Gareth Danaher reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
Dean O’Halloran was the hero for Bray Wanderers as they ran out 1-0 winners against Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday evening.
The Waterford loanee struck 19 minutes from time as Gary Cronin’s side made it three wins from three to go three points clear at the top of the First Division.
Bray opened the game well in the early minutes and enjoyed plenty of possession in the Galway half.
Galway didn’t hold back though as they defended well against Bray’s talented front force Dylan McGlade and Dean O’Halloran, while Galway’s Conor Barry also looked threatening with some clever dribbles.
McGlade came close with an effort on the 20-minute mark after dancing around the Galway midfield, but United’s shot stopper Andreas Werner got down well to save.
Bray weren’t finished there when Richie Purdy drilled a shot just outside the area but it was effort was cleared off the line by United captain Stephen Walsh.
Galway were on the back foot from early on and it was showing as McGlade made an excellent run to set up Sean Heaney, who’s headed effort was stopped by Werner.
Galway boss Alan Murphy must have given an inspirational team talk during the break as two minutes into the second half they came within a whisker of the opening goal.
Werner pumped up a ball to Colin Kelly who latched onto it well and he was one-on-one with Sava, but the keeper got down well to deny Galway an equaliser.
Galway came close again from a Shane Doherty cross as he tried to find Vinny Faherty but the Bray defence scrambled it clear.
McGlade was really knocking on Galway’s door as Werner pushed away two stinging efforts from the Bray midfielder. His second effort resulted in a corner.
McGlade’s corner found Dean O’Halloran at the back post and he poked the ball home. Murphy was furious at his defence as O’Halloran was left completely unmarked.
Galway needed a goal fast and they weren’t sitting back as Kelly drove on the Galway team and got in behind the Bray defence but he couldn’t find the target with his shot.
Bray had to work to secure all three points as Galway poured forward in search of a goal, and again Kelly playing in Conor Melody but his shot drifted well wide.
Galway United: Andreas Werner; Christopher Horgan (Ivan Gamarra 79), Cian Murphy, Stephen Walsh, Mark Hannon; Donal Higgins, Maurice Nugent; Colin Kelly (Wilson Waweru 87), Conor Barry, Sane Doherty (Conor Melody 62); Vinny Faherty.
Subs not used: James Tierney (gk), Ronan Asgari, Joe Collins, Jeff McGowan.
Bray Wanderers: Gabriel Sava; Dylan Barnett, Kilian Cantwell, Sean Heaney; Paul Keegan, Derek Daly (Brandon McCann 87), Luke Nolan, Richie Purdy, Dean O’Halloran; Joe Doyle, Dylan McGlade.
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea.
Attendance: 1,216 (official).
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Dean O’Halloran (Bray Wanderers).