Galway United made it two wins from two games as they scored four second half goals to see off Bray Wanderers at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.
After a scoreless opening half where the home side created the better chances, the visitors were certainly not helped by losing four players to injuries, two in each half. Wandersers had to play most of the second period with ten players having used all their substitues.
The home side started brightly with Kevin Devaney having a shot on six minutes deflected as he cut inside Bray fullback Sean Harding after Ryan Connolly had slipped a ball out to the winger.
On the quarter hour mark Bray ‘keeper Peter Cherrie denied Gary Shanahan as he pushed his effort away. Stephen Walsh almost caught Cherrie off his line as he eventually delivered the ball back into the box but the goalkeeper back peddled to push the dropping ball over his crossbar.
Two minutes later and Devaney got away down the left once again. He cut the ball back into the six yard box and it deflected off Alan McNally’s leg before rebounding off the near post as Harding cleared for a corner.
The Tribesmen should have hit the front on 22 minutes as Devaney did brilliantly down the left. His perfect cross picked out Vinny Faherty but his cushioned header somehow went past the post for a big let off for the visitors.
Vinny Faherty shot over the Bray crossbar just past the half hour mark as that proved to be the last serious action of the opening period as neither managed a shot in anger or threatened a breakthrough up to the interval. Bray’s opening half wasn’t helped by having to reshuffle twice as they lost both Conor Kenna and Dean Kelly to injuries.
Galway thought they had taken the lead two minutes after the restart as Gary Shanahan’s cross found Enda Curran who finished to the net but the score was ruled out by an offside flag.
A John Sullivan ball released Faherty into the box on the left but he failed to hit the target as his effort flew high and over. A minute later a Stephen Walsh’s low cross into the box evaded about three Galway players as all it needed was a touch to turn it home.
Tommy Dunne’s side did finally break the deadlock just past the hour mark as Devaney picked up a Faherty pass on the left and found some space in the box before shooting low into the far corner past Cherrie.
Bray were almost level a minute later as captain Mark Salmon connected with a diving header from Dylan Connolly’s right wing cross with the ball flying just past Connor Winn’s right hand post.
At this stage Bray were now down to ten men as right back Sean Harding had joined Jason Marks on the sidelines, as Mick Cooke had used his three subs already.
Winger Devaney was in action once again as his left wing cross found Enda Curran and his strike was brilliantly blocked away by a covering Karl Moore with the goal at the strikers mercy. The corner when delivered was only cleared to the edge of the box and full back Walsh volleyed an effort just over the visitor’s crossbar.
At the other end Bray forced a corner that Hugh Doughlas flashed a header just past the Galway post as the game began to swing from end to end with the visitors trying to get back into the game and Galway looking for a second.
Gary Shanahan did well as he got back to head over his own crossbar as Ryan Brennan lined up an equaliser from a ball into the box. Two Bray corners followed with Winn denying Salmon with a smart save to prevent a leveller.
The home side then struck three times in four minutes as they ensured a second win in seven days. They doubled their lead with six minutes remaining as right back Colm Horgan saw his dangerous cross deflected into his own net by the unfortunate Paul Finnegan.
Almost immediately Faherty made it 3-0 as he chipped a loose ball into an empty net after Cherrie had advanced to clear.
It got even better for the home supporters with just two minutes left on the clock as sub Ruairi Keating finished off Ryan Connolly’s ball into the box past Cherrie with the aid of a slight deflection for 4-0.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Colm Horgan, Stephen Folan, Paul Sinnott, Stephen Walsh; Gary Shanahan, John Sullivan (Eric Foley 89), Ryan Connolly, Kevin Devaney (Killian Cantwell 86); Vinny Faherty, Enda Curran (Ruairi Keating 73).
Subs not used: Kevin Horgan (GK), Conor Melody, Cormac Rafferty, Padraic Cunningham.
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Sean Harding, Alan McNally, Conor Kenna (Paul Finnegan 20), Jason Marks (Hugh Doughlas 58); Alan Byrne, Mark Salmon, Ryan Brennan, Dylan Connolly, Karl Moore; Dean Kelly (Andrew Lewis 34)
Subs not used: Aaron Shanahan (GK), Gareth McDonagh, Robbie Creevy, Ger Pender.
Booked: Conor Kenna (14), Alan McNally (54)
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Kevin Devaney (Galway Utd)