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Kerry FC v Bray Wanderers

Match Report – Kerry FC v Bray Wanderers




Kerry FC were back in action Friday night as they took on Bray Wanderers in Mounthawk Pak for the first time this season in League action. Kerry were unlucky last time out as two first-half Jack Doherty goals sealed the win for Cork City in Turners Cross. Kerry put on a much better second-half display last Friday, and they hoped for more of the same throughout the match against Bray who defeated Kerry in all four games of the 2023 season.

Bray, similarly to Kerry, also came out of the first week of games without a point as they lost 2-1 to UCD at home in the Carlisle Grounds. A second-half Ben Feeney goal was not enough for Bray to spark a comeback in that one. Coming into the game Bray Wanderers manager Ian Ryan was weary of the Kerry game as his team did not show a lot of the quality they possessed during pre-season in their defeat last week against UCD. He was also aware of the strengthening Kerry did during the transfer window while speaking to the media post-match.

Kerry FC’s first team head coach Conor McCarthy made two changes to the team from Turners Cross with Daire McCarthy and Ryan Kelliher starting in place of Ronan Teahan and Victor Udeze. In the pre-match press conference Conor talked about his hope of more creativity for his Kerry FC side against Bray and to build on the fantastic second-half performance from last week.

First Half:
The game started very evenly in possession. It could be said Kerry were on top in the opening stages with two quick corners in the opening four minutes with nothing materialising from either set piece. Daniel Okwute had the best chance of getting Kerry ahead as a fantastic over-the-top through pass met Okwute but unfortunately, he put his effort wide of the far post.

Kerry kept going and tested Bray goalkeeper James Corcoran with two efforts. Once again from Daniel Okwute with the follow-up from Sean McGrath also being saved by Bray’s man between the sticks.

We unfortunately got a bad patch of bad weather over Mounthawk with Rain, hailstones and even a thunderstorm which delayed the match by thirty-five minutes as referee Mark Moynihan called all players inside to let it clear off before deciding to carry on with the game.

Antonio Tuta was kept quiet in the first forty-five with only one effort from a Darren Craven header testing the Croatian shot-stopper. Kerry would end up going down to ten men as Nathan Gleeson was controversially sent off for two yellow cards. Gleeson protested his innocence saying he only committed two fouls, but those two were enough for Moynihan to send Gleeson away for an early shower.

Kerry despite going down to ten men kept going and even got themselves in front by none other than Kevin Williams who scored a goal out of the top drawer. His effort from at least thirty yards out of goal flew past Corcoran putting Kerry ahead in what was the stroke of half-time in an exceptionally long half of football.

Second Half:
As you can imagine with ten men on the pitch Kerry defended for their lives and were not really tested in the opening 15 minutes. Even though Bray had their fair share of possession it was not until the seventieth minute that they got level through Peter Grogan. Shane Griffin curled in a corner on the left side and Grogan was free in the area to get the visitors back into it.

A mere two minutes later Kerry’s ten men were back in front. A needless corner given away from Bray gave Sean O’Connell the chance to whip the ball in which he did fantastically to Sam Aladesanusi who headed home at the back post to regain Kerry’s lead.

In a mad few minutes, unfortunately, Bray levelled again. A cross from Freddie Turley was cleared by Antonio Tuta only as far as Kieran Cruise who teed up Darren Craven inside the area who finished his chance brilliantly into the top right corner.

Two minutes later again, Christian Magerusan put Bray ahead. Shane Griffin got another assist when his free kick found Magerusan at the back post to head home the goal to put Bray ahead. Kerry had a chance to salvage a point at the end but unfortunately, after such a brave performance with ten men it was not meant to be, and Bray Wanderers went out 3-2 victors.

Many positives had to be taken from the game coping so well with a man down. Two goals were scored by defenders, so they have worked on attacking also in recent training sessions by the looks of it. Kerry will be positive going into the home game against Treaty United who are two wins from two and top of the first division.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15, Kevin Williams (Goal ‘45), 18. Sam Aladesanusi (Goal ‘72), 5. Andy Spain (C), 3. Sean O’Connell, 21. Daire Mccarthy, 15. Steven Healy, 7. Sean McGrath, 13. Nathan Gleeson, 11. Daniel Okwute, 9. Ryan Kelliher.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Rob Vasiu, Jack Kavanagh, Ethan Kos, Ronan Teahan, Kennedy Amechi, Cian Brosnan, Victor Udeze, Ferdia O’Brien.

Bray Wanderers Team: 1. James Corcoran, 2. Max Murphy, 4. Killian Cantwell (C), 5. Cole Omorehiomwan, 6. Guillermo Almirall, 7. Darren Craven (Goal ‘73), 8. Harry Groome, 11. Callum Thompson, 16. Paul Murphy, 23. Shane Griffin, 31. Kieran Cruise.

Subs: Benjamin Clark, Christian Magerusan (Goal ‘75), Ben Feeney, Jamie Duggan, Freddie Turley, Zach Nolan, Thomas Morgan, Peter Grogan (Goal ‘70), Alain Kizenga.