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Match Report – Bray Wanderers v Kerry FC



Kerry FC made their first trip of the season to the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night as they took on Bray Wanderers by the seaside. The last time the two took on each other it ended in a 3-2 victory for Friday’s hosts in Tralee. An evening which had everything. A Red card, five goals and a thirty-minute break as every type of weather possible hit Mounthawk Park. Kerry took the lead twice in the game through a screamer from Kevin Williams and a Samuel Aladesanusi header but Bray persevered and heartbreakingly won the game for the Kerry FC faithful.

Kerry were boosted going into the game with a nearly fully fit squad as Valerii Dolia made his first appearance in the matchday squad after a lengthy injury which had kept him out since the start of the season. First-team coach Conor McCarthy rotated the starting eleven slightly with Ethan Kos, Victor Udeze and Ronan Teahan making the starting eleven giving Kerry FC one of their strongest benches to date.

Kerry’s eight-game unbeaten streak ended last week as they lost 2-1 to Athlone Town at home but it was evident early on in the proceedings that they wanted to make things right. First Team Coach James Sugrue said after the game on Friday that the team were mixing cockiness with confidence and attacker Kennedy Amechi admitted this and was certain that he and his teammates would not make the same mistake twice when speaking to the local media this week.

First Half
The game was closely tested with both sides not putting too much pressure on each other in the early stages. The first real chance of the game from either side came in the tenth minute when Freddie Turley slipped in Peter Grogan on the right side of the box but his cross flashed right across the area and nobody was there to get on the end of it.

The first real test on Stephen McGuinness’ goal came from a corner swung in by Sean O’Connell which reached Daire McCarthy but he headed just over the crossbar and unfortunately could not keep it down to test the Bray Wanderers shot-stopper.

Ten minutes before the end of the first half Peter Grogan twisted and turned on the left side of the box however, his low cross only reached the hands of Antonio Tuta who smothered the ball and kept out any oncoming danger in the home side’s attacking penalty area. The game lacked life and any sort of real urgency from either side. Both sets of fans at the Carlisle Grounds hoped this would change in the second half to give the game a much-needed boost.

Second Half
Sean McGrath sprung the second half into life as he tested McGuinness in the opening three minutes. It was the start that the second half so desperately craved as both teams were a lot livelier and still cagey in their play around the middle of the park.

Kevin Williams decided to have a pop at goal from distance like he did in the home game against Bray. On this occasion though he did not find the same outcome as the ball went well over the crossbar. Just two minutes later in the sixty-eighth minute, substitute Cristian Magerusan scored with his first touch on the pitch. Max Murphy delivered the ball in from the right and found Magerusan to break the deadlock for Bray Wanderers with just over twenty minutes to go.

About ten minutes later Bray added a second through Peter Grogan. Conor Knight raced down the right wing and slipped the ball through to Magerusan who was denied well by Antonio Tuta. Unfortunately, Grogan was there and followed up to convert the rebound. A huge blow to Kerry FC who saw their chances of getting at least one goal back fade away with only eleven minutes left on the clock.

There was very little threat from there on out and Bray Wanderers came out as eventual winners winning by two goals to nil. A tough one to take for Kerry FC as they take back-to-back losses after an eight-game unbeaten run. They return to Mounthawk Park next Friday night as they host league leaders Cork City for the first time in Tralee. That is before a quick turnaround with a trip to Longford Town pencilled in for the Bank Holiday Monday. It is a big week ahead for the Kingdom so they will not want to dwell on this result for too long.

Bray Wanderers Team: 25. Stephen McGuinness, 2. Max Murphy, 3. Evan Osam, 4. Killian Cantwell (C), 7. Darren Craven, 8. Harry Groome, 14. Freddie Turley, 16. Paul Murphy, 18. Peter Grogan (Goal ‘79), 23. Shane Griffin, 31. Kieran Cruise.

Subs: Benjamin Clark, Guillermo Almirall, Cristian Magerusan (Goal ‘69), Jamie Duggan, Zach Nolan, Thomas Morgan, Conor Knight, Rhys Knight.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 5. Andy Spain (C), 6. Ethan Kos, 3. Sean O’Connell, 21. Daire McCarthy, 8. Ronan Tehan, 7. Sean McGrath, 12. Kennedy Amechi, 22. Victor Udeze, 13. Nathan Gleeson.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Samuel Aladesanusi, Jack Kavanagh, Graham O’Reilly, Steven Healy, Evison Rramani, Valerii Dolia, Ryan Kelliher, Cian Brosnan.