Galway United 0 Bray Wanderers 2 (Connolly 44, Lyons 88)
Premier division, Eamon Deacy Park, 19 Aug 2016
Bray returned from the west with a highly satisfactory three points under their collective belt.
Late late goals in each half, the first from nippy winger Dylan Connolly and the second by newly returned midfielder Chris Lyons, mean they are currently unbeaten in their last eight outings – as well as widening the gap between the Seagulls and the relegation zone.
That both strikes came courtesy of errors in the home defence will not give Tommy Dunne pleasant memories of the night’s work.
While the visitors earned themselves a string of corners in the early stages, the Tribesmen’s attacks seemed to have a little more bite to them.
As early as the second minute, Stephen Walsh collected a Ryan Connolly ball 25m out, stepped inside a challenge and then fired just wide of Peter Cherrie’s post.
New Galway keeper Sam Ramsbottom fisted away Karl Moore’s second flag-kick before Colm Horgan crossed deep past the face of the goal for Marc Ludden, who saw his header beat Cherrie, but not the post.
Just inside ten minutes, Ramsbottom had to stretch to parry a speculative effort by John Sullivan, collectying it at the second attempt, and then react fast when a dangerous looking touch by Ger Pender seemed about to carry Hugh Douglas’s header from yet another Moore corner into the Galway net.
Midway through the period, Alex Byrne gained possession and then slipped the ball through to Ryan Connolly, but Tim Clancy threw himself into the path of the Galway skipper’s shot.
A further attack by the home side saw Kevin Devaney’s shot fly past the posts, as Vinny Faherty went down, needing attention.
More Bray corners followed, the second ping-ponging around the area before Armin Aganovic eventually cleared.
Shortly after the half hour, Faherty was set up nicely by Connolly after good work by Byrne and Paul Sinnott, and Cherrie saved cleanly, but his services weren’t needed for the next flurry as Faherty couldn’t connect with Stephen Walsh’s cross.
With less than five minutes left in the half, Clancy fed a short backpass to Cherrie whose hurried clearance gave Marc Ludden a half-chance, but it rebounded over the crossbar.
Coincidentally, a short back ball by Stephen Folan at the other end just minutes later returned the favour – but this time Dylan Connolly was on it at speed, and slid the ball under Ramsbottom’s legs to put the Wicklow side ahead.
Early in the second period, Faherty and Devaney tried to combine in the danger zone but couldn’t connect wioth the long ball forward. Devaney’s free a few minutes later, however, found Walsh at the back post, but his goal-bound header was well stopped by Cherrie.
Just past the hour mark, with the visitors mostly on the defensive, Sullivan broke away and fed Bray substitute Lyons, but his shot was deflected away, and following the corner it was back to the other end where a Walsh effort looked like it might deceive Cherrie until it flew past to land on the roof of the net.
With twenty minutes to go, a Ryan Connolly free flew just wide, and seconds afterwards Clancy had to block another Byrne attempt. The n Faherty earns a corner with a shot that Cherrie could only turn around the post, and the setpiece goes from Byrne to Horgan who finds Faherty, whose attempt to head past Cherrie was well read by the Bray keeper.
Inside the final quarter, and despite their efforts it began to look as if Faherty, Galway’s main firepower, was remaining off form.
Bray sallied forward, and Salmon curled a shpot towards Ramsbottom’s right hand post, but it swerved a little too far.
And barely two minutes of the regulation time were left when the home side lost possession a little easily, and Lyons and his fellow sub, Gareth McDonagh, combine towards the far end where McDonagh crossed for Lyons to place the ball just out of the Galway keeper’s reach.
There was still time for Salmon to earn himself a caution from referee Jim McKell, and Cherrie to punch away a final Galway corner, but for all intents and purposes the story was over.
Remnarkably, this is the Seagulls first Away victory of the season.
Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 2 Hugh Douglas, 4 Conor Kenna (c), 21 Tim Clancy, 15 Alan Kehoe; 8 Mark Salmon (yc); 16 Dylan Connolly, 3 John Sullivan, 10 Karl Moore, 11 Jason Marks; 17 Gerard Pender
Subs: 13 Daniel Blackbyrne, 20 Paul Finnegan, 23 Gareth McDonagh (for Connolly 82), 24 Seán Harding, 25 Luke Clucas, 27 Chris Lyons (for Pender 62), 40 Lee Steacy (gk)
Galway United: 26 Sam Ramsbottom; 2 Colm Horgan, 37 Armin Aganovic, 57 Stephen Folan (yc), 7 Stephen Walsh; 14 Kevin Devaney, 6 Paul Sinnott, 4 Alex Byrne, 3 Marc Ludden (yc); 11 Vincent Faherty, 10 Ryan Connolly (c)
Subs: 1 Conor Winn (gk), 5 Killian Cantwell, 8 José García (for Byrne 87), 9 Enda Curran, 15 Conor Melody, 17 Gary Shanahan (for Devaney 74, 24 Jesse Devers
Referee: James McKell
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