Galway vs Bray by Luke
Galways didn't re-start the season in the best possible way, as the team took just a point away from home against Sligo Rovers last Saturday evening getting a 1:1 draw. Still, they surely are content with a point taken, since it broke the mini-run of three consecutive defeats for them before the international break. Their hosts were better at start, took the lead in tenth minute with a goal from Ayunga, but the visitors replied in 24th minute via Folan.
Neither of the teams risked a lot towards the end of the match and it looked like we'll see a draw game way before the final minutes, while Galway played with a man less during the additional time when midfielder Mark Ludden got second yellow card and was sent off. Galway remained at the bottom of the table, sharing the last position together with St Patricks and having still just two points less than safely placed Sligo Rovers - that means that the side is aiming points and preferably a victory here, even though they await strong opponent, since the team needs points to boost their chances but also improve psychologically. Left full back/midfielder Ludden (16/0) is suspended for this one.
Bray, on the other side, had some setbacks in recent games before the international break, as they concluded that part of the season with five matches without a victory and two consecutive defeats, away to Limerick and Shamrock Rovers, but the side improved last Friday evening and managed to get a important and a bit surprising victory against Derry City following 3:2 result in a battle of two rivals which are searching for Europa League exit.
It was surely the most interesting game of the previous rounds, as both of the teams wanted to attack and played an overall open game, with the home side entering the match better as they took the lead already in sixth minute via Noone. Even though the guests managed to level up the result in 22nd minute via Curtis, hosts took the lead again, in 43rd minute with a goal from Brennan. They left the ball possession to visiting side and it cost them, since the guests equalized again, in 47th minute via Boyle, but the hosts risked more towards the end and somehow reached the victory deservedly via Clancy in 80th minute. With this three pointer, the team is now at third position, having just four less than second placed Dundalk and with two more teams chasing them with just two points difference below them. Right back Conor Early (4/0) had to leave the field early last weekend and shouldn't be playing here. Midfielders Keith Buckley and Mark Salmon are doubtful too.
Overall, I believe that this match will be more open than what the current odds suggest. Galway needs to attack and can't be happy with just a point, while it seems that Bray is finding their good old form slowly and surely look very threatening in attack - while their defensive lineup isn't that reliable.