Kildare County FC 2 Bray Wanderers 2
Kildare County FC couldn't have asked for a better first showing on their historic debut match against Bray Wanderers at Castledermot on Saturday, June 15.
Keith O'Connor and Alan Kelly had the destinction of being the first and second players respectively to grab a goal in Kildare County colours.
But for The Thoroughbreds boss Dermot Keely, all of his objectives for the night were achieved.
"We've worked hard in training but this game proved to me that the fitness isn't bad for this stage of pre-season," he said.
"But I wanted to start the process of putting a shape on the team and I'm really pleased that we looked good in many different areas, particularly up front were young Philip Gorman had a cracking match.
"His partnership with John Ryan looked really promising and the great thing is the two subs who came on up front in the second half clicked as well and both ended up on the scoresheet."
Brownstown native Gorman, who came to the Thoroughbreds from Newbridge Town, had an outstanding outing in his first appearance at this level and was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring.
Keely wanted to show his young side what life was like in senior football and the Wicklowmen proved how little room for error there is at Eircom League level.
Former U21 international midfielder Thomas Morgan fired Bray ahead in the 37th minute - blasting past Danny O'Leary in the Kildare goal after the County defence failed to clear their lines.
Paul Forsyth extended Wanderers' lead midway through the second half with a brilliant free-kick that wouldn't have looked out of place at the World Cup itself.
Forsyth had won the free himself after being taken down on the edge of the box after a scintillating run down the inside right channel.
The introduction of Keith O'Connor to the Kildare attack gave the Thoroughbreds new impetus and he duly nipped in to fire County back into the game in the 70th minute.
O'Connor has a habit of being a history maker, he hit Longford Town's first ever goals in both the Premier Division and the UEFA Cup and he was clearly buoyed by becoming Kildare County's historic first ever goalscorer.
He went on to set up a brilliant equaliser for fellow substitute Alan Kelly ten minutes from time - Former Newbridge Town striker Kelly dived in at the back post to head emphatically past Bray's second choice keeper Keith Rushe and send both sides home with a share of the spoils.
KILDARE COUNTY - Danny O'Leary; Damian Brennan, James O'Callaghan, Gavin Dykes, Damian Maher, Shay Zellor, Ben Whelehan, Cathal O'Connor, Gavin Doyle, Philip Gorman, John Ryan. Subs - Mark Revins, Fred Davis, Derek Griffin, Ray Scully, Barry Burke, Alan Kelly, Glen Brien & Keith O'Connor for Zellor, O'Leary, Dykes, Brennan, C O'Connor, Gorman, Whelehan and Ryan.
BRAY WANDERERS - Gregg; Britton, Farrell, O'Hanlon, Tresson, Morgan, Gormley, Long, Forsyth, O'Brien, Byrne.
Subs - Brack, Keogh, Lynch, Mazza, O'Reilly, Power, Rushe & Ryan for , Forsyth, O'Hanlon, Morgan, Britton, Gormley, Gregg and Long.
Referee - JP Kelly (Kildare).