Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
Bray Wanderers earned their first win of the season when they ran out 2-1 winners over Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.
It took seven games but the Seagulls faithful will have been pleased to see their side finally win a game in 2021 - especially after Galway’s dominance throughout the game.
Gary Cronin’s side took the lead early on through Joe Doyle before Ruairí Keating drew the sides level later in the first half, and that’s the way it remained until second half injury time.
Enter Gary Shaw, with the striker coming off the bench to score his first goal of the season to steal the victory in Galway.
Bray’s goal came about when Brandon Kavanagh squeaked a ball through the Galway defence in the sixth minute where Joe Doyle did well to turn on a euro coin and fire off a shot on goal which Conor Kearns did well to get down to.
The ball spilled back across the box and it was Doyle who was quickest to the rebound with the striker able to tap the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
Wanderers went inches away from doubling their lead in the 17th minute when a Dylan Barnett pass set Doyle free on the left flank.
He drilled a low cross in that struck Dean O’Shea in the Galway box but the ball dribbled away and just nicked the bottom of the post.
Kavanagh saw another opportunity on the half hour mark from long range when he took aim on the run and rifled a shot off, drawing a full stretch save from Kearns in the Galway goal.
The Tribesmen equalised in the 34th minute with their first shot on goal after David Hurley brought Carlton Ubaezuonu into the game on the left wing with a great pass from the middle of the park.
Ubaezuonu spotted Ruairí Keating floating in the box and the midfielder played a great cross in to allow the forward nudge the ball over the line at the near post beyond Brian Maher for his fifth goal of the league campaign.
Just before half time Galway had two gilt edged chances on goal but they failed to stick either in the back of the net.
Keating smashed the ball off the inside of the left post only to see the ball fly back across goal and away from danger.
United then recycled the ball back into the box where Ubaezuonu fancied a bicycle kick. The effort fooled Maher and it looked like it was looping gently into the bottom corner until it dinged the left post once again in a bizarre stretch of play for the home side.
Ten minutes after the re-start Shane Duggan had another effort on goal after some great pressure outside the box by the home side.
The midfielder’s shot caused some trouble for Maher when it bounced in front of the goalkeeper as he was diving for the ball but the goalkeeper managed to slap it away.
A Killian Brouder from deep in the Galway half found substitute Mikie Rowe’s feet in the 78th minute, well inside the Seagulls box.
Maher was on top of the midfielder immediately so his shot was easily blocked behind for a corner.
Ubaezuonu had another chance to seal a victory in the 84th minute when he took the ball into the box with a great powerful run and Wanderers defence in hot pursuit.
The midfielder couldn’t get a decent effort off as he took the ball wider and wider before hitting a tame effort that Maher easily gathered into his chest.
The winner came late on with Kavanagh the provider once more, this time from a corner-kick.
The midfielder sent the ball all the way to the far post where Shaw met it and drilled it into the back of the net with his head to give his side an important victory.
Galway United: Conor Kearns; Killian Brouder, Christopher Horgan (Gary Boylan 85), Maurice Nugent, Stephen Walsh; Shane Duggan, David Hurley (Mikie Rowe 68), Conor McCormack, Carlton Ubaezuonu (Wilson Waweru 85); Ruairi Keating, Mikey Place (Padraic Cunningham 68).
Subs not used: Stephen Christopher, Kevin Horgan, Colin Kelly, Caoilfhionn O'Dea.
Booked: Ruairi Keating (57), Carlton Ubaezuonu (60), Kevin Horgan (75), Kevin Horgan (75), Mikie Rowe (79).
Bray Wanderers: Brian Maher; Dylan Barnett, Aaron Barry, Richie O'Farrell, Andrew Quinn; Mark Byrne, Conor Clifford, Brandon Kavanagh, Luka Lovic, Dean O'Shea; Joe Doyle.
Subs not used: Kian Clarke, Glen Hollywood, Cian Maher, Ross O'Brien, Jack Ross, Gary Shaw.
Booked: Dylan Barnett (21) ,Andrew Quinn (70) ,Richie O'Farrell (80) Aaron Barry (86).
Referee: Mark Moynihan
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Brandon Kavanagh (Bray Wanderers)
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