Bray Wanderers 1 (Lewis 92), Galway United 2 (Foley 18, Ludden 75)
Premier Division, Carlisle Grounds, 14 May 2016
The visitors held on against a storming Bray finish to take all three points and inflict the home side’s sixth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
Before the season started, this was probably one of the fixtures observers would have noted as a banker for the Seagulls.
But with the Tribesmen’s blistering start, including their four-nil trouncing of the Bray men in Galway, it was going to be a much more dangerous fixture this time around.
And so it proved, Eric Foley opening the scoring for the Westerners just before the twenty minute mark when Bray seemed to have had the better of the opening passages.
Defender Marc Ludden took advantage of Peter Cherrie being a little out of position to launch a long-range screamer that beat the Bray keeper to the net.
And though Drew Lewis pulled one back for the hosts well into time added, it was yet another bad night at the Carlisle Grounds.
Bray’s plans for the evening were hit with a late change, Jason Marks coming into the side for Sean Harding, and Harry Kenny opted to keep Lewis in reserve for later.
And the home side should have taken the lead inside two minutes, when Ryan Brennan put Hugh Douglas’s cross back to set up Ger Pender who then shot narrowly wide.
Less than ten minutes later, good play from Mark Salmon and Marks with Robbie Creevy looked promising, but Galway managed to put the final ball out for a throw.
Salmon was causing problems early on for the United back four, as he stole possession from Gary Shanahan in midfield but couldn’t find Creevy with the cross.
A foul on Shanahan gave the visitors a free, but it sailed over Peter Cherrie’s bar, and just the other side of the quarter hour Pender fed long for Dylan Connolly, but Colm Horgan shielded the ball out for a goal kick.
But within minutes, Douglas’s foul on Vinny Faherty just outside the penalty area allowed Faherty himself and Foley to dummy the dead ball kick, the latter taking a short run and rifling it into the top corner of the Bray net.
Shortly after that, Cherrie was ruled to have picked up a back pass, but Ludden’s free inside the area only found the Bray wall.
Both sides looking for goals, first Bray came forward, Marks hitting a good ball into the area but too far for the attack.
Then Foley had a shot blocked, and Ruairi Keating drew an excellent save from Cherrie, the resulting Corner no advantage for the visitors.
Foley next had another free, in a similar position to the one he scored from, but this time sent it left of the post.
And finally, just before the break, Karl Moore drove forward and his shot found Creevy who looped a header toward the goal, but Conor Winn stretched to put it out over his bar.
Woodwork at both ends played a role in the second period, Kevin Devaney hitting a post three minutes in with a long range effort that possibly deserved better.
And at the other end, Connolly from a feed by Moore bounced the ball off the crossbar on the hour, and minutes later Brennan repeated the trick.
Just before that Devaney, who continued to cause Bray problems, weaved in again from the left to force Cherrie to put the ball out off the butt of the post.
The Bray keeper had skipper Conor Kenna taking his kicks, with a hint of a limp in his gait.
And at the other end, Winn saved with his feet as Connolly cut in on the left to shoot.
But with just under a quarter of an hour to go, Bray’s task became very much harder, when Ludden grabbed possession after Douglas had blocked a Devaney effort. The Galway defender spotted that Cherrie was out of position, and let fly a 35m bullet that beat his best effort into the net.
If the Seagulls were going down, they were going down fighting, and their efforts were rewarded with a consolation in injury time when Lewis buried Brennan’s pass into Winn’s net from close range.
ray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 2 Hugh Douglas, 5 Alan McNally, 4 Conor Kenna (c), 11 Jason Marks; 16 Dylan Connolly, 8 Mark Salmon, 21 Robbie Creevy, 10 Karl Moore; 7 Ryan Brennan; 17 Ger Pender
Subs: 6 Alan Byrne, 9 Dean Kelly (for Salmon 59), 13 Daniel Blackbyrne, 18 Andrew Lewis (for Pender 74), 22 Darragh Noone, 23 Gareth McDonagh, 50 Aaron Shanahan (gk)
Galway United: 1 Conor Winn; 2 Colm Horgan, 37 Armin Aganovic, 7 Stephen Walsh, 3 Marc Ludden (yc); 17 Gary Shanahan, 4 Alex Byrne, 22 Eric Foley, 14 Kevin Devaney; 12 Ruairi Keating (yc), 11 Vincent Faherty
Subs: 5 Killian Cantwell (for Walsh 61), 6 Paul Sinnott (for Faherty 85), 13 Cormac Raftery, 15 Conor Melody, 16 Kevin Horgan (gk), 25 Conor Gleeson, 24 Jesse Devers (for Keating 95)
Referee: Adriano Reale
Compiled by Micheal O’hUanachain