Date: 7:45 p.m. Sept. 25, 2009
Venue: Carlisle Grounds
Ref: Anthony Buttimer
Att: 800 (est)
The visitors were on top for long periods of the game and they created the better opportunities in both halves. Within ten minutes of the kick-off, United were close when a Scott Gibb throw from the right was flicked on by Jamie Duffy. The ball fell to Brendan McGill 18-yards out and his strike was blocked by Daire Doyle. The ball then fell for James Chambers who shot but now it was Gary Cronin's turn to get in the way of the ball and keep the scores level.
Bray's opening chance of the night came through Jake Kelly in the 23rd minute. A long ball by Chris O'Connor was excellently controlled by Kelly and, after holding off the challenge of Conor Kenna, he found himself inside the box in a one-on-one opportunity with Steve Williams. His low, right-footed drive was too close to Williams and the former Wanderers keeper stopped the ball with his feet. The ball came to Chris Shields but his follow-up shot was easily cleared by Kenna.
On 30 minutes, a short corner and a one-two between Drogheda's Brendan McGill and Jamie Duffy resulted in Duffy crossing from the left-hand side. His cross went to the far post where Brian King was on hand to head at goal. His header seemed destined for the top corner but Chris O'Connor got his hand across to lift the ball over the bar.
The second half was a similar story with Drogheda creating the better chances, the first of which came on 49 minutes. A long-ball from Robbie Clarke was flicked on by Jamie Duffy and fell for Brian King to volley high and wide from the edge of the box.
A deflected James Chambers free-kick from 40-yards went inches wide in the 54th minute but nine minutes later, Drogheda went closer. Brendan McGill played in Ross Gaynor and he shot at goal from 15-yards, only for an excellent stop by the feet of Chris O'Connor to deny the ex- Cobh striker.
Drogheda's hard work paid off in the 75th minute. Brendan McGill and Scott Gibb combined down the right hand side before McGill slipped the ball into Jamie Duffy on the edge of the six-yard box. With his back to goal, he pulled away from his marker before turning and firing a shot across Chris O'Connor and into the far corner for a well-deserved lead.
In the second half, all of Bray's chances had been from long-range shots with John Mulroy, Chris Shields and Shane O'Neill all trying their luck. Their best effort had been one such shot by Daire Doyle in the 83rd minute which was kept out of the Drogheda goal by a combination of Steve Williams and the right-hand post.
However, they saved their best for their goal which came in the 89th minute. Dave Mulcahy put the ball in behind the Drogs defence and Dane Massey evaded the challenge of Alan McNally and slid in to lift the ball over Williams and into the Drogheda net.
Bray's hopes of gaining a point were short-lived when two minutes into injury time United snatched all three points. Brendan McGill fed the ball out wide to Jamie Duffy on the right wing. His cross went across the face of the Bray goal and left the home defence standing still as James Chambers ran in at the far post to tap in the winner.
Drogheda deserved their win and move up to eighth in the table ahead of their derby with Dundalk at United Park. Bray are now three points adrift of Sligo Rover at the foot of the table and host a St. Patrick's Athletic side who are unbeaten under new manager Pete Mahon.
Bray Wanderers (4-4-2): Chris O'Connor; Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Chris Deans, Gary Cronin (Shane O'Neill, 34); Chris Shields, Daire Doyle, Stephen Brennan, Dane Massey; Jake Kelly (John Mulroy, 65), John Flood (Dave Webster, 74).
Subs not used: Ian Tuohy, Brian Kane.
Bookings: Pender (60).
Drogheda United (4-4-2): Steve Williams; Scott Gibb, Conor Kenna, Alan McNally, Robbie Clarke; Brendan McGill, James Chambers, Paul Crowley (Eric McGill, 84), Jamie Duffy; Brian King, Ross Gaynor.
Subs not used: Paul Skinner, Guy Bates, Ian Ryan, Austin McCann.
Bookings: Crowley (70).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Jamie Duffy - He had a part in both goals but his all round game was key in Drogheda's win.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).
Attendance: 800 (estimate).