A hard working Drogheda United performance helped them to a 4-2 win over Bray Wanderers.
Drogheda's Dean Marshall headed the opener past Darren Quigley after 30 seconds. Bray equalised when Kieran Marty Waters squared for Jason Byrne to fire high into the net.
Brian Gannon made it 2-1 with a half volley past Quigley. Drogheda United extended their lead with goals from Sean Brennan and substitute Declan O'Brien. Bray grabbed a lifeline when a 40-yard Dean Zambra free-kick sailed into the top corner.
A hard working Drogheda United performance helped them to a 4-2 victory over Bray Wanderers who fall to their third league defeat of the season
Drogheda United raced into the lead after just 30 seconds. Tiernan
Mulvenna found time down the right wing and crossed to the back post.
Drogheda winger Dean Marshall got his head to the ball and lobbed his header over Darren Quigley into the bottom corner.
Bray Wanderers had a good chance to equalise two minutes later but Gabriel Sava saved well from a fierce Jason Byrne strike from the edge of the penalty area.
It was almost 2-0 shortly after when Peter Hynes crossed for Mulvenna but his strike came back off the woodwork. The offside flag had been raised in the meantime.
Mulvenna has another chance on the half-hour when another low Hynes cross found him in front of goal but the strikers first touch allowed Bray keeper Darren Quigley to smother the ball.
Darren Quigley came to rescue again just four minutes later. Dane
Massey’s attempted back pass was left short and Gavin Brennan looked to be through.
Quigley rushed from his goal, however, and made a superb sliding tackle to prevent the chance. Graham Kelly committed the foul to prevent a further attack and was very lucky not to receive a second yellow card.
Bray’s last chance of the first half saw Adam Hanlon threaten down the left. He cut in from the wing but his low strike was saved by Sava.
Bray started the second half as the better team and were rewarded with an equalising goal seven minutes in. Kieran Marty Waters looked to have been fouled by Alan McNally but referee Padraig Sutton waved play-on. Waters reclaimed possession and squared for Jason Byrne to fire high into the top left corner.
A superb goal from Brian Gannon gave Drogheda United the lead again. The defender picked up the loose ball on the edge and played a ball toward the penalty area and continued his run. The ball flicked off the defender and found its way to Gannon who fired superbly past Quigley.
Things went from bad to worse for Bray as they were reduced to 10 men 20 minutes into the second half. Dane Massey appeared to stamp on Brian Gannon off the ball and referee Padraig Sutton, after speaking to fourth official Neil Doyle, gave Massey a straight red card.
Drogheda United made it 3-1 shortly after when Sean Brennan kept his composure, sold the dummy to Darren Quigley, before finishing past the three backtracking defenders on the line.
Seven minutes after his introduction Fabio O'Brien has made 4-1.
A low ball played in from Sean Brennan found O'Brien inside the box; he controlled and calmly poked the ball past Quigley into the bottom corner.
Bray Wanderers grabbed a lifeline with 12 minutes remaining. A 40-yard free-kick on the left wing from Dean Zambra sailed over everyone and
into the top corner.
Drogheda United move to seven points and third place in the table,
while Bray suffer their third defeat of the season.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley, David Webster, Dane Massey, Adam Mitchell (Doyle 45+3), Sean Houston (John Mulroy 74), Danny O’Connor, Kieran Marty Waters, Graham Kelly (Stephen Last HT), Adam Hanlon, Dean Zambra, Jason Byrne.
Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava, Stephen Quigley, Derek Prendergast, Alan McNally, Brian Gannon; Ryan Brennan (Mark O'Brien 83) , Gavin Brennan, Dean Marshall, Shane Grimes; Peter Hynes (Fabio Hynes 68), Tiernan Mulvenna (Sean Brennan 64).