Bray Wanderers v. Finn Harps  
League of Ireland First Division, 06.05.2024 
Bray Wanderers 1 Finn Harp 0 
 
With a gritty display, Bray recorded a fourth straight SSE Airtricity First Division home victory at the Carlisle Grounds. 
 
After dominating the first period by the seaside on Monday evening, the Seagulls withstood Finn Harps’ attempted comeback to climb above the Donegal outfit back up to fourth in the table. The result means the Wicklow side are now unbeaten in six home league matches at the Carlisle Grounds – winning the last four in a row. 
 
With no less than seven players missing – including top-scorer Peter Grogan – Wanderers bossed the chances on the opening period. But had to put in a resilient display after the interval. There was two changes to the home team after Friday’s defeat away to Cobh. Striker Cristian Magerusan and midfielder Freddie Turley returned. After his recent good scoring form for the U17s, Phil Cooney was included amongst the substitutes. 
 
After a tentative opening, skipper Darren Craven’s low drive from outside the box was gathered by away goalkeeper Conor Walsh. Five minutes later, Kieran Cruise appeared to be clipped in the left corner of the box. But referee Jason Moore waved away the penalty claims. Then in the 27th minute, Stephen McGuinness’ long kick was diverted to Cruise out on the left flank. He slipped in Magerusan, but Walsh dived bravely at the attackers feet to block. 
Cruise drilled across goal on the half hour while Harry Groome’s burst past two opponents in the 34th minute only to see his effort pushed out for a corner by the Harps custodian. That pressure eventually paid off in the 43rd minute. Groome took a pass on the right of the halfway line from Max Murphy. The midfielder went infield but then cutback to play a pass back to Max Murphy. He then rolled the ball wide right to Turley. The on-loan teenager whipped a low centre where the in-rushing Shane Griffin got ahead of his marker to deftly clip a right-footed flick that looped to the net from ten-yards. 
 
The visitors made three substitutions, change formation, and made several positional switches at the break. They started the second half well, with the alert McGuinness closing the angle to parry out Patrick Ferry’s attempt close in for a corner. After a 73rd minute corner went deep, McGuiness dealt with sub Sean O’Donnell’s shot. Matthew Makinson then headed Luke O’Brien’s 79th minute corner over the bar. And Bray managed the rest of the encounter to get back to winning ways.  
 
Bray Wanderers: Stephen Mc Guinness; Max Murphy, Jamie Duggan, Paul Murphy, Evan Osam; Darren Craven, Harry Groome; Freddie Turley (Guillermo Almirall 80), Shane Griffin, Kieran Cruise (Zach Nolan 80); Cristian Magerusan (Conor Knight 86). 
 
Subs not used: Thomas Morgan, Zayd Abada, Phil Cooney, Ben Clark. 
 
Finn Harps: Conor Walsh; Jamie Watson, Matthew Makinson, Noe Baba, Luke O’Brien; Patrick Ferry (Mark Mbuli 74), Darragh Coyle (Success Edogun half time), Tony McNamee, Stephen Doherty (Ryan Rainey 66), Chris Lotefa (Sean O’Donnell half time); Max Johnston (David Cawley half time) 
Subs not used: Shane McMonagle, Tim-Oliver Hiemer. 
 
Referee: Jason Moore (Kilkenny). 
Pictures: Dermot O’Brien. 
 
Mint+ Man of the Match: Evan Osam. 
 
 
Tagged as: Senior Team
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