Cretaro out of luck as gutsy Bray earn point

Bray Wanderers 0 Sligo Rovers 0

Cretaro out of luck as gutsy Bray earn point

With five games left to play, Sligo are clear favourites to win their first title in 35 years. Their remaining games are against Derry City (away), Cork City (away), St Patrick’s Athletic (home), Drogheda United (away) and Shamrock Rovers (home).

Bray boss Pat Devlin will be delighted with what may prove a precious point in the relegation battle.

Sligo, minus suspended defender Gavin Peers, could have taken the lead on 10 minutes when striker Mark Quigley slipped past Adam Mitchell but fired wide.

The Westerners should have had a penalty on 19 minutes when Dane Massey appeared to take down the elusive Rafael Cretaro 12 yards from goal — but Cork referee Anthony Buttimer allowed play to continue.

After a Joseph Ndo corner on the left was not cleared by a hesitant Bray defence, Cretaro had an overhead effort just over the bar.

Mark Quigley almost broke the deadlock for Sligo on the half-hour with an audacious lob from 20 yards after spotting Seagulls keeper Darren Quigley off this line. But somehow the Bray man got back to fingertip the ball over the bar.

Then Lee Lynch set up a chance for defender Seamus Conneely to send in a dangerous low cross — but there was no Sligo forward to take advantage when a goal seemed certain.

On a rare Bray breakaway, veteran striker Jason Byrne — back after a three-match suspension — forced a great save from Gary Rogers on 34 minutes.

The home side again went close just before the interval when a Daire Doyle shot was deflected to allow Marty Waters to flick on to Byrne, whose shot was cleared off the line by Jason McGuinness in an overworked Sligo defence.

Bray started the second half impressively when defender Adam Mitchell played a neat ball to Shane O’Connor, who then had a clever interchange of passes with Byrne only for O’Connor’s effort to be narrowly off target.

Sligo had another appeal for a penalty turned down on 51 minutes when Massey again appeared to take Cretaro down inside the box. Again referee Buttimer waved play on.

Bray then went close to breaking the deadlock on 61 minutes when Sean Houston put Waters in the clear on the left, only for keeper Gary Rogers to dash from his goal and block the winger’s effort.

Sligo again threatened when the always impressive Ndo found Ross Gaynor on the left and his precise low cross was stabbed just wide by striker Quigley.

Quigley then opened up the Bray defence to allow David Cawley to get in a shot, blocked by Darren Quigley, with Lee Lynch heading the rebound into the keeper’s arms.

BRAY WANDERERS: D Quigley; S O’Connor, Mitchell, D O’Connor, Massey; Houston; Doyle, Zambra, Waters; Mulroy (Hanlon 84), Byrne.

SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers; Conneely, McGuinness, Henderson (Connolly 85), Gaynor; Cretaro, Ndo, Ventre (Millien 71), Cawley, Lynch; M Quigley.

Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).

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