Byrne spot-on as Bray continue surge up the table

Bray Wanderers made it three leagues win in-a-row as penalties in either half from Jason Byrne proved enough to sink his former club at Oriel Park last night.

The brace of spot kicks brought the veteran striker’s tally for the season to seven – one more than he managed in the whole of last season for the Lilywhites – as Pat Devlin’s side continued their surge up the table.

While Byrne was the matchwinner, it was the lively Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters who was the real difference between the sides. The 22-year-old won both penalties for the Seagulls to liven up an otherwise dull affair.

After a poor opening to the game, the breakthrough arrived five minutes before half-time when Derek Foran was adjudged to have clipped Waters as he burst into the box. Referee Paul Tuite immediately pointed to the spot and Byrne made no mistake, sending Peter Cherrie the wrong way.

A dominant Bray thought they had doubled their advantage 11 minutes after the restart when Danny O’Connor headed home but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Dundalk came closest to an equaliser on 63 minutes when Michael Rafter’s shot beat Darren Quigley only to come off a post.

The woodwork also denied Bray nine minutes later when Sean Houston’s header cannoned back off the crossbar. However, they put the game to bed a minute later, with Byrne slotting home a second spot kick after Waters’ mazy run into the area resulted in him being tripped by Lilywhites captain Chris Shields.

DUNDALK: Cherrie, Mountney, Foran, Shields, Osborne; Rafter, Walsh (Coughlan h/t), McDonnell, Waters (Thomas 83), Shanahan (Griffin 73); O’Neill, Rafter.

BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Webster, O’Connor, Sweeney, Knight; Hanlon, Massey (Houston 25), Zambra, Waters; Byrne, Mulroy.

Referee: P Tuite (Dublin).


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