Rovers vs Bray: Recent History
Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers clash on Saturday night in The Showgrounds. The Seagulls claimed a 1-0 success earlier in the season in their meeting in Wicklow. However, Rovers are unbeaten in 18 league matches in Sligo agains Bray.
Wanderers go into the match ahead of Rovers in the table, it sets up an exciting affair and we look back at five of the most memorable in recent seasons.
November 14th 2008 Sligo Rovers 2-0 Bray Wanderers
The sides met on the last day of the 2008 season in The Showgrounds with European qualification at stake for Sligo Rovers. The Bit o’ Red hadn’t been in Europe since 1996 but after a strong season only three years after promotion back to the Premier Division, a win on the final day would be needed to secure a Europa League spot for 2009.
As well as a victory, Rovers were also relying on Cork City, who were two points ahead, to lose their game against already- crowned champions Bohemians. Bray Wanderers would provide tough opposition, the Seagulls had a good season themselves finishing in sixth place. The biggest home crowd of the season turned out and saw Rovers take an early lead to settle the nerves as Mauro Almeida forced home Raffaele Cretaro’s cross on 14 minutes. Not long after the lead was doubled, this time from the head of Conor O’Grady, as he glanced in a Sean Doherty cross.
There were chances for both sides as the game wore on as Rovers looked for a third to seal victory. As the clock ticked towards the final whistle, attention turned to Dalymount Park where the result was also favourable with Bohs establishing a 3-0 lead by half-time.
Despite getting a goal back, Cork lost 3-1 and when news came through to The Showgrounds, fans spilled onto the pitch as the crowd and players celebrated a huge win for the club.
May 29th 2010 Sligo Rovers 5-1 Bray Wanderers
Neither side came into this game enjoying a great start to the season. The Seagulls were bottom of the league with the Bit o’ Red seventh having only won three of the 14 games played to date. It didn’t take long for Rovers to kick into gear.
Inside the first 10 minutes top scorer Padraig Amond found the net from close range and that was followed just over 10 minutes later when Eoin Doyle made it two from a John Dillon pass.
As half-time approached, John Russell got on the scoresheet for the first time for his new club to extend the lead and on the stroke of whistle it was 4-0. Padraig Amond was again the scorer as he moved to 12 for the season.
The second half seen less goalmouth action but Joseph Ndo was able to also get his first Rovers goal when he tapped in at the end of a long passing move.
A late John Mulroy goal gave consolation to Bray but the three points went to the home side. The win would prove a catalyst for Rovers who lost just two of the next 16 games to shoot up the table.
July 7th 2012 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Bray Wanderers
The Bit o’Red were already top of the league for some time in a season which would end in league title glory when Bray made their only visit to the Showgrounds of the season. However with a European tie just around the corner, Bray were able to catch Rovers cold and came away with a point, one of only five times from the 16 home games that year the the Bit o’Red did not emerge victorious at home.
Although Rovers were the better side in the opening 45 minutes, a breakthrough couldn't be found against Pat Devlin’s stubborn side. And early in the second half, Wanderers took a surprise lead with a clinical piece of finishing from veteran centre forward Jason Byrne.
In response Ian Baraclough introduced Pascal Millien and Mark Quigley from the bench and it took just four minutes for the substitution to reap rewards as Quigley played in Alan Keane to get the equaliser.
There was a couple of opportunities for a winner late on but the home side couldn’t get a second and had to be content with a share of the spoils.
March 16th 2013 Sligo Rovers 3-0 Bray Wanderers
Bray were the visitors for the first home league game of 2013 on the night that the league champions flag was raised at the Showgrounds.
Rovers had a 100% record from the three games played to that point and continued the form that made it a record breaking start to the year for the Bit o’Red.
New signing Anthony Elding made an early impact by giving the lead to his new club in the latter stages of the first half with a header from Lee Lynch’s cross. Although Rovers remained the better side for most of the game a second goal proved difficult to come by and it wasn’t got until the 87th minute that it eventually came.
Once again Bray couldn’t stop Elding who once again found space in the box to head into the back of the net, this time from a cross by Ross Gaynor.
There was still time for the gloss to be applied to the win however as Kieran Djilali, who had come off the bench in the 59th minute for his Bit o’Red debut, found the top corner to seal the win deep in stoppage time.
August 10th 2013 Sligo Rovers 2-0 Bray Wanderers
Rovers continued their pursuit of a second consecutive league title by taking an important three points against the Seagulls who were in the midst of their own relegation battle. In an open beginning to the game there were chances for both sides with Bray keeper Darren Quigley having to save well from Raff Cretaro.
However shortly after the Tubbercurry man found a way through, clipping the ball delightfully over the head of Quigley and scoring his 50th league goal in Rovers colours.
Bray struggled to find a way back into the game and early into the second period the lead was doubled and again it was Kieran Djilali scoring as he had done earlier in the season against Wanderers. He found himself in behind the defence and hammered the ball home.
Bray pressed to get at least one back but Gary Rogers was more than able for everything they threw at him. Rovers ended the game winners to extend the unbeaten run at home the Bray to 18 games since their last win in 1997.