A spirited performance by Martin Russell's young UCD side saw them claim their first point of the campaign, but Bray Wanderers came from behind to deny them a win with a 2-2 draw.

Bray opened the scoring with less than four minutes on the clock, when Gareth Mathews' attempt to clear a Dean Zambra cross went awry, the ball falling to Jason Byrne about six metres out, and the target man doesn't miss many at that distance.

But, a quarter of an hour later, UCD striker David McMillan went closer still when he was given space to power home a Gary Burke cross at the far end, Mathews having supplied the long ball up the right.

In the closing minutes of the first half, the Students defended strongly and made a number of raids into Seagulls' territory, and it was one of those that produced the dramatic end to the period.

Burke went down over Darren Quigley's attempt to claim a long ball, and referee Neil Doyle pointed to the spot - a decision that seemed harsh. There was worse to come for the home side before the penalty was taken, as Doyle then produced the red card for the Bray keeper.

Midfielder Daire Doyle took the gloves for the spot-kick but, though he read it right and got a finger to it, McMillan's low shot crept underneath his dive.

Pat Devlin brought on reserve keeper Sean Holmes for the second half, and signalled his intention to fight for the points by strengthening his midfield at the expense of the defence.

A further attacking substitution was to follow, and it was a combination of Gary Dempsey's quick free and a narrow angle shot by Byrne that allowed substitute John Mulroy to side-foot past a stranded Mark McGinley to restore parity.

And it was the home side that finished stronger, threatening to steal the rest of the points even in time added, with two Byrne efforts going just off target.

By Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Darren Quigley; 14 Eoin Hyland, 4 Danny O’Connor (c), 2 David Webster, 3 Kevin Knight; 8 Daire Doyle, 6 Gary Dempsey, 7 Kevin O'Connor, 16 Dean Zambra, 11 Kieran Waters; 10 Jason Byrne
Subs: 9 Ismahil Akinade (for Webster 69), 12 Conor Earley, 18 John Mulroy (for K O'Connor H/T), 20 Shane O'Neill, 21 Paul Malone, 22 Peter Thomas, 25 Sean Holmes (for Hyland H/T)

UCD: 16 Mark McGinley, 2 Gareth Matthews, 12 Tomás Boyle, 4 David O’Connor (c), 17 Sean Coyne; 11 Dean Clarke, 7 Gary Burke, 8 Robert Creevy, 14 James Kavanagh, 19 Sean Russell; 9 David McMillan
Subs: 1 Gerard Barron (gk), 6 Barry McCabe, 13 Hugh Douglas, 15 Tyrone McNelis, 21 Craig Walsh (for Kavanagh H/T), 23 Thomas O'Halloran, 26 Daniel Corcoran (for Clarke 60)

Referee: Neil Doyle