Wexford Youths 2-0 Bray Wanderers
Two goals from striker Paul Murphy earned Wexford Youths a 2-0 victory - their first ever SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win – to lift Shane Keegan’s newly-promoted side off the foot of the table.
There was some considerable debate as to whether the game would go ahead due to the persistent rain all day.
Following an inspection, however, Cork referee Anthony Buttimer deemed the rain-sodden pitch playable, insisting it was good underfoot, and the game would go ahead.
But the conditions scarcely mattered as Bray started at a blistering pace, having three promising chances inside the opening two minutes.
Andrew Lewis had a shot deflected for a corner, with Alan McNally bringing a fine save low down from Graham Doyle from Ryan Brennan’s delivery, all inside a frantic opening minute.
Barely a minute later, McNally met Curtis Murphy’s corner from the other side with a firm header, only to hold his head in his hands as Doyle pushed it over the bar form point-blank range.
Youths soon recovered to settle and took the lead on 19 minutes, helped by the very wet pitch.
Craig McCabe’s long throw came back out to him. The right-back skipped past a defender with the ball holding up on the wet surface before he crossed.
Murphy arrived to get a firm header to the ball with it flying into the corner of the net with the help of a deflection off Bray skipper Conor Kenna.
Another McCabe throw caused havoc in the Bray area ten minutes later.
Gary Delaney flicked it on, with Peter Cherrie forced into a fine reaction save with his feet from Danny Furlong’s low drive.
Bray were well in the game but were left cursing Doyle again on 36 minutes as he got down smartly to push another McNally shot round a post from Murphy’s corner.
Bray’s Hugh Douglas then saw his header from another Murphy corner cleared off the line by Danny Ledwith in first-half stoppage time.
Youths were much the better side after the break, tough, even if they struggled to create chances with all their possession.
Midfielder Aidan Friel finally worked Cherrie on 61 minutes with a low drive.
Cherrie was there again five minutes from time to smother a shot from Murphy after the big striker turned McNally to get in his shot.
But Murphy capped a tireless display with Youths’ second goal five minutes into added time, side-footing home substitute Andy Mulligan’s cross.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Stephen Last (Andy Mulligan 80), Ryan Delaney; Aidan Friel, Lee Grace, Danny Ledwith (Craig Wall 87), Eric Molloy; Danny Furlong (Chris Kenny 74), Paul Murphy.
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Conor Kenna, Alan McNally, Curtis Murphy (Dyaln Connolly 60); Karl Moore, Robbie Creevy (Paul Finnegan, 90+2), Ryan Brennan, Jason Marks; Andrew Lewis (Ger Pender 69), Dean Kelly.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).