League Preview: Galway United -v- Bray Wanderers

Thu, May 06 2021
Ruairí Keating is congratulated by teammates after scoring during Galway United's 4-0 win over Cobh Ramblers on Saturday, 1 May 2021.

Ruairí Keating is congratulated by teammates after scoring during Galway United's 4-0 win over Cobh Ramblers on Saturday, 1 May 2021. Credit: Steve Alfred (ETPhotos)


The Tribesmen will be looking to secure their second win of the season when they host Bray Wanderers at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

John Caulfield’s side won their first game of the season last Saturday when they ran out 4-0 winners over Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park.

Ruairí Keating scored his second and third goals of the season from the penalty spot with John Kavanagh putting the ball into his own net for one of Galway’s goals.

Padraic Cunningham added another goal from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.

United will have to aim to keep that momentum going when they host Bray this week but manager John Caulfield is expecting another tough battle on Friday night.

“This will be a very tough match against Bray Wanderers, who have kept most of their squad from last year and have brought in Conor Clifford, who is a huge signing for them,” Caulfield said, speaking to the club’s media team.

“They have brought in Darren Craven from Malahide, one of the top junior players in the country, and Brandon Kavanagh on loan from Shamrock Rovers. So they have increased their attacking options as well as being very good defensively.

“They are there or thereabouts and probably just need a win to kick them on.

“There is no doubt that they will be competing at the end of the season. So we know how difficult this game is.

“It is another game for us to look forward to, but we have to be at it right from the very start.

“If we aren’t, you leave points behind you. It will be no different this week because Bray are one of the top sides in the division.”

The Tribesmen are still without Francely Lomboto, who is recovering from a long term injury, and Conor O’Keeffe.


The Seagulls have had a tough beginning to the season as the side have failed to win a match after their opening six games in the First Division.

They have only lost one game so far, but five draws sees Gary Cronin’s side sitting in 7th place behind Friday night’s opponents, Galway United.

Last Friday night Bray hosted Cork City at the Carlisle Grounds where they played out a 0-0 draw, further compounding their struggles this season.

Attention now turns to Eamonn Deacy Park where Bray Wanderers might have a bit of an axe to grind after their dealings with the Tribesmen at the end of last season.

John Caulfield’s men beat them twice last October, first to help prevent Bray winning the First Division and then again a week later to knock them out of the playoffs.

Gary Cronin is expecting another challenging game for his men this week.

“No game is going to be easy. We’ve played games that we should have won,” the manager told extratime.com reporter Andrew Dempsey after their draw with Cork City.

“When you give teams something to hold onto it can turn into a real battle.

“Next week is probably a game that people would have looked at as two teams challenging – but we’re both not up there yet.

“It’s going to be a tough game and we just have to manage that during the week and see where we’re at.”

Bray Wanderers injury woes look set to continue too with Darragh Lynch still absent for the game against Galway.

Dylan Barnett, Darren Craven, Gary Shaw, Steven Kinsella are all doubtful to feature on Friday night.

Referee: Mark Moynihan


Bray Wanderers are still without a win with six games played so far in the First Division this season.

The Tribesmen got their first win of the season last weekend when they faced Cobh Ramblers, they won 4-0.

Galway United are unbeaten in their last four games against Bray. Wanderers last beat Galway in May 2019 when they won 2-1 at the Carlisle Grounds.

Bray Wanderers last won at Deacy Park earlier that year when they secured a 1-0 win in March 2019 in Galway.

Galway United last beat Bray at home in March 2016 when they ran out 4-0 winners, Ruairí Keating was among the scorers that day and he is in line to face Wanderers on Friday night.


Galway United 6/5; Draw 23/10; Bray Wanderers 9/5.


Galway United 1–0 Bray Wanderers

Galway United

Injured: Francely Lomboto, Conor O’Keeffe.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Bray Wanderers

Injured: Darragh Lynch.

Doubtful: Dylan Barnett, Darren Craven, Gary Shaw, Steven Kinsella.

Suspended: None.

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