A night to forget for Seagulls in Galway
Galway United 4, Bray Wanderers 0: Jay O’Shea and Vinnie Faherty both helped themselves to two goals each last Friday night as their side annihilated Bray Wanderers at Terryland Park.
The league’s bottom side going into this clash, the Connacht men made a mockery of their position with this master class that has given their safety hopes a massive boost.
As for Bray Wanderers, my mother always said ‘if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all’ so I think I might just listen to her for once and adhere to that wise old saying.
The previous Friday night’s fantastic win over Derry City wasn’t enough to guarantee Bray Wanderers’ players their starting place and Gavin Whelan found this out the hard way, dropped from the squad and replaced by former Galway man Daryl Robson. Philip Knight’s injury meant Colm Tresson made his 400th appearance for Bray Wanderers, starting at right back with Derek Pender shifting to left back.
Galway United had a Jay O’Shea penalty to thank for their point that night and it was another spot-kick from the exBray man that gave the hosts the lead on eight minutes.
Jonathan Keane slipped the ball through for Seamus Conneely and the right back went down after a challenge from Mark Duggan, but he went down all too easy for the midfield hardman’s liking.
Fresh from his Republic of Ireland U-21 exploits, O’Shea stepped up to blast the resulting 12-yarder into the top corner of the net.
With 24 minutes on the clock Duggan came to his side’s rescue after some good build up play saw the ball squared to Vinnie Faherty 12 yards out but his shot was bravely blocked when Duggan slid in.
Three minutes later and United were unlucky not to double their lead when Faherty was sent racing clear. His dinked effort was blocked by Gough but the rebound fell invitingly to John Russell whose effort was blocked on the line by Pender.
On the half hour mark Alan Cawley’s deep free-kick was badly punched away by Gary Rogers and Coughlan tried to catch the shot stopper out by diving to head the ball towards goal but his effort was wide.
Bray went close again when Ger Rowe chested a ball down for Gary Cronin and the number three, only on the field for two minutes after replacing Coughlan, blasted over from 20 yards with his weaker right foot.
The Tribesmen were then desperately unlucky not to hit the front again when O’Shea curled a free kick from 25 yards off the post and wide.
Things would have to change if Bray were to get anything out of the game and after the break Gormley changed the formation to 3-5-2, with Cronin and Pender operating as wing backs.
It took a quarter of an hour of the second period for a decent effort to come along and it was for the visitors. A throw in from the right bounced up nicely for Rowe 25 yards from goal and his half volley was like an arrow before veering a few yards wide of the far post.
On 70 minutes O’Shea almost grabbed his second when he controlled a neat cross-field pass from substitute Alan Murphy before dragging his effort wide of the near post.
Three minutes later though there was no stopping him as he rifled home a John Russell cross from the right with Gough rooted to the spot.
Just when Bray Wanderers thought their night couldn’t get any worse, five minutes later it was three.
Colm Tresson gave away a free-kick out on the left and got booked in the process. Captain John Lester put the ball right in on top of Gough and after the veteran failed to clear, Faherty squeezed the ball in at the far post.
Only a disastrous miss from John Russell, who rounded Gough after being put through before hitting the side netting with the goal at his mercy, prevented Bray from going 4-0 down in what was a truly miserable day at the office for Eddie Gormley et al.
The misery did get even worse just before the end however after a sublime piece of skill from Faherty to score his second.
There seemed no danger when the striker stood motionless with the ball 20 yards from goal but after he looked up, he chipped Gough brilliantly to send Terryland Park into raptures.
Man of the Match: Jay O’Shea (Galway United). Represented his country at U-21 level then gave his side’s boost to avoid relegation a huge boost with this performance. A good week for the young man.
Galway United: Gary Rogers 6, Seamus Conneely 7, John Fitzgerald 7, Alan Keane 7, Mark McCulloch 7, Jonathan Keane 7(Alan Murphy 68’), John Russell 8 (Iarfhlaith Daveron 80’), John Lester 8, Ciaron Foley 8, Jay O’Shea 8, Vinnie Faherty 8 (Jesper Jorgensen 83’). Subs not used: Alvin Rouse, Derek Glynn.
Bray Wanderers: Alan Gough 6, Colm Tresson 6, Kevin Doherty 5, Ray Kenny 5, Derek Pender 5, Gareth Coughlan 5 (Gary Cronin 32’), Daryl Robson 6 (Jake Kelly 58’), Alan Cawley 5, Mark Duggan 5 (Paddy Kavanagh 58’), Andy Myler 5, Ger Rowe 5. Subs not used: Chris O’Connor, John Mulroy.
Referee: Pádraic Sutton.
Kevin Doherty of Bray Wanderers battles for possession with John Russell of Galway.