Bray Wanderers 2 Galway United 4
With their squad struck by injury and holidays, Bray suffered their first U17 EA Sports National Underage League Tier 2 Phase 2 loss.
Trailing 2-0 at the interval last Saturday afternoon at Ballycorus, the hosts fell 3-0 behind after the break against Galway.
But two late goals got Wanderers back into the tie – only for United to register a fourth to seal the points.
The Seasiders went into the game unbeaten after a 4-0 away win over Kerry FC while also drawing 3-3 away to Sligo Rovers.
The Tribesmen had lost 4-2 at home against leaders Bohemians. But won the Connacht derby with Sligo 3-2 as well as beating Athlone Town 2-1 on their travels.
They took the lead in the sixth minute. Ciarán Nolan’s burst off the right wing and reverse pass slipped Adam O’Hallorhan to fire low into the far corner of the net.
Bray responded with Lewis Jacobs’ 11th minute free coming back off an upright. Five minutes later, Jacobs set-up Conor O’Gorman. But James Murphy made an impressive save.
Almost immediately, the visitors doubled their advantage.
After fine approach play by Brian Cunningham off the right flank, he played a slide rule pass through for Donnacha Sammon to angle his effort in from 15-yards.
On the stroke of half time, home right-back Matthew Rose-Anderson got in behind the away defence. But his effort was stopped by Murphy.
Eight minutes into the second period, O’Gorman beat the offside. His attempt came back on the challenging Murphy but hit the winger and bounced wide of the goal.
Just before the hour mark, United grabbed a third score.
Following an attack down the left channel, Adam O’Hallorhan squared for Cunningham to volley in at the back post.
But Bray responded with Dylan Ryan (68) shooting wide before Jacobs curled just wide in the 71st minute.
The Green and White’s pulled one back with 16 minutes to go.
Max Mason’s ran onto a ball down the left-wing (with a hint of offside) to expertly find the far right corner with a precise 16-yard finish.
Then Mason’s 78th minute close range header from Jacobs centre somehow got stuck between Murphy’s legs right on the goal-line.
But it did become 3-2 in the 80th minute.
From keeper Samuel Safaei’s long punt, Mason controlled and found sub Daniel Lee wide right. Beating a defender, his cross-shot dropped into the net from 25-yards.
The opportunity to equalise was spurned just 90 seconds layer. With Jacobs again the prover, Mason broke clear. But the outstanding Murphy made the vital body block.
And in the 88th minute, Galway secured victory.
From Murphy’s long punt, sub Tomás Daly raced down the left wing. His low centre picked our fellow reserve Andrew Horan who slotted in from range.
Elsewhere in the section, leaders Bohemians defeated Drogheda United 2-1, with Kerry beating Sligo 2-1.
All the results mean Bohs (15) are six points clear of Galway (9), with Wanderers fourth on four points.
Bray Wanderers: Samuel Safaei; Matthew Rose-Anderson, Zach Nolan, Caleb O’Neill, Eoghan O’Hanlon; Max Hennessey, Dylan Ryan; Lewis Jacobs, Joshua Kerr, Conor O’Gorman; Max Mason.
Subs: Jake Murray, Callum Goad, Daniel Lee, Jamie Molloy.
Galway United: James Murphy; Ciarán Nolan, Michael MacSweeney, Tommy Lillis, Alan Zimmerer; Brian Cunningham, Mark O’Hallorhan, Victor Tuchilus, Liam Murray; Adam O’Hallorhan, Donnacha Sammon.
Subs: Billy Regan, Junior Thiam, James Lukau, Tomás Daly, Andrew Horan, MacDarragh Scanlon.
Referee: Joe Byrne. Assistants: Cillian O’Reilly, Rueben Collins (Wicklow ISRS).
* Bray are on the road on Saturday August 6th next. They will take on Waterford FC at the WIT with a 2.00pm kick-off.