This was an extraordinary game that will be remembered more for the decisions of match referee David Connolly than anything else.
Waterford opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Ronan Coughlan slotted home from close range after the ball was delivered into a crowded penalty area by Ryan Burke.
Two minutes later he doubled the lead when he converted a penalty after Christopher Conn Clarke was fouled in the area by Dane Massey and the Blues were cruising.
However, 2 yellow cards in 5 minutes ended Conn Clarke’s participation in the game and the Blues were forced to play out the game with ten men for over an hour.
Bray pulled one back in injury time at the end of the first half when Ben Feeney fired home from close range after Eddie Nolan had blocked Max Murphy’s shot on the line and the ball fell into his path.
Paul Martin and Nolan blocked efforts from the head of Cole Omorehiomwan on the hour but there was no stopping Murphy’s powerful shot from 25 yards as Bray levelled the game with fifteen minutes remaining.
Waterford had Danny Searle sent off ten minutes from the end after yet another bizarre refereeing decision by Connolly who issued twelve yellow cards and 3 reds in a game that had scarcely a bad tackle throughout.
And yet, Shane Griffin could have won it in injury time but his delicate effort from inside the penalty area came back off the upright.
WATERFORD FC: Paul Martin, Darragh Power, Giles Phillips, Eddie Nolan, Ryan Burke, Niall O’Keeffe, Shane Griffin, Barry Baggley (Tunmise Sobowale ’59), Roland Idowu, Chris Conn-Clarke, Ronan Coughlan (Thomas Oluwa ’71).
BRAY WANDERERS: Alex Moody, Eoin Farrell (Len O’Sullivan ’46), Cole Omorehiomwan, Dane Massey, Max Murphy, Conor Crowley (Gerard Shortt ’46), Luka Lovic (Chris Lyons ’66), Harry Groome, Ben Feeney, Jake Walker (Guillermo Almirall ’89), Joseph Power (Conor Davis ’89).
Referee: David Connolly (Kilkenny).