United crush Bray with ninth successive win

Galway United made the biggest statement of their 2023 campaign with an emphatic 6-0 win over Bray Wanderers in Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.

The biggest crowd of the season was treated to a controlled performance against a side that started second in the league.

It was an astonishing ninth consecutive win for the Tribesmen. A full round of fixtures has been completed with maximum points obtained ensuring a 10-point lead has already been established at the top of the SSE Airtricity first division, while Waterford, perfect since Keith Long has taken the reins, enjoy a game in hand.

Tomorrow's trip to Kerry provides an opportunity for John Caulfield's United to continue this rich vein of form. Although Billy Deenehy's side was dispatched 9-1 in the return fixture six weeks ago, Kerry FC has provided sterner resistance in Mounthawk Park.

In four home games in Tralee, the league newcomers have drawn twice and lost the other two by just the odd goal. On their travels, they too have been meaner. They held a free-scoring Waterford for more than 70 minutes at the RSC last Friday, and they will not lack for motivation tomorrow when they face a side that humbled them so recently.

Nonetheless, United could scarcely travel south in greater confidence or form. Against Bray they were rampant. New Yorker Vincent Borden scored twice and provided a great assist for Ibrahim Keita late on.

Stephen Walsh was a menace up front, creating one for Borden and won a penalty, which Rowe dispatched. David Hurley and Killian Brouder capped fine performances by contributing the other goals, while Brendan Clarke continues to provide real leadership between the posts, having made two fine saves.

Negatives are hard to come by, but one concern is that Ronan Manning and Regan Donelon failed to make their return from injuries last Friday as their rehabilitation continues. More positive was the contribution from both local youngsters, Steven Healy and Mikey McCullagh, who caught the eye on their introduction in the final quarter.

It has been a consistent theme this season that United has been bolstered by telling contributions from the bench. Six league goals have been scored already by substitutes. And as Darren Clarke, Ibrahim Keita and Francely Lomboto all push for more minutes, the strength of the squad augurs well for a title race still only taking shape.


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