Shot-shy Bray Wanderers failed to make their possession pay as they couldn't break down Galway United at the Carlisle Grounds.

Advantage now swings the way of John Caulfield's side ahead of Sunday’s second leg of this First Division play-off semi-final.

Gary Cronin’s Wanderers can have few complaints as, despite enjoying plenty of the ball, they couldn’t manage to get a shot on target in the whole 90 minutes and have it all to do out west.

Galway proved Bray’s nemesis last year, beating them in the penultimate league game with a stoppage-time goal to knock Wanderers’ title drive off course.

Galway then returned to the Carlisle Grounds to beat Bray again in the play-offs with another late goal.

In a lively opening here, the sides swapped chances inside the opening five minutes.

Galway’s Mikey Rowe rifled narrowly over the Seagulls’ crossbar before Brandon Kavanagh latched onto Gary Shaw’s nod down to volley over the top at the other end.

Belying the fact they finished the season in poor form, with just one win in eight games, Bray passed the ball well with Conor Clifford orchestrating their play in the middle of the park.

For all their possession and promising approach play, though, Wanderers lacked a cutting edge in the final third as Galway defended efficiently.

More direct when they got forward, Galway had perhaps the chance of the first half on 32 minutes, Ruairi Keating planting a free header straight at Brian Maher from Conor O’Keeffe’s cross.

Bray continued to dominate the ball into the second half. Richie O’Farrell just didn't connect right as he volleyed off target four minutes in after Daniel Jones’ cross bounced up invitingly for him on the edge of the area.

The home side were fortunate minutes later as they failed to properly defend a David Hurley corner, happy to see Joe Gorman shoot the loose ball wide after his initial header rebounded back to him.

Bray survived another scare on 65 minutes, Maher having to come out promptly to save with his feet from Wilson Waweru after Stephen Walsh played him through on goal.

Advantage Galway then ahead of the return at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Bray Wanderers: Brian Maher; Mark Byrne, Andrew Quinn, Aaron Barry, Daniel Jones (Luka lovic 56); Conor Clifford, Richie O’Farrell; Joe Doyle, Brandon Kavanagh, Ryan Graydon; Gary Shaw (Darren Craven 72).

Galway United: Conor Kearns; Conor O’Keeffe, Maurice Nugent, Joe Gorman, Stephen Walsh; Conor McCormack, Gary Boylan (Shane Doherty 76); Mikey Rowe, David Hurley, Ruairi Keating; Wilson Waweru (Padraic Cunningham 76).

Referee: Gavin Colfer (Wicklow).