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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Nine-man Seagulls hang on for vital point at Drogheda

Alan Mathews’ side battled to a draw in Louth.

Damien Richardson.
Damien Richardson.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Drogheda United 1

Bray Wanderers 1

TO SUCCEED IN their ultimate goal, Bray Wanderers have to plunder a few on the pitch along the way. They may still in their fight for survival but the firepower would want to arrive sooner rather than later.

Here, Adam Hanlon’s goal set them on the way to a hard-earned point against Drogheda United. It’s all the more sweeter considering Alan Mathews’ men ended the night with nine men. But, had Ismahil Akinade been able to finish one of several chances that fell his way on the night, Bray might have been looking at all three.

A small crowd assembled at United Park for this one and the subdued atmosphere meant every encouragement, instruction and aside could be heard from around the ground. Bray boss Alan Mathews has particularly vocal. He knew what a result here would mean.

The opener came on 63 minutes. After captain for the night Ciaran McGuigan was guilty of a sloppy giveaway out of defence, Adam Hanlon drove at the Drogheda defence. He played a one two with Akinade and on the return, Hanlon powered his shot into the roof of the net.

Akinade himself had been guilty of a few misses at that stage and with Drogheda offering little, Bray could have been out of sight. This game was there to be won. Shortly after he sliced wide from David Cassidy’s cross, Drogheda were level.

Damien Richardson went 4-4-2 and sent on centre back Paul Andrews to partner Declan O’Brien up front. Within seconds, the move paid off. Daire Doyle’s cross from the right was met superbly by Andrews who steered it past McGuinness to equalise on 75 minutes.

It was only at this point that the game really heated up. In the final 15 minutes there were five yellow cards and two reds. Akinade and Shane O’Connor both saw straight red cards from referee Padraig Sutton, for fouls on Roy Kierans and Paul Andrews respectively.

In the latter stages, with Bray knowing UCD were going down to the league leaders on campus, the nine men defended what they had. Declan O’Brien saw a header saved by McGuinness while good defending denied McGuigan a close range header. For Bray though, this point may prove vital.

DROGHEDA UNITED: Micheal Schlingermann, Daire Doyle, Alan McNally, Ciaran McGuigan, Roy Kierans, Mick Daly, Gavan Holohan, Gavin Brennan, Stephen Maher (Carl Walshe, 65), Adam Wixted (Paul Andrews, 72), Declan O’Brien.

Substitutes: Dylan Connolly, Dale Harding, Ciaran O’Connor, Dominic Mahon, Fionn Reilly.

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BRAY WANDERERS: Stephen McGuinness, Niall Cooney, Shane O’Connor, Dave Webster, Adam Mitchell, Dean Zambra, Graham Kelly, David Cassidy, Ismihal Akinade, Jake Kelly (Dave Scully, 82).

Substitutes: Gavin Sheridan, Shane O’Neill, Dave Scully, Philly Hughes, Eric McGill, Rob Maloney, Gareth McDonagh.

REFEREE: Padraig Sutton

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Barry Landy

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