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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Drogheda's unbeaten run comes to an end as Seagulls strike twice

Shane O’Neill and David Scully scored the vital goals for Wanderers at United Park.

Bray manager Alan Mathews.
Bray manager Alan Mathews.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Drogheda United 0

Bray Wanderers 2

BRAY WANDERERS BROUGHT Drogheda United’s unbeaten start to the season to an end at United Park and Alan Mathews’ Seagulls were well worth their 2-0 victory.

A manager who is not afraid of a challenge, Mathews knows all about expectation at these two Premier Division stalwarts. A former Drogheda manager, he succeeded league and cup winner Paul Doolin when he took the reins at United Park five years ago.

Now having taken over from long-time Bray incumbent Pat Devlin, Mathews has much to prove by the seaside. In solid if unspectacular fashion this season, he’s doing just that.

The hosts started the night looking to hit the top of the pile by the end of it, but instead Mathews and his injury-hit charges return to Bray much the happier and with three points in tow.

Wanderers played the better stuff for large parts of the first half, though both sides had chances. Drogheda saw Carl Walshe cut inside and fire just over when in acres of space, before a hectic goalmouth kerfuffle saw Declan O’Brien and Gary O’Neill pass up chances to tap in.

For Bray, former Drog David Cassidy almost found the breakthrough shortly before the break. From Graham Kelly’s corner the ball fell to the forward, whose volley was smothered by Ryan.

When the first goal came, it was from a Drogheda error. Dave Ryan caught, then dropped a Graham Kelly corner amid a melee of bodies and David Scully was there to hook it in. The second wasn’t long in coming.

When Gary O’Neill went down under a Dave Webster challenge in the Bray box, United may have been awarded a penalty. O’Neill hardly appealed, however, and Drogheda failed to react. Bray countered quickly and when Shane O’Neill broke free from the attentions of Mick Daly on the left, he curled an unstoppable shot past Ryan to double the lead.

Thereafter, Ryan saved well from Ishahil Akinade as Bray came closest to adding to score sheet, with the home side’s impressive opening to the campaign petering out in front of a decidedly modest home crowd.

DROGHEDA UNITED: David Ryan, Michael Daly, Shane Grimes, Alan McNally, Gary O’Neill (Philly Hughes, 75), Gavin Brennan [C], Ciaran McGuigan, Carl Walshe, Daire Doyle (Stephen Maher, 60), Declan O’Brien, Eric Foley (Gavan Holohan, 70).

Substitutes: Dylan Connolly, Paul Andrews, Paul Crowley, Cathal Brady, Gavan Holohan, Stephen Maher, Philly Hughes.

BRAY WANDERERS: Stephen McGuinness, Niall Cooney, Robert Maloney, Dave Webster, Adam Mitchell, Dean Zambra, Graham Kelly (Gary Curran, 85), David Scully, David Cassidy, Ishahil Akinade, Shane O’Neill (Michael Brown, 90+5).

Substitutes: Gavin Sheridan, Jamie McGlynn, Philip Nolan, Gary Curran, Ciaran Byrne, Sean Hurley, Michael Brown.

REFEREE: Paul Tuite.

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About the author:

Barry Landy

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