The first half of this game at the Carlisle Grounds produced very little in the way of clear cut goal scoring opportunities. Both defences were busy but mainly by way of dealing with high balls. It wasn’t until the second half that the game began to open out. The first chance for either side came after five minutes when Luke Rossiter put Jamie Hamilton through for Rovers but in reality it was only a half chance and nothing came of it. Bray’s first chance came in the 9th minute when Matthew Keogh went close at the far post.
Even as the game rolled on to the 20th minute it looked like it would take something special to break the deadlock. James Doona’s very high ball from outside the box towards goal was an indication of how both defences were holding firm. There were exceptions though and one very well worked move from Bray saw Paul McMahon deliver the ball in the box to Keogh who was cut out by Gavin Kearney for a corner. From the corner Andrew Bracken went close for Bray with a header which he headed over the bar,
Six minutes later Rovers put a good move together after Jamie Hamilton delivered really well across the pitch to Conor Gleeson; the left full sent Jamie Aherne in but the striker was denied a shot on target by Bray centre half Ciaran Butler. The last piece of action in the first half was a free kick from Doona that went wide.
The first eight minutes or so of the second half saw some good pressure from the home side but it was Rovers who almost took the lead when, from a move that began at the back, Rossiter sent Aherne through on goal but keeper Ryan Brown went down to save at Aherne’s feet. Rovers began their own spell of good pressure but in the 57th minute they fell behind to a well finished strike from Luke Clucas. Parity was restored three minutes later though when Aherne turned provider for Hamilton to take a might shot towards goal; Brown saved but Rossiter timed his run perfectly and ran in to connect with the loose ball and blast it into the net.
Six minutes later Rovers might have taken the lead after Hamilton sent Dean Dillon in but again Butler put in a great tackle to deny the Hoops a chance.
Disaster struck for the Hoops in the 73rd minute after Andrew Bracken went tumbling down outside the box and took the free himself to beat the wall and Mikey Quinn to put Bray 2-1 ahead. Rovers’ best chance after that came from a Bray player when Butler misconnected with the ball under pressure and almost sent it into his own net; Brown just about managed to gather it amid calls from the Hoops that it was a back pass. Some good play in time added on involving Rossiter and Hamilton enabled Dillon to take possession and bore down on goal but the flag went up for offside and very soon after the final whistle was blown.