Treaty United 2-2 Bray Wanderers: Fox’s late finish sends youthful visitors home happier

Wicklow , Ireland - 18 February 2022; Paul Fox of Bray Wanderers during the SSE Airtricity League First Division match between Bray Wanderers and...

Bray Wanderers twice came from behind, as Paul Fox’s late looping half-volley saw them snatch a point against Treaty United at the Markets Field in the First Division tonight. Read on, for my match report from yet another frantic finish between two promotion play-off hopefuls.

Bray inflict late havoc on rueful Treaty

Cork , Ireland - 4 March 2022; Treaty United manager Tommy Barrett, with Marc Ludden, left, and Sean Guerins of Treaty United after between Cobh...

Guerins (right) made a crucial challenge to thwart Bray as they sensed a winner was in store late on

This latest result means both remain as they are in the standings, their winless runs continue, having failed to take their best chances just like during last month’s reverse fixture.

Four goals were scored this time around, but were borne more from a mixture of sloppy defending and first-time finishing than anything.

Profligacy was again the buzzword here, with Treaty forward Dean George missing two promising opportunities before Jack Lynch had a goal correctly disallowed for offside.

In first-half stoppage-time, Conor McManus made an excellent last-ditch sliding challenge to deny Enda Curran as he bore down on goal at the near post.

Having already broken the deadlock eight minutes in with a sweetly struck effort, his sixth goal of the season, he was denied by a perfectly-timed defensive intervention.

This all happened before half-time. Bray, to their credit, battled back and would’ve been enthused by their narrow deficit – deceiving how poorly they had played in the first hour or so.

Curran, having tried unsuccessfully to play through pain, limped off just before the hour mark. Joe Collins, who created the hosts’ opener, was also replaced. It felt like more than just coincidence that two minutes later, they conceded.

Bray were finding success down the channels and repeatedly stifling their hosts in transition, with Darragh Lynch showing great control and awareness to tee up an onrushing Kieran Marty Waters – who kept onside – before firing low and hard to the far post.

Just when it felt like Pat Devlin’s men were beginning to establish control, Treaty retook the lead.

Having been denied by the offside flag in the first-half, their overlapping captain Lynch wouldn’t be denied again: combining with substitute Conor Melody to slam home from close-range.

Treaty, who have shown a tendency to concede goals in spurts, saw their defensive frailties return late on and they were ultimately fortunate to come away with a point. Fox pounced on a cross, spotting Jack Brady in no man’s land, to loop the ball over him and into the far corner.

That wasn’t all, as a frantic goalmouth scramble ensued in stoppage-time, with goalline clearances and a loose ball causing havoc – without eventual reward – as Bray probed for a remarkable turnaround.

Sean Guerins’ last-ditch block proved priceless, with the hosts again crumbling under pressure as they did against Galway a fortnight ago.

Somehow, this spectacle finished 2-2, but on the balance of this display, neither side will earn promotion through the play-offs if they continue defending as they have.

Devlin took positives from a frenzied finish, revealing post-match that four players – including Rob Manley and Vilius Labutis – were unavailable as they are currently doing their exams.

All things in mind, this was a gritty point to take home for a youthful side who haven’t got going yet this season, but will feel like another two points dropped as far as Treaty are concerned.

Picture source: Getty Images — this coverage originally featured here

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