A good start is half the battle and Bray Wanderers certainly built on their bright opening as they put bottom side Wexford FC to the sword in Ferrycarrig Park, running out 5-1 winners in their SSE Airtricity League First Division clash. The Seagulls
A good start is half the battle and Bray Wanderers certainly built on their bright opening as they put bottom side Wexford FC to the sword in Ferrycarrig Park, running out 5-1 winners in their SSE Airtricity League First Division clash.
The Seagulls have struggled to put the ball in the back of the net at times this term, but they have recently found their stride in front of goal, albeit against sides in the lower half of the division, and manager Gary Cronin says they'll keep on fighting until the final whistle on the last day of the season.
“It's key to get a good start in games. It might be stating the obvious, but if you can go ahead you've a great chance of winning the game.
"We've been a victim of not taking our chances and over the last few games we've kind of turned that around. It may be too late for us but we'll just keep on going.
"The other teams around us won again tonight so unfortunately we haven't gained any ground this week but we've just got to keep going and keep believing that something may turn for us,” he said.
The Bray boss was pleased with how his charges bossed the game from the off on Friday, and despite one blip when Danny Furlong took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score for the hosts, they were in complete control.
“Tonight we played really well at the start and it gave us a grip on the game. The game was probably over as a contest after half an hour to be fair. We gave a silly goal away, but from our point of view it was good to restore the three-goal cushion just before half-time. The second-half was always going to be the way it was,” he said.
The highlight of their dominant first-half display, which saw them leading 4-1 at the interval, was a cracking John Martin strike from just inside the Wexford half and Cronin agreed it was a little bit special.
“As soon as it left his foot I thought he was after catching the 'keeper. It was a great strike, he hit it so cleanly. It's players like John that have the vision to see that.
"He's not the complete player yet and he has plenty of parts of his game to work on but it's good to see a player trying that and it coming off. The technique was brilliant. It was a great goal,” he said.
The last time Wanderers visited Ferrycarrig Park they suffered a 2-0 defeat and Cronin believes that's the kind of slip-up that could ultimately cost them a play-off place as they lie five points behind Cabinteely with just four games remaining.
“No disrespect to Wexford but I think they've only won two games all season and that was one of them. They fought hard that night but we missed a lot of chances in that game and they scored a wonder goal and then finished us off. It's probably cost us now.
"When you look at games like that, they're the ones where we needed to pick up results. Unfortunately on the road we haven't picked up enough points. It was good to get the win tonight, but when we look back it's other results that has us chasing,” he said.
Bray Wanderers now have the welcome distraction of an FAI Cup tie against St Patrick's Athletic to look forward to next week and Cronin says it an opportunity they're relishing.
“It's a free bite for us. Each week we feel the pressure is on us to go and win games but it will be the reverse next week.
"The pressure will be on Pat's in Inchicore to try and beat us. We have some good players that can give them a really hard-fought game. We're looking forward to it, we'll have a free crack at them,” he said.