Goals from Kieran 'Marty' Waters and John Mulroy were enough to give Bray their first victory since the opening fixture of the season, which was also against Shelbourne
Bray Wanderers recorded their second win of the season, defeating fellow strugglers Shelbourne 2-1 at Tolka Park thanks to goals from Kieran 'Marty' Waters and John Mulroy either side of a Mark Leech strike.
Having picked up a long-awaited first league victory on Friday, Alan Matthews' side came into the game with the pressure partially lifted off their shoulders. Bray, meanwhile, hadn't tasted victory since their last meeting with Shelbourne in March, their first game of the season.
Shelbourne began the match with a seemingly new-found confidence and were presented with an opportunity to open the scoring just two minutes into the match. A headed ball found its way to Mark Leech but his low drive was saved and eventually smothered by Darren Quigley. Another two minutes passed before Bray could register a clear-cut chance, Jason Byrne was played through down the middle but, lacking pace, he hit the ball early and saw the ball go agonisingly beyond the post.
The game was a cagey affair in the opening stages. Shelbourne weren't dominating but were going forward more often and leaving themselves susceptible to the counter-attack. Kieran 'Marty' Waters was proving to be a threat and had a goal ruled out for offside in the 17th minute. Less than 60 seconds had passed before he scored again, this time it would count. The pacy attacker was played through by Gary Dempsey and held off Jack Memery before coolly putting the ball past Ger Hanley.
Shelbourne struggled to muster a response for the rest of the half and their first change was enforced, Philly Hughes coming on for the injured Sean Brennan after a half hour. The Bray defence remained tight and relatively disciplined, Kevin Knight's booking being the only notable criticism of their first half display, the defender receiving his caution after two or three hard tackles.
After the break, Bray began the brighter side due to the presence of Ismahil Akinade on the pitch. The young striker came on in place of Knight and immediately proved to be troublesome with his pace and trickery. He created a chance for Byrne and lured Brian Shortall into committing a foul, a late tackle which saw the defender booked. But Shelbourne began to press forward with Hughes starting to influence the game along with fellow substitute Alex Prizeman. However, it was Mark Leech was grabbed the equaliser, his lofted header looping over Darren Quigley.
Bray were shaken and the backline in particular looked vulnerable with Quigley almost immediately presenting Shels with another opportunity to score. Shels should have pressed home their advantage with the visitors on the backfoot but couldn't capitalise before John Mulroy restored Bray's lead a quarter of an hour left. Cutting in from the right-hand-side, he was presented with an identical opportunity a minute beforehand but dragged his shot wide. This time he made no mistake and Bray were looking menacing on the attack, buoyed on by the presence of Akinade who struck fear into the Shelbourne defence.
A late rally from Shelbourne was not enough and the pressure is again heaped on Alan Matthews despite Friday's victory over UCD, his side travel to Dundalk next. Bray, meanwhile, will be spurred by what seems like a long-overdue victory and will hope to try to maintain that winning mentality for the visit of Sligo.