Bray Wanderers 3 Drogheda United 1
Carlisle Grounds, First Division, 19 April 2019
Dylan McGlade scored his first goals since the opening night of the season when he netted a hat trick to end Wanderers run of two successive league defeats. Ryan Brennan was the last player to score a hat trick for Bray Wanderers, in a 4-3 FAI defeat to UCD in May 2016.
Wanderers made two changes to the starting line up from the team that lost to Longford last week. Darragh Gibbons and Jake Ellis started in place of Sean Heaney and Luke Nolan who both dropped to the bench.
Drogheda started well with plenty of possession, but Wanderers then grew into the game. On the quarter hour Dean O’Halloran put in a cross from the right which Richard Purdy fired narrowly over the bar. Two minutes later, Jake Ellis crossed from the right and as O’Halloran chased the loose ball in the box he was bundled over by Kevin Farragher. McGlade scored from the resultant penalty via the left-hand post.
On the stroke of half time McGlade pounced on Luke McNally’s hesitancy and he fired home his second goal of the evening.
Drogheda came out strong in the second half and pulled a goal back on 52 minutes. From a short corner Cian Kavanagh’s cross wasn’t cleared and ex Wanderer Luke Gallagher head home past a stranded Gabriel Sava. McGlade forced Gratzer into a save on 55 minutes from a long-range effort. Sava was caught off his line again on 64 but recovered to save from Hyland.
Wanderers were forced to defend deep as Drogheda searched for an equaliser. Wanderers survived a goalmouth scramble when Darragh Gibbons eventually cleared the danger.
Four minutes from time McGlade completed his hat trick to ease Wanderers nerves. Luke Nolan fed McGlade inside the area and he went past a defender on the right to score from a tight angle.
Bray Wanderers: 1 Gabriel Sava; 15 Darragh Gibbons, 2 Hugh Douglas, 3 Dylan Barnett, 4 Killian Cantwell, 6 Paul Keegan, 7 Dean O’Halloran, 10 Dylan McGlade, 11 Derek Daly, 14 Jake Ellis, 24 Richie Purdy
Subs: 5 Sean Heaney, 12 Andrew McGovern, 16 Adam Hayden (gk), 17 Luka Lovic (for Purdy 64), 22 Luke Nolan (for Ellis 84), 25 Cian Maher (for Daly 73), 29 Conor Behan
Drogheda United: 12 Luca Gratzer; 2 James Brown, 3 Conor Kane, 4 Mark Hughes, 5 Kevin Farragher, 6 Luke Gallagher, 11 Jake Hyland, 14 Mark Doyle, 15 Stephen Meaney, 16 Cian Kavanagh, 17 Luke McNally
Subs: 8 Seán Brennan (for Hyland 71), 18 Seán Trimble, 19 Eoin McPhillips, 20 Jordan Adeyemo (for Kavanagh 76), 21 Luke Heeney (for Farragher 41), 22 James Clarke, 23 Daniel Grace (gk)
Referee: David Dunne
Match Report: Michael Duffy
Photos: Peter Minogue