Bogdanov hits 4 as Hoops tame Bray
Played in nice conditions at Roadstone this afternoon, the Hoops certainly didn’t have it all their own way but Bray manager Bernard Byrne must be asking himself just what happened to his side once they conceded the first goal.
Having put up a good fight up to that point, Bray’s resistance buckled and it wouldn’t have been an injustice had the Hoops led by more than 2-0 at half time.
The first real threat from Rovers came in the 6th minute just after Bray had won a corner at the other end. In a swift attack Alex Dunne picked out Jack Kelly and the latter sent a screamer across the posts.
The visitors had a good chance ten minutes later but Glen Hollywood sent his effort high over the bar. Suddenly the game shot up to a higher tempo with both sides working hard.
Midfielder James Clarke had successfully managed to make several runs through the Bray defence and when he did so in the 19th minute his through ball to Daniel Bogdanov was greatly accepted by the striker who beat a defender firstly and then keeper Morgan Griffin who had come off his line in an effort to grab hold of the ball.
Bogdanov doesn’t waste chances such as this and despatched it into the back of the net to put the Hoops 1-0 ahead. A really good move from the Hoops finished with Martins Olakanye shooting into the outstretched arms of Griffin. Bray had been badly shaken by the goal and it showed.
Bogdanov then put Rovers 2-0 ahead in the 28th minute following some fine play by midfielder Toby Owens. It didn’t help Bray’s cause when they lost the influential Jake Ellis. Jake was troubled by a painful blister on his heel and had to be replaced.
Gavin Bazunu was called into action in the 34th minute when he threw himself at the ball after Cian Walsh took aim at goal and the ball took a vicious deflection. Shortly after that the Rovers’ keeper came out for a high ball to make another fine save but left full Luke Turner felt the force of the impact and went down injured. Thankfully Turner was ok to continue after some treatment.
The Hoops led at 2-0 with the opening goal definitely proving to be a turning point in the game given that the visitors never managed to recover from it.
A two-goal lead is never enough though and there was another significant moment just two minutes into the second half. Thomas Hannon, who had a fine game playing as a defensive midfielder, sent in a corner which both Clarke and Bogdanov went for; Clarke pulled back and allowed Bogdanov a clean chance to shoot for goal number three.
A minute later Jack Kelly attacked down the right and took the ball to the end line before delivering it in to Bogdanov who had run through to the centre and had the easiest of tasks in striking it over the line for his fourth goal of the afternoon.
Bray responded with a shot from Evan Dunne which Bazunu saved.
The fifth and final goal came in the 55th minute. Bray had conceded a corner while defending from one. Hannon’s well delivered kick was met by the head of Andy Spain who managed to squeeze in between a couple of defenders and head into the net.
The final score might have been higher except for fine saves from Griffin who denied Shane Nealon firstly and then a few minutes later on with a double save to deny Dean McMenamy.
Stephen Rice’s team have now accumulated full points with four wins out of four but they will face a stiff test next weekend when they will host U.C.D. next Saturday.
Rovers Team: 1. Gavin Bazunu, 2. Martins Olaykanye, 3. Alex Dunne, 4. Andrew Spain, 5. Cian Kelly, 16, Luke Turner, 8. Thomas Hannon, 19. Toby Owens, 10. James Clarke, 11. Jack Kelly, 9, Danila Bogdanov.
Substitutes: 25. Shane O’Rourke, 20. James Furlong (for Dunne 55 mins), 22. Shane Nealon (for Bogdanov 58 mins), 15. Thomas Oluwya (for Kelly 52 mins), 17. Jordan Tallon, 6. Conor Behan (for Owens 64 mins), 7. Dean McMenamy (for Clarke 74 mins).
Match report and photos by Robert Goggins