Galway United 4 Bray Wanderers 4 (After Extra Time) (Galway won 4-2 on penalties)
Bray exited the U17 EA SPORTS MU17 League of Ireland Mark Farren Cup in the cruellest of fashion as they lost out to Galway on penalties in an epic tie.
Highly rated United advanced to the second round stage of the competition as they won the spot-kicks 4-2 after the first round tie at Moyne Villa had finished 4-4 after extra time – following several remarkable comebacks by the visitors.
The young Seagulls fell 2-0 behind to the Tribesmen on Saturday afternoon; pulled one back then trailed 4-1 late in the first half only to make it 4-2 at the interval.
After the turnaround, Wanderers rallied to level matters at 4-4. And had chances to win the contest before the end of normal time; then more opportunities were spurned in extra time.
Bray had a lot of the ball in the first half but found themselves two goals behind after 20 minutes.
Twice the Tribesmen broke quickly and showed a ruthlessness that the away side lacked in the match. Cillian Tollett scored for the home team on eight minutes, and Dara Kavanagh doubled the lead 12 minutes later.
But the Seasiders pulled one back on 22 minutes with Phillip Cooney heading in off a Harry Sherlock free kick.
However, United restored their two-goal advantage almost immediately with Donnacha Sammon making it 3-1.
Tollett notched his second score of the match in 34th minute as it looked all over at 4-1.
Yet, Wanderers earned a lifeline in the second minute of injury time. Cooney was brought down in the box. He took the resulting penalty himself to make it 4-2.
It was a completely different performance in the second half for the Green and White’s who came out with the bit between the teeth.
On 52 minutes, defender Alain Kizenga powered a header to the net from an Ethan Cheese corner.
Then man of the Match Ronan Dawson scored the equaliser with a superb finish into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Bray had chances to win the game in normal time. Cheese forced the home keeper into a save. Kizenga missed a gilt edged chance from close in and Paddy Kildee Doolan put a header wide. Max Colbert then came within inches of a winner with the final attack of the game.
In extra time, Bray were left to rue further missed chances. Cooney was played in, but the Galway custodian denied him his hat-trick.
Colbert won the ball back high up the pitch but couldn’t get the ball under control. Just before full-time, Cheese had a header just wide of the post.
But United came out on top in the 12-yard dead-ball shoot-out by a 4-2 score-line.
Bray Wanderers: Alexander Kearney; Ronan Langan, Alain Kizenga, Alex Baines, Roddy Cotter; Ronan Dawson, Eric Schutte; Harry Sherlock, Rhys Knight, Phillip Cooney, Max Colbert.
Subs: Luke Smith, Dylan Ryan, Paddy Kildee-Doolan, Ethan Cheese, Aidan Kane, Kian Dowling, Adam Reid, David Winkler.