Martin Russell's youngsters looked to kick-start their season, but Pat Devlin's spirited Bray side fought back to share the spoils at the Carlisle Grounds
In what could be an early-season six-pointer, UCD let a 2-1 advantage slip despite having a man advantage for the entire second half following Darren Quigley’s sending off. David McMillan scored twice for the hosts, but Bray grabbed a point with John Mulroy's late strike.
A pacy start to the game saw Bray Wanderers open the scoring. Jason Byrne met a floated cross in the fourth minute to lash home his third goal of the season.
After coping well with the early Bray attacking onslaught, UCD drew level. A wonderful display of first time control by Gary Burke on the right flank drew admiration from the crowd, before his low cross was tucked away by a neat David McMillan finish.
Right on the stroke of half-time UCD were awarded a penalty after Gary Burke was brought down by goalkeeper Darren Quigley. The stopper was subsequently sent off before midfielder Daire Doyle pulled the goalkeeper jersey on for the spot-kick. McMillan sent his shot low to the left and Doyle was unfortunate not to save after guessing correctly.
Seagulls manager Pat Devlin made a double substitution at half time, replacing the duo of Kevin O’Connor and Eoin Hyland for John Mulroy and goalkeeper Sean Holmes. With his side behind Devlin reverted to a 3-5-1 system in hope of a second half revival.
McMillan spurned a glorious opportunity with an hour gone to put the game beyond Pat Devlin and his Bray men. A through ball by Sean Russell set the striker through but he ballooned his effort well over.
The Students were to be taught a harsh lesson as Bray drew level with 10 minutes to play. After sustained pressure, the ball dropped kindly for Byrne who hooked the ball over UCD keeper McGinley to leave substitute John Mulroy with the easiest of finishes.
Bray perhaps could and should have stolen the win only with minutes to play. Having just scored his side’s equaliser, Mulroy was inches away from adding a second as he delicate dink landed on the roof of the net.Pat Devlin and his Bray side face a trip to Derry City on Bank Holiday Monday while UCD face reigning champions Sligo Rovers at the UCD Bowl.