe’s free kick just before the break.
Remaining much the better side, Rovers might have scored again five minutes after the break.
Trevor Clarke out-muscled John Sullivan to cross. It was missed by the diving Madden with Miele’s drive flashing over the bar.
Miele was there again on 71 minutes only to be thwarted by a goal-line clearance from sub Derek Foran.
The woodwork prevented a third Rovers goal 11 minutes from time as substitute Michael O’Connor, sent away by Clarke, saw his shot come back off a post.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Chenciski; Madden, Lopes, Webster, Byrne; Finn, Connolly; Miele, Burke (Bone, 86), Clarke; Shaw (O’Connor, 63).
BRAY WANDERERS: Cherrie; Sullivan (Foran, 63), Kenna, Clancy, Moore; Salmon (Noone, 84), Brennan; Greene, McCabe, Connolly; Pender (Marks, 72).
Referee: Ray Matthews (Longford).