UCD AFC went down 3-1 to Bray Wanderers in the last game before the mid term break.
Airtricity League Premier Division
Friday 1st June 2012
The Carlisle Grounds
Bray Wanderers 3-1 UCD AFC
Byrne 17', 68' Ledwith 26'
UCD suffered another frustrating away defeat on Friday evening as Bray Wanderers came out 3-1 winners at the Carlisle Grounds. Danny Ledwith cancelled out Jason Byrne’s early opener but the veteran striker popped up in the second half to send the home side on their way before John Mulroy sealed the three points deep into injury time.
The first half of the season has been plagued by injuries and it seems the summer break has come at the right time for Martin Russell and the squad as they look to recharge their batteries and aim to regain full fitness.
Having said that, the Students have produced some notable performances this season and as a result lie in 10th position and are within touching distance of the teams above them. Speaking to ucdsoccer.com ahead of the game, Russell admitted that it would be nice to enter the three week break on the back of a victory but claimed the opening half of the season has been a successful one considering the squad has been down to it’s bare bones.
Top scorer Graham Rusk overcame a calf problem to take his place up front along side u19 striker Dean Clarke while Tyrone McNelis once again got the chance to shine in the continued absence of Chris Mulhall.
It was the home side, who are in a great run of form, that got off to the better start and took advantage of their early possession when a move which started with ‘keeper Darren Quigley ended in John Mulroy pulling the ball back for the former Irish striker Byrne who slotted home his eleventh goal of the campaign on 17 minutes.
It was an open and entertaining encounter and UCD drew level ten minutes later thanks to Danny Ledwith’s fifth strike of the campaign. His curling free kick went over the wall and found the back of the net via the post and it was no more than the visitors deserved.
Bray began to turn the screw after the break and went in search of a winner and it came a few minutes after the hour mark. It was Byrne once again who was set clear before Kieran Marty Waters’ effort rebounded off the woodwork but the 34 year old was on hand to poke home.
John Mulroy made sure of the victory for the Seagulls as the College went in search of a deserved equaliser. Sub Chris Lyon so nearly snatched a dramatic late point but his effort from 14 yards went wide and from that the home side counter attacked as Waters squared for Mulroy to tap home.
UCD welcome Dundalk to the UCD Bowl after the summer break and Martin Russell will be hoping to climb the table as well as putting a good cup run together in the second half of the campaign.
Bray Wanderers: Quigley; Webster, Sweeney, Danny O’Connor, Knight; Zambra; Mulroy, Houston (Massey 76 mins); Waters, Hanlon; Byrne.
UCD AFC: McGinley; Ledwith, David O’Connor, Leahy, Nangle; Corry, Paul O’Conor, Benson; McNelis (Langtry 62 mins), Clarke (Lyons 62 mins), Rusk (Burke 86 mins).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Limerick).