United Park
23 May 2017

There were times, in the not so distant past, when a draw with Drogheda would have been a huge relief to the Bray faithful.

This was hardly one of them, and the outcome must be seen as two points dropped rather than one gained.

Wanderers played the better ball for the first half, but had little to show for it.

Three times Aaron Greene came close, and both Dylan Connolly and Gary McCabe had chances that needed a little more work.

The Boynesiders seemed to find their form a little in a second half that took all of twenty minutes to come to life, but they too lacked the precision needed to produce a goal.

It could be argued that the nearest the home side came to scoring was the failed penalty shout when McCabe appeared to meet the ball with his arm ten minutes from the end.

The first attempt on goal fell to the visitors, Keith Buckley's cross from the right finding Ryan Brennan, but the Bray midfielder couldn't power it up and former Seagulls keeper Stephen McGuinness had no difficulty with it.

Minutes later, the same duo faced each other when McGuinness failed to hold the ball, but before the Bray man could react the keeper had fallen on the wayward sphere.

For about five minutes from the quarter hour the hosts came to life, Killian Brennan failing to keep his free down after a foul on Thomas Byrne, and Adam Wixted - another Bray old boy - winning a corner, with Luke Gallagher producing a fine block to deny Greene and Killian Brennan finishing the defensive operation at the cost of a corner.

Midway through the half Greene made another sortie past Colm Deasy towards the end line and cut in with a narrow-angle effort that McGuinness had to palm away.

And Peter Cherrie was called into action, effectively for the first time, a minute later when Wixted 's cross found Marc Griffin, but he hadn't time to control with the Bray keeper rushing out. Anything that came near Cherrie previously had been straight to his arms.

Just past the half hour Greene again got inside the defence and cut back for the waiting McCabe whose shot from the edge of the area was just too high.

Then it was Dylan Connolly, who had earlier been flagged offside but this time beat the trap, running into Kevin Farragher who dispossessed him with a well-judged sliding tackle.

Greene tried another effort himself, this time finding the roof of the net as Bray's target practice continued to be marked absent.

If dangerous attacks in the first half had been few, they were to be far between in the second, with the first significant threat not manifesting itself until midway through.

That said, it took a neat interception by Tim Clancy to deny Marc Griffin a little short of the hour after good work by Killian Brennan and Byrne.

And five minutes after that, the Bray-based Brennan dragged a hesitant effort wide.

On 67 minutes, Bray might have gone ahead when Deasy's foul on Connolly presented McCabe with a dangerous free, but McGuinness made the save look easy.

A little more than ten minutes later, inside the final quarter hour, a Killian Brennan free caused no little movement in the Bray goal area. Gallagher nodded down to Wixted whose attempt was blocked, the ball falling again for Gallagher whose final touch only found the side-netting.

Bray substitute Ger Pender met a pinpoint Karl Moore cross from the left with ten minutes to go, but again the final effort was off target.

Just after that came Killian Brennan's corner that seemed to find a problematic part of McCabe's body in the way, but Referee Rob Harvey waved away the outraged shouts of the Drogheda players.

Sean Brennan and Doyle now tried their luck in turn, but the lady was absent and both were above the bar.

And in a last-gasp movement, Sean Brennan fired Wixted's ball across the area where Griffin failed to make proper contact and Doyle at the far post also lacked the control to direct the ball where he wanted it.

Neither side could make anything worth while of the four minutes they were given after the regulation ninety, and both managers will have homework to do before they run out again.

Compiled by Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 6 Keith Buckley , 21 Tim Clancy , 4 Conor Kenna (c), 19 Kevin Lynch; 8 Mark Salmon, 3 John Sullivan; 7 Ryan Brennan, 11 Gary McCabe, 16 Dylan Connolly; 9 Aaron Greene
Subs: 5 Derek Foran (for Clancy 80), 10 Karl Moore (for Sullivan 58), 17 Gerald Pender (for Brennan 73), 20 Anthony Flood, 23 Jason Marks, 24 Ryan Robinson, 93 Lee Steacy (gk)
Drogheda United: 1 Stephen McGuinness; 2 Colm Deasy, 4 Kevin Farragher, 7 Luke Gallagher, 3 Stephen Dunne; 12 Ryan McEvoy, 9 Killian Brennan , 8 Sean Brennan (c) ; 27 Adam Wixted, 17 Marc Griffin, 14 Thomas Byrne
Subs: 6 Jake Hyland (for S Brennan 90), 18 Conor Kane, 19 Mark Doyle (for Byrne 75), 22 Stephen Elliott (for Griffin 89), 25 Ryan Coulter (gk)
Referee: Robert Harvey

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