Although arriving unbeaten into last night’s fixture, the Hoops found themselves 12 points adrift of league leaders Sligo Rovers with pressure already concentrated on manager Trevor Croly to turn some reasonably impressive displays into victories.
To that end, a bright start was imperative for the hosts with Mark Quigley trying his luck in the third minute, although his snap-shot from 25 yards arrowed harmlessly wide.
However, the opening goal wasn’t long in coming, with Sean O’Connor’s delivery from the right hacked into the path of Danny Ledwith, who finished precisely from 14 yards for his first goal for the club.
That lead was almost doubled in the 12th minute as Pat Sullivan saw his cross-shot roll across goal, while a minute later Darren Quigley was at full stretch in turning Ciaran Kilduff’s header away to safety.
There was little to be seen of Bray from an attacking perspective with Kieran Marty Waters finally working Rovers goalkeeper Barry Murphy, who pulled off a rudimentary save in the 25th minute.
However, given their supremacy, it was no surprise when the Hoops doubled their lead in the 38th minute when Kilduff made the most of Ronan Finn’s through ball to brush off two challenges and slide the ball home precisely from 10 yards.
Matters deteriorated for the visitors in first-half injury time as a glorious move involving Ledwith and O’Connor allowed Finn to race unopposed into the area, a calm finish beyond Quigley the deserved outcome.
Although enjoying a greater degree of threat upon the restart, Bray fell further behind in the 65th minute as a sublime cross from Ledwith found Quigley, who had the simplest of tasks in nodding home from six yards.
The confidence that had eluded Rovers to date was now flooding back as personified by the two late strikes from James Chambers and Finn’s injury-time penalty that concluded a satisfying evening’s work for the Hoops.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Sullivan (Rice 77), Foran, Oman, Powell; O’Connor, Chambers, Finn, Ledwith (Dennehy 71); Quigley, Kilduff (Sheppard 85).
BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Doyle (Moffatt 83), Webster, Thomas, Knight (O’Neill 54); Waters, Dempsey, Mulroy, Sambra, Earley; Byrne (Akinade 84).
Referee: Paul McLoughlin (Dublin).