Drogheda United continued their renaissance under caretaker boss, Darius Kierans, after picking up their first win in their last seven games on Friday night in Bray.
Goals from Gavin Brennan, Gavan Holohan and Cathal Brady secured the much needed win for Drogheda in Kieran’s second game in charge. A red card for Adam Mitchell told the story of a poor performance from the home side who had Jake Kelly’s wonderful free kick as the only positive.
Drogheda United opened the scoring after three minutes when a long ball from Daire Doyle found Gary O’Neill who in turn found Gavin Brennan who side footed it home.
That goal kicked the home side into action with Bray Wanderers controlling proceedings after that with front man Jake Kelly at the heart of all that was good with the team.
Kelly’s strike partner, Isamhil Akinade, nearly opened his side’s account though when he got on the end of an excellent cross from Shane O’Neill but the Bray target man couldn’t direct it home.
The Seagulls didn’t have to wait too much longer for a goal though when ten minutes later, on the 17th minute, Jake Kelly stepped over a free kick and without too much thought hammered it into the top corner.
Drogheda, who hope to announce their new manager at an EGM on Monday after Robbie Horgan’s sacking, leap frog Bray Wanderers into 9th position after this win.
Drogheda’s second goal came on the 36th minute when Gavan Holohan pulled off a fantastic piece of skill after beating four men Brennan struck the ball, while falling, to lift it over the head of the helpless Stephen McGuinness in goal for the home side.
That piece of magic meant the visitors went into half time on top 2-1 and left boss Kierans the happier manager.
Second half chances from Gary O’Neill and Gavan Holohan to try increase the lead for Drogheda didn’t go their way but the Louth side grew impressively into the game.
It was goal scorer, Holohan, who was chief in creating chances for Drogheda on the wet surface, Drogheda’s best chance of the second half came from O’Neill who recieved a slick pull back from Holohan but the veteran front man saw his shot well saved by McGuinness.
Any chance of Bray making a come back in this game was severely dented on the hour mark when centre back Adam Mitchell was shown his marching orders after a second yellow when he tackled Holohan who made a trade mark lung busting run in the box.
Drogheda got their third and final goal in injury time when winger Cathal Brady benefitted from substitute's Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien’s smart pass to shoot past McGuinness.
That goal compounded a miserable night at a very wet Carlisle Grounds for Alan Mathews who now sit in 10th in the league.
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness; Eric McGill, Adam Mitchel, Shane O’Connor (Robert Maloney 24); Adam Hanlon, Graham Kelly, Dean Zambra, David Cassidy (Byrne, 76), Shane O’Neill; Ismahil Akinade (Dave Scully 62), Jake Kelly.
Subs Not Used: Shane Redmond (gk), Jamie McGlynn, Michael Browne, Gary Curran.
Drogheda United: Michael Schlingermann (Connolly, 90+3); Mick Daly, Stephen Maher, Alan McNally, Shane Grimes; Cathal Brady, Daire Doyle, Gavan Holohan, Gavin Brennan; Carl Walshe, Gary O’Neill (Declan O’Brien, 87).
Subs Not Used: Paul Crowley, Dylan Harding, Sean O’Connor, Ciaran O’Connor, Ray Kierans.
Referee: Rob Harvey.
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Gavan Holohan (Drogheda United)