Seagulls sink Rovers to damage title hopes

Tuesday 2nd October 2007, 9:59 pm

Barry Murphy was one of two Shamrock Rovers players sent off.

Barry Murphy was one of two Shamrock Rovers players sent off.

Photo by Tom Carey.

2nd October 2007

eircom League of Ireland Premier Division

Bray Wanderers 3

Alan Cawley 54

Clive Delaney 81

James O'Shea 82

Shamrock Rovers 0

Carlisle Grounds

Referee : Damien Hancock

Bray Wanderers secured a stunning 3-0 win over Shamrock Rovers at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray tonight. The result seriously damages Rovers' hopes of overhauling Drogheda's lead at the top leaving the County Louth side on the brink of clinching their first ever League of Ireland title.

Rovers lost two players to red cards in the first half. Goalkeeper Barry Murphy was first off on 34 minutes and Damien Hancock sent Paul Shiels in the same direction just four minutes later.

Alan Cawley put Bray ahead inside ten minutes of the second half before Clive Delaney and James O'Shea both scored in the closing ten minutes to hand Rovers their biggest defeat of the season.

It all went wrong for title chasing Rovers on 34 minutes when Ger O'Brien attempted to head back to Murphy under pressure from Emeka Onwubiko but the Hoops keeper had to race out and was ruled to have handled outside the box, prompting a straight red card.

Shiels followed him to the dressing room four minutes later after appearing to lash out at Bray's Paul Caffrey. The score remained level at the break but Rovers were always going to face an uphill struggle facing into forty-five minutes with only nine men.

Cawley broke the deadlock with a well struck long range shot which just eluded the grasp of replacement keeper John McGuinness to put Bray ahead on 54 minutes.

Rovers were hanging on but the numerical difference on the field saw Bray claim two goals in the final ten minutes. Delaney netted his third league goal of the year to make it 2-0 on 81 minutes. Running onto a Caffrey through ball, the Bray skipper slotted past McGuinness.

O'Shea grabbed his first senior goal for the Seagulls one minute later to give Bray their biggest league win of the season and marked the first time the Seagulls have even scored three goals in a league game this term. O'Shea fired home from just inside the box to cap an emotional night in Bray.

The win, Bray's first in nine games, does wonders for their own hopes of avoiding the drop and lifts the Seagulls ahead of Galway United in the relegation race.

The Hoops now face a major challenge for second place with Saint Patrick's Athletic and Cork City both chasing for second place. The Hoops now face a difficult trip to Cork on Friday.

Bray Wanderers : Williams, Ivory (Deans 83), Kenny, Delaney, Cronin, O'Shea (McCabe 86), Cawley, Caffrey, Kavanagh, Fox, Onwubiko (Dunphy 78).
Shamrock Rovers : Murphy, Cassidy, O'Brien, Ferguson, Clarke, Martin, McGill, Shiels, Tyrrell (Rowe 62), Myler (McGuinness 36), Purcell (Doyle 72).

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