Cassidy hat-trick sees Rovers beaten by Bray
By David Goulden at the Showgrounds.
Sligo Rovers 1-3 Bray Wanderers
Bray Wanderers moved off the bottom of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with their first win league win of the season as they beat Sligo Rovers 3-1 at the Showgrounds.
The Seagulls profited from a David Cassidy hat-trick while Steven Beattie netted Rovers' only goal of the night. Both teams ended the game with ten men as Adam Mitchell was dismissed just before the half-hour mark, while Sligo's Keith Ward was given his marching orders early in the second half.
The home side were searching for their first league win of what has been a terribly disappointing start to their season and they almost had the perfect start. Kevin Devaney and Dinny Corcoran combined, but Bray's Hugh Douglas was positioned at the right place at the right time as he cleared Corcoran's goal bound effort.
Bray, bottom and without any points going into this tie, took the lead with seven minutes played after they were awarded a penalty when David Cassidy was tripped by Ryan Coulter inside the area. The former Shelbourne man stepping up and slotting home from twelve yards to give Wanderers the lead.
Sligo were sloppy throughout but however managed to level the game with 17 played. Alan Keane was given ample space and time on the right as his over-hit cross was directed back towards goal by Kevin Devaney. Bray had switched off and Steven Beattie reacted the quickest as he slotted the ball into the corner of Stephen McGuinness's net.
Stephen Folan nodded Keith Ward's free-kick narrowly over the Bray crossbar on 29, eight minutes before Wanderers' game plan was set askew as the Wicklow team were reduced to ten.
The last defender, Mitchell nudged Corcoran as the striker latched on to the end of a through ball over the top from Ward causing the former Bohs man to tumble to the ground. Referee Padraig Sutton immediately going to his back pocket as he dismissed the centre half.
It was then Sligo's turn to feel the wrath of Sutton as Bray were awarded another penalty on the stroke of half-time. Keane tugged Ryan McEvoy's shirt as the midfielder attempted to control the ball at the back post following a Bray corner. Sutton pointing to the spot and Cassidy blasting the ball past Coulter for the second time as Bray led at the break.
John Russell headed his effort on to the Bray crossbar from point blank range just three minutes into the second period. David Cawley sweeping wide, his shot from the edge of the area seconds later.
Sutton then produced his second red card of the night on 52. Ward was issued his second booking of the contest as he headed the ball out of the hands of McGuinness as he prepared to release it.
The Bray net minder did well to claim Devaney's header under his post on 55 after the winger jumped highest to meet Russell's corner.
Sligo boss Owen Heary introduced striker Morten Nielsen and winger Sander Puri as the Bit O'Red adjusted tactically. Corcoran then passed up a golden opportunity to equalise on 67 as he somehow, unmarked, shot wide from inside the six yard box from a Russell cross.
Bray were only too happy to show Rovers how it's done shortly after as they doubled their lead and Cassidy grabbed his third with their only shot on target of the half. Adam Hanlon produced the cross and Cassidy ghosted unnoticed between both Sligo centre halves and easily tapped the ball past Coulter for his hat-trick.
Sligo pressed hard for a way back into the game but were not for the first time this season, found wanting in the last third. Daniel O'Reilly blocking Corcoran's late chance as Maciej Tarnogradzki's side took all three points.
Sligo Rovers:Ryan Coulter; Alan Keane (for Morten Nielsen 61), Gavin Peers, Stephen Folan, Jake Dykes; Steven Beattie, David Cawley, John Russell, Keith Ward, Kevin Devaney (for Sander Puri 66); Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly, Gary Boylan, Danny Ledwith, Raffaele Cretaro, Eoin Wearen.
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness; Michael Baker, Daniel O'Reilly, Adam Mitchell, Hugh Douglas; Luke Gallagher (for Alan McNally 41), Ryan McEvoy, David Cassidy, Adam Hanlon (for Emeka Onwubiko 90+2); Gareth McDonagh (Chris Lyons 70), Peter McGlynn.
Subs not used: Brian Kane, Jack Memery, Niall Cooney, Peter Durrad.
Referee: Padraigh Sutton.