Bray Wanderers 2
Galway United 2
An incident-strewn encounter at the Carlisle Grounds stuffed with goals and drama ensured a reasonable crowd skipped away pondering the prospects of two evolving teams. Signs of Bray Wanderers’ and Galway United’s respective revivals were evident, and ultimately the division of the spoils offered an accurate reflection of a contest that satisfied.
With confidence rising Galway briskly settled in for a first half of hard grafting, but Bray were all honest aggression too.
Despite the frequency of the physical challenges Galway were still able to prise chances, hitting the front in the seventh minute courtesy of another set-piece goal. Inevitably a wicked Jay O’Shea corner elicited panic in the packed Bray defence, and Shane Guthrie climbed highest to nod the ball to Vinny Faherty, who supplied the opportunistic close range finish.
Bray were thundering into the contest, though, with admirable passion and parity was restored in the 16th minute. Dane Massey and Jake Kelly showed plenty of left wing enterprise before Paddy Kavanagh glanced Bray back on terms.
But there is a steely determination about Galway again, and the initiative was regained in the 21st minute. Iarfhlaith Daveron meandered around a few lunges prior to finding Cian McBrien with an astute pass, and the busy midfielder bookended the move with a smooth strike from the edge of the area.
Armed with an advantage Galway remained solid for the remainder of the opening period, with Garry Breen and Guthrie demonstrating the requisite bravery and brute force at the back.
Then after the restart United’s McBrien offered glimpses of a passing ability that delighted. And one of McBrien’s razor sharp deliveries located substitute Shane Fitzgerald, who scorched into the area, but defender Derek Foran eventually battered the ball from the danger zone. That inventive McBrien cameo thrilled, and the ex-Salthill Devon youngster probed from deep as Galway sought to clip the insurance goal. It didn’t arrive, and following a frenetic finale United were left to reflect on what might have been.
Gary McCabe rifled the first penalty home, but Barry Ryan clawed the second effort to safety, and Ian Foster’s subsequent post-match assessment was of the half-full variety. “"It was a point gained, I thought it was a very competitive game. It was a great one for the fans, four goals, plenty of chances, plenty to go home and talk about really. We are disappointed that we took the lead twice and conceded the second goal so late, but that is four points on the road from two games and I will take that.
"It was a smashing save from Barry and I thought the second pen was actually better than the first. It was a great save, he took a gamble, went right and fortunately for us he managed to tip it away from the posts.” And Ryan’s intervention meant that Galway retreated back to the west with their unbeaten start preserved.
Bray Wanderers: O’Connor; Pender, Foran, Deans, Massey; McCabe, Brennan, Mulcahy, Kelly; Kavanagh (Mulroy, 45 ), Forsyth (Flood, 7, Tresson, 85 ).
Galway United: Ryan; Conneely, Guthrie, Breen, Daveron; O’Shea, McBrien, Kelly (Fitzgerald, 68 ), McGrath (Murphy, 76 ), O’Brien; Faherty (Edwards, 83 ).
Referee: N Doyle (Dublin ).