A 5-0 loss at home isn’t pleasant no matter what way you look at it. Bray’s reverse by that score to Waterford FC on Friday may have been only a friendly, but it was still a hiding. A little bit of an embarrassment too, given that they are in the lower division.
The side needed a run out in advance of the resumption of League activity this coming week against Limerick FC. It was nice of our south-east neighbours to step in and take up the offer of the friendly. In fact both our south-east neighbours have helped out [we played Wexford FC two weeks before] in what has effectively been a month off from League activities, given our involvement in the Irn Bru Cup and early exit from the FAI Cup.
Given the score from Friday, I was particularly tuned in to 5-0’s coming through on Saturday. Liverpool were first up, as Man City showed that anything Waterford can do, they can do also. I saw the advertising for this game a few days in advance. It was a picture of Pep’s head looking at Klopp’s head. It didn’t look like an ad for a soccer match, more a designer-stubble face-off contest. 5-0 was a serious embarrassment for Liverpool, whatever about the sending off. The Madness song ‘’Embarrassment’’ came to mind.
The once-mighty Leeds United recorded a 5-0 also, Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion the team embarrassed at Elland Road. In the Austrian Bundesliga SV Mattersburg had nowhere to hide their blushes, going down 0-5 to FC Admira Wacker Modling.
Spare a thought also for Hawick Royal Albert of the Lowland League in Scotland, going down 0-9 to BSC Glasgow, or Fort William of the Highland League who surpassed everyone in the embarrassment stakes with their 0-10 capitulation to Fraserburgh. They can hit you hard in Scotland – maybe our modest loss to Elgin City last week wasn’t so bad after all.
Talking of Elgin, some of the Bray fans who went have talked about and written about the facilities enjoyed by Elgin City, who are effectively a fourth-tier club in Scotland. Facilities that would put ours to shame. Bray’s hierarchy drew criticism for plans to improve our facilities this season – maybe the critics should have gone to Elgin and seen their set up. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to better facilities.
The Waterford loss was a hiccup, a friendly result that doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things. Harry Kenny will have used the game to gauge fitness, give players a run-out and generally see where things are at and what needs to be done this week before Limerick visit.
Having said that, Waterford are a hugely impressive side. I’ve seen them this year when they visited Tolka Park to play Shelbourne and they are well clear at the top of the First Division and within touching distance of a return to the top flight. They’ve lost only twice in 25 League games and their 42 goals scored is the highest in the First Division.
Limerick, our visitors this Friday, had a great win in the Cup this weekend away to Galway and join the ‘Big Three’ of Rovers, Cork and Dundalk in the semi-finals. Nice to see one of the mortals gatecrashing the party. Wouldn’t it really be nice if Limerick could make the final and win, spread the spoils around a bit. Now that would be an embarrassment for the Big Three who at this stage must be assuming that one or other of them will be lifting the Cup.