Galway United 0
Bray Wanderers 2
AFTER the early season form of Galway United, fans coming home from the Dyke Road were left dreaming of a possible European adventure next year, the club’s first since 1991, as the Tribesmen navigated their way to fifth in the table, within closing distance of Shamrock Rovers in fourth.
But those same fans have become accustomed to mediocrity, where just avoiding the drop is seen as a job well done, and again that looks to be the only target Tommy Dunne will achieve this season, as United slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home on Friday night.
Goals in either half from Dylan Connolly and Chris Lyons were enough for the Seasiders to take all three points, as once again United’s lack of prowess in front of goal came back to haunt them.
The home team started the game the brighter and inside the opening five minutes, Colm Horgan found space down the right wing before whipping in a superb ball for Marc Ludden, but Bray were let off the hook as his powerful header came back off the post, allowing Conor Kenna to clear the danger.
A big debate pre-game was the withdrawal of Conor Winn for Sam Ramsbottom in goals, and the young Merseyside keeper got his first chance to impress the home fans in the opening 10 minutes, when former Galway midfielder John Sullivan hit a bullet from range, with Ramsbottom getting down well to save it.
The visitors had another chance soon after, as a corner from Karl Moore found the head of Hugh Douglas, who cushioned the ball down for Ger Pender to strike, but the debuting keeper reacted quickly to make the save.
Vinny Faherty should have opened the scoring on the half hour mark when Ryan Connolly did well to play in the onrushing striker, however from a tight angle, Faherty could do little but hit it straight at Peter Cherrie.
Despite Bray defending well, a back pass from Tim Clancy could have cost them dearly, as Marc Ludden chased it down and ended up blocking Cherrie’s clearance, which flew over the crossbar when it as easily could have hit the back of the net.
United were on top at this stage, and Dunne would have been the happier of the managers going in at the break, but a mistake from a usually solid Stephen Folan left United with a mountain to climb in the second half – his poor back pass created a chance for Dylan Connolly and the former Ipswich player made no mistake in slotting home past Ramsbottom.
Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.