Shamrock Rovers batter Bray to lift gloom in Tallaght

2018-02-26 22:37:35

Shamrock Rovers picked up their first win of the season with a resounding 6 -0 win over Bray Wanderers at Tallaght Stadium on Monday night.

Under regular downpours of snow, the Hoops made hard work of their limited opponents, leading at the break thanks to Graham Burke's delightful opener before cutting loose after the break.

Brandon Miele (2) and Dave McAllister scored their first goals of the season while Dan Carr and Sean Kavanagh marked their full Rovers debuts with their first goals in green and white.

Rovers had the better of the early play without looking particularly threatening as the visitors looked content to cede possession and patrol their half of the pitch.

The home side did look dangerous out wide, where Clarke and Ethan Boyle were encouraged to bomb forward at will with the disciplined midfielder Sam Bone willing to step back into defence.

Carr had the game's first shot from that side, the striker exchanging passes with Kavanagh before cutting in on his right foot, but his shot was always bending away from the far post.

His striker partner, Burke, did his best to improve on that effort moments later, but his curling effort from the opposite side didn't quite turn inside enough to worry the corner of the net.

David McAllister celebrates with teammates after scoring Rovers' third goal

Burke and Miele saw free kicks from near-identical positions blocked by the wall as Bray dug in and Rovers continued to look threatening only from distance.

It was fitting that the opening goal should come from long range, and what a finish it was by sometimes luxurious and occasionally breath-taking former Aston Villa trainee Burke.

Ally Gilchrist's long pass forward was knocked down by Kavanagh towards Burke, and the Dubliner sent a first-time shot from 25-plus yards over keeper Aaron Dillon and in off the crossbar.

Bray rallied somewhat as the break approached and showed some composure in the final third, but long-range efforts from Cory Galvin and ex-Hoop Gary McCabe were straight at Kevin Horgan.

Rovers doubled their advantage within two minutes of the resumption, and it came after Bray's first corner of the game rolled out for a throw-in.

Rovers built rapidly up the pitch and Burke picked out Kavanagh in space on the right-hand side, the winger having switched sides with Miele at the break.

He played a low cross in front of the six-yard box that left Miele with the simple task of controlling the ball past the helpless Dillon.

Daniel Carr was the architect of the third goal, showing good skill to make space on the left and stand up an inch-perfect cross for McAllister to head powerfully home.

A minute later Carr was on the scoresheet himself, nipping onto Clarke's through ball and rounding the keeper for his first Rovers goal before being swamped by his teammates.

Kavanagh made it 5-0 shortly after as he slammed an unstoppable free kick around the wall, before Sean Boyd teed up Miele for his second, and Rovers' sixth, in the final minute.

Shamrock Rovers: Kevin Horgan; Ethan Boyle, Lee Grace, Ally Gilchrist, Trevor Clarke (Joel Coustrain 73); Sam Bone, David McAllister, Brandon Miele, Sean Kavanagh, Graham Burke (Aaron Bolger 64); Dan Carr (Sean Boyd 68).

Bray Wanderers: Aaron Dillon; Dan McKenna, Hugh Douglas, Sean Heaney (Conor Kenna 80), Kevin Lynch; Paul O'Conor (John Sullivan 63), Darragh Noone, Gary McCabe; Ronan Coughlan, Cory Galvin (Ger Pender 60), Aaron Greene.

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Clare).

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