Cobh Ramblers 1 Bray Wanderers 1
COBH Ramblers came from behind to secure a share of the spoils against Bray Wanderers at St Colman’s Park on Saturday night.
During what was a competitive contest, Ramblers will have been pleased with their response after doing behind to claim a draw, through a Charlie Lyons penalty kick.
From the win last week in Wexford, Ramblers made two changes, bringing Lyons and Naythan Coleman into the starting 11.
All in all, it was a competitive and even opening half of play between these pair of sides. Although there were some sightings on goal in terms of opportunities, neither shot-stopper was forced into massive amounts of trouble in the opening period of the game.
Ramblers commenced with intent and Ciaran Griffin had a shot blocked down well by the Bray defence in the opening minute.
The Wicklow side looked to grow into the game through the influence of the likes of Brandon Kavanagh and Conor Clifford.
The visitors threatened on the quarter of an hour mark, but Charlie Gallagher was unable to direct his header on target from a decent position in the penalty area.
As the opening half progressed, Bray started putting their hosts under pressure during a solid spell of pressure and they had another effort on the 20-minute mark, but Kavanagh shot wide with a low effort from the edge of the box.
Richie O’Farrell got a solid strike from distance for Bray, but Sean Barron in the Cobh goal got down to save well.
Cobh gradually came back into the contest towards the half-time break but were unable to cause an awful amount of trouble for Maher in the Bray goal.
The sides went in level at the break, which was perhaps a fair reflection of the opening 45 and things were evenly poised heading into the second half.
It was Bray who came back out purposeful after the interval and moved the ball about with an urgent tempo, in a spell which saw Dylan Barnett go close with an effort on goal.
Gray Cronin’s side by this stage were looking to go on the front foot, as they went in search of the three points.
Cobh though went close with an opportunity of their own around the hour mark. After some good work by Naythan Colman, who put the ball into the box, but Chris O’Reilly was unable to keep his effort on target.
But Bray then were to strike just moments later to go into the lead. Brandon Kavanagh was to convert with a great strike on the volley, after getting on the end of a route one ball forward from keeper Brian Maher.
Bray had their tails up and were going in search of a second. Kavanagh indeed was not far away with a chipped effort from the edge of the box.
That man Kavanagh was to go close again shortly afterward last with a strike from a free, as Ramblers were being shut down in terms of seeking to create opportunities at the other end.
As the game headed into the final twenty minutes, Cobh knew they needed something to avoid the game slipping away from them, but the Bray defence were dealing well with what was coming their way, with Maher not being tested as often as the home side were hoping.
Aaron Barry, who had a spell at Cork City a few seasons ago, threatened with a headed effort from a corner kick.
But then Cobh were awarded a penalty kick, as John Kavanagh was fouled inside the box by the Bray defence.
Heading into the dying stages of the encounter, there was end to end exchanges as both teams went in search of the winner.
Clifford went close with a well-struck effort from distance for the visitors heading into the final five minutes, with Luka Lovic also shooting straight at Barron from a decent position.
It is another home contest for Cobh next Saturday, as John Caulfield brings his Galway United side to St Colman’s Park.
S Barron; N Coleman, C Lyons, C Murphy, J Kavanagh: D O’Leary, L Devitt: I Turner, C Griffin (J Hegarty 68), C O’Reilly: K Cooper.
B Maher; M Byrne, A Quinn, A Barry, D Barnett (D O’Shea 84): C Clifford: R O’Farrell, L Lovic, C Gallagher (C Maher 38), R O'Farrell (G Shaw 85), B Kavanagh: J Doyle.