Bray Wanderers 2-0 Killester United (Douglas 7’, Scully 58’)
Bray overcame non-league Killester United to advance to the semi-finals of the FAI Cup at a rain-swept Carlisle Grounds. For the second round in a row, Bray scored early in the game and eliminated a team in red n’ black stripes. This time however, there was no lineman’s flag to aid their progress – after the awarding of a controversial goal which knocked out Bohemians in the previous round. Some may have believed that Killester required divine inspiration to advance in this tie, against a Premier Division side hitting their peak. Indeed the Cross of Saint Brigid adorns the Killester United crest – St. Brigid was famed for the many miracles it was claimed she performed. No such inspiration was required tonight as the non-leagues matched their hosts in every department, bar the finishing. The axis of Lacey and Keogh were a constant threat to the Bray defence, however they came up short in a match played in the driving rain atop a greasy surface.
It was Bray Wanderers who got off to the better start and they went ahead from a corner after 7 minutes. Powerful defender Hugh Douglas shot into the box and his bullet header bulged the back of the net from 6 yards out to kill the early Killester spirit. It was the first goal that Killester United had conceded in this season’s competition. Bray threatened again from a set piece on 23, but Alan McNally’s header was wide.
The next clear chance was to come to non-league Killester as they edged their way back into this keenly fought contest. The impressive Michael Keogh struck the butt of the post from the edge of the area, but Lacey fired the rebound straight at goalkeeper, Peter Cherrie when he should have done better. Indeed it was Lacey who was centre to the game’s next big opening after 37 minutes. Having been slipped through 1-on-1 with Cherrie, the striker pulled the trigger, but the Scottish stopper saved well with his legs. It was Lacey who nearly made it through on goal again, though the threaded ball, bound for his feet was expertly blocked by Cooney’s sliding leg on the slick surface.
Killester squandered two glorious opportunities after the break before David Scully gave the hosts the insurance goal, turning home David Cassidy’s cross at the far post. Before that Alan Talbot rifled over when through 1-on-1 with Cherrie and the impressive Lacey had his goal-bound shot blocked from his attempt inside the area. There were further chances for both sides after that, as Lyons glazed United’s crossbar on 69, while Lacey stung Cherrie’s hands on 84. United ‘keeper, Keith Donoghue tipped over from Cassidy’s superb lob and saved well in Onwubiko’s 1-on-1 chance in injury time, as Bray’s superior fitness began to tell.
So Bray Wanderers advanced to the semi-finals, but they were made to work hard for the privilege. The Wicklow side will now pray for a kind draw on Monday and dream about emulating 1990 and 1999’s cup glory years, whilst Killester will wonder what might have been.
Bray Wanderers: Cherrie; Barker; Cooney; Douglas; McNally; Cassidy; Kelly; McEvoy; McGlynn; Lyons (Wixted 89’); Scully (Onwubiko 82’).
Subs not used: Fogarty; Gallagher; McDonagh; Mitchell; O’Reilly.
Killester United: Donoghue; McCormack; Kelly (Matthews 72’); Kavanagh; Hand; O’Reilly; Keogh; Chambers (Mooney 79’); Browning; Talbot (Lee 68’); Lacey.
Subs not used: O’Driscoll; McDonald; Farrell; Whelan.
Irish Daily Mail Man of the Match: Hugh Douglas
Attendance: 700 (estimate)