Mark Salmon of Bray Wanderers in action the last time the sides clashed at the Carlisle Grounds.

League Preview: Bray Wanderers -v- Dundalk
Published: June 30, 2017


Two of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division’s top-scoring sides will be in opposition as Bray Wanderers welcome Dundalk to the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night.


Wanderers and Dundalk have scored over 80 league goals between them this term so the Carlisle Grounds faithful will be expecting plenty of goalmouth action as second-placed Dundalk come to play Harry Kenny’s men, who are holding on to third position in the table.


Bray come into this game on the back of a 2-1 away success over bottom club Galway United.


“Our form since the mid-season break has been good with two victories over Derry City and away to Galway Utd,” manager Harry Kenny told the club's media team.


“I thought we fully deserved our win in Galway with two first half goals from Anto Flood and Mark Salmon.


“Dundalk will come to the Carlisle full of confidence particularly after scoring twelve goals in their last three games.”


Bray and Dundalk clash 24 hours after Seagulls midfielder Dylan Connolly accepted an offer to move to Oriel Park.


Connolly made 19 appearances for Bray Wanderers this term, scoring five goals. He won’t be involved in this week’s match.



Dundalk enter this tie buoyed by two home wins and two clean sheets in rapid succession – 4-0 against Finn Harps on Friday and 2-0 against Galway United three days later.


“Galway United set up on Monday for us to break them down like a lot of teams do at Oriel,” midfielder Chris Shields told the club's website.


“They made it difficult for us and the game wasn’t a great spectacle because of that. I thought we went about things professionally.


“We had to be patient throughout the game and we had to keep concentrating. We couldn’t switch off to give them any chances on the break or a set piece. The second goal made us more comfortable.


“We got the job done in the end with two well worked goals and maybe we could have had a couple more on the night but we are happy with that.


“We have been good since the break and it has always been the plan to win the games immediately after we came back. We wanted to get on the front foot early in the second half of the season.


“We had a bit of a disappointing first half of the season but we have come back well and that is three games, three wins and three clean sheets. We want to keep it going now.


“The games are coming thick and fast for us now and we are well used to them now. We have two tough games before we go into Europe so we want to pick up maximum points and we’ll try to start that on Friday night.”


Bray have only scored three fewer goals than the reigning league champions but have conceded 17 more and that may well be the difference on the night.



Referee: Robert Rogers




The sides’ last encounter was at Oriel Park on Good Friday. Top scorer Gary McCabe converted two Bray penalties and Ryan Brennan was also on the mark for the Seagulls. Lilywhites captain Stephen O'Donnell was the Dundalk scorer, briefly squaring the match after McCabe’s first spot kick..


This will be the 58th league meeting between Bray Wanderers and Dundalk. The visitors hold the historical upper hand: P57; W26, D13, L18.


Bray Wanderers won the last league match between the sides at the Carlisle Grounds. That was in August last year when Mark Salmon and new Dundalk recruit Dylan Connolly scored for the Seagulls after Daryl Horgan had given Dundalk an early lead.


Last five league matches: Bray Wanderers WWLLD

Dundalk WWWLW.




Bray Wanderers 4/1; Dundalk 7/10; Draw 11/4.



Bray Wanderers 1-1 Dundalk



Bray Wanderers

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Anto Flood (ankle).

Suspended: Derek Foran and Tim Clancy.



Injured: None.


Suspended: None.

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John Manning

John Manning began writing for this year after retiring from the insurance industry. He has been a regular attendee at League of Ireland football matches since the 1970s. He has particularly supported Cork Hibs, Cork Celtic, Cork United, Cork City but has attended many other matches also.

He was formerly Webmaster of the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland website ( to which he still contributes. He is currently Webmaster of the International Pitch and Putt Association website (

John broadcast Pitch and Putt on the airwaves from 1994 to 2005 – on CKR, KFM, KCLR FM, Midlands Radio 3, Radio Kerry and Cork 103 FM.

John held many administrative posts within the sport of Pitch and Putt
· Treasurer Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland 1992-93
· Public Relations Officer Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland 1994 – 2005
· General Secretary European Pitch and Putt Association 2000 - 2010

John Manning was the Editor of ‘Backspin’ – official monthly magazine of the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland – between 1989 and 2005. He still currently contributes to ‘Backspin’.

He is a fervent supporter of the Republic of Ireland football team – home and sometimes away.

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