First Division

Carlisle Grounds
6 Jul 2021

Bray rode their luck to escape with a point in this less than rivetting encounter.

The first half was dominate by a Galway side that seemed more full of enthusiasm than finishing.

Bray were better in the second period, but still couldn't get close enough to Conor Kearns's net to score.

From the start, the Tribesmen were in battling mode, and Mikey PLace's ball from half way was well weighted to find Wilson Waweru in behind the Bray centre-halves, Andrew Quinn doing just about enough to allow Brian Maher to get his foot in the way of a goal-bound shot.

Galway continued to play high, with Place, captain Conor McCormack and defender Chris Horgan all having close encounters with the Bray net befoe the quarter hour.

And it was against the run of things that the home side had a couple of chances shirtly after that, Dylan Barnett racing on to an underhit backpass by Horgan, and shooting straight at Kearns's foot. A minute later Darren Craven nicked possession and fired a speculative shot that might have been intended as a pass originally but flew well wide.

A string of Galway corners just before the half hour produced no advantage for them, and though Galway continued to dominate there were occasional Bray forays, Brandon Kavanagh shooting over on the run from about 20m, and Aaron Barry heading high and wide from a free awarded for the second of two fouls, one on Daniel Jones and one on Barnett.

Another foul, by McCormack on Luka Lovic, was inexplicably awarded in the other direction by Oliver Moran, and in follow-up play a looping diagonal ball from Gary Boylan brought a good jump from Maher at the back post.

Just on the stroke of regular time, Ruairí Keating couldn't keep his effort down at all,

A goal-bound effort from distance by McCormack was headed clear by Barry, and just on the stroke of regular time, Ruairí Keating couldn't keep his 10m effort down at all.

It was hard not to feel that the loud disapproval by the Galway players of Barry's card-worthy foul on Waweru less than two minutes into the second period added to the pressure on the Referee that led to a third caution, this one for Lovic for his dissent, while Galway's Boylan had also seen yellow.

That apart, however, Bray looked significantly more convincing after the break, which is not to say they created more chances at the end of it.

In fact between then and the hour, Galway had come close to the target three times, and McCormack's shot on 61 minutes was deflected high off a Bray back, allowing Maher to place himself for retrieval.

Galway substitute Pádraic Cunningham was off target within a minute of arriving, and a rare Bray corner led to a header which seemed on target for the net until it was blocked on the line.

In follow up play Quinn defended a long ball well, and Clifford headed just over at the other end. Bray sub Richie O'Farrell went close with a shot that was just off his aim towards the head of Craven.

With the Bray defence spread out, Hurley fed Cunningham whose cross was palmed across goal by Maher, and Galway next shot was agin deflected out by a Bray head.

Cunningham was unlucky to go into the book for what appeared a clearly accidental collision with Craven in a situation where penalties have often been given, while Clifford's caution later was for a successful tackle on Keating, but from behind.

Meanwhile just inside the final quarter hour Maher had gathered one-handed when Keating beat Quinn into the area for a long ball, and again for a cross from his left.

A Kavanagh free (the second of two for Bray practically unearned) was well off target, and just after being introduced, Gary Shaw hit the side netting from a narrow angle.

In time added, Keating did all the work to get himself within striking range olf Brian Maher, but fired high in the end, and in what proved tha last significant action of the match - and the only attack that really threatened either goal - Maher, on the ground, rose just high enough to claim a final Keating shot which was rising above him.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Brian Maher; 8 Mark Byrne, 4 Andrew Quinn, 5 Aaron Barry (c) , 15 Daniel Jones; 6 Conor Clifford; 17 Luka Lovic , 11 Brandon Kavanagh, 16 Darren Craven, 3 Dylan Barnett; 9 Joe Doyle
Subs: 10 Gary Shaw (for Kavanagh 89), 12 Dean O’Shea, 14 Richie O’Farrell (for Lovic 53), 18 Sean Callan, 22 Steven Kinsella, 23 Glen Hollywood, 24 Cian Maher, 25 Kian Clarke (gk), 28 Sam Verdon (for Byrne H/T)
Galway United: 16 Conor Kearns; 21 Christopher Horgan, 6 Maurice Nugent, 32 Joe Gorman, 3 Stephen Walsh; 4 Gary Boylan , 22 Conor McCormack (c); 20 Mikey Place,10 David Hurley, 7 Ruairí Keating; 18 Wilson Waweru
Subs: 1 Luke Dennison (gk), 8 Shane Duggan, 9 Pádraic Cunningham (for Waweru 62) , 11 Shane Doherty, 14 Mikie Rowe (for Hurley 89), 17 Caoilfhionn O’Dea, 24 Colin Kelly, 25 Alex Murphy, 27 Thomas Oluwa
Referee: Oliver Moran

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