Hoops stay in Euro hunt

Bray Wanderers 1 Shamrock Rovers 3

The Hoops are now five points behind third-placed Drogheda United, although the Dublin club have a game in hand. However, the Hoops can still book that European place if St Patrick’s Athletic win the FAI Cup.

The Hoops took the lead on 17 minutes when Bray defender Adam Mitchell was shown a yellow card by referee Padraig Sutton after a foul on Gary McCabe.

The resulting free from the edge of the box by Killian Brennan clipped the underside of the crossbar on its way into the net, giving keeper Darren Quigley no chance.

Bray, with Adam Hanlon taking over from the suspended John Mulroy, had veteran Jason Byrne operating as a lone striker but early on he never received the necessary service from a five-man midfield.

Oman scored the visitors’ second goal on 32 minutes when, unmarked, he headed home a corner by McCabe.

Bray were desperately unlucky not to pull a goal back three minutes later when a Byrne effort was parried by keeper Oscar Jansson and Sean Houston fired the rebound against the bar — the ball spiralled into the air and again struck the woodwork before being hacked clear.

Houston’s luck was out again when Quigley saved his goal-bound shot with his legs after Kevin O’Connor had created the opening.

The Seagulls continued to attack after the change of ends and a scramble in the Rovers area ended with Danny O’Connor firing a shot against the woodwork.

Marty Waters then reduced the deficit for Bray on 56 minutes when cleverly shooting on the turn from 14 yards past Jansson.

However, Quigley was called upon to brilliantly turn away a header from Billy Dennehy as Rovers got back on the front foot.

Gary Twigg put Dennehy in again soon after but his shot from the left struck the upright, with Quigley beaten.

Kieran Kilduff then had an effort touched round the post by the Bray keeper as Rovers continued to pile on latepressure.

McCabe finally made the points safe for Rovers nine minutes from time with a penalty after Adam Mitchell had taken down Twigg.

Substitute Aaron Green had one late effort blocked by Quigley as the Hoops dominated the late stages.

It all proved too much for Bray boss Pat Devlin, who was ordered from the bench in the dying seconds after a verbal altercation with fourth official Rob Rogers.

BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Webster, Mitchell, D O’Connor (Doyle 90), Massey; Hanlon (Georgiev 69), K O’Connor, Zambra, Houston, Waters (Marshall 90); Byrne.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Jansson; Sullivan, Sives, Oman, Powell; McCabe, Rice, Finn, Brennan (Dennehy 36); Twigg (Green 82), Kilduff.

Referee: Padraig Sutton (Clare).

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