Date: 7:45 p.m. May 8, 2009
Venue: Carlisle Grounds
Att: 800 (est)
Drogheda United got their first win of the season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds. Brian King's goal after 31 minutes was enough to settle the game.
The first half was very dull and could only be described as a scrap. Dave Mulcahy had a shot sail over the crossbar from 25-yards after two minutes before ex-Seagull Steve Williams intercepted Dane Massey's cross on 29 minutes when Patrick Kavanagh was running in.
The first clear-cut chance of the match led to a United goal. On 31 minutes, sub David O'Connor pulled the ball back from the goal-line for Jamie Duffy. Duffy controlled before shooting at goal from 18-yards. His shot was heading wide until King ran in at the far post to tap the ball into the Bray goal.
The visitors could have doubled their lead in the 40th minute through Alan McNally. James Chambers' corner from the right was met by McNally at the near post but his header went over the bar.
The Seagulls went close six minutes into the second half. After Conor Kenna fouled Paul Byrne, Patrick Kavanagh hit the free kick from 25-yards. His driven effort flew inches over the crossbar.
In the 54th minute, Bray had their best chance of the evening. After the ball broke for Jake Kelly, he ran clear of the Drogs' defence and was left in a one-on-one with Steve Williams. Kelly's half-volley was hit at goal from 18-yards but Williams was on hand to thwart his former club by saving the ball with his feet.
Two minutes after Kelly‘s chance, a one-two between Duffy and Robbie Martin on the edge of the box saw Duffy control and shoot from inside the area. His low, curled effort was saved comfortably by Chris O'Connor.
Wanderers were reduced to ten men in the 72nd minute when Chris Deans was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident.
Bray did have the ball in the back of the net on 76 minutes but Derek Foran's strike was ruled out after he had fouled Williams in the build-up.
Three minutes later, Dane Massey forced Williams into an excellent save. The ball fell for Massey on the edge of the area and he smashed the ball towards goal with a fierce left-foot drive. The ball was heading for the top-left corner until Williams managed to dive across and palm the ball out for a corner.
Drogs twice went close in the space of a minute late on. On 82 minutes, Jamie Duffy burst down the left wing and after getting past Dave Webster, he ran to the goal-line and pulled the ball back across goal. Unfortunately for Drogheda, Massey got across to knock the ball out of play, clipping the crossbar in the process.
A minute later, Duffy again had a shot from the edge of the box saved by O’Connor in the Bray goal.
Bray could not create any further chances and Drogs held on for their first win of the season which sees them double their points tally. They are now four points off Sligo Rovers at the foot of the table.
Up next for the Drogs is the Louth derby at United Park next Friday. Bray, meanwhile, travel to Terryland Park to take on Galway United.
Extratime.ie man of the match: Jamie Duffy - the Drogs winger was their main threat all night and his shot inadvertently led to the winner.
Attendance: 900 (estimate).
Bray Wanderers: Chris O'Connor; Webster, Massey, Foran, Deans; Kavanagh, McCabe, Chris Shields, Mulcahy (Doyle, 35); Byrne (Forsyth, 78), Kelly (Mulroy, 55).
Subs not used: Kane, Flood.
Bookings: Webster (89), Doyle (90).
Sending off: Deans (72).
Drogheda United: Williams, Ryan (David O'Connor, 23), Clarke, Kenna, McNally; Paul Shields, Duffy, Whelan, Chambers; Martin (Woods, 77), King.
Subs not used: Skinner, Salmon, Osborne.
Bookings: Clarke (24).
Referee: Dean John (Wales).