Byrne's dramatic treble seals victory
Bray Wanderers 3, Drogheda United 2
Jason Byrne closed in on another entry in the record books as Bray snatched an injury-time winner against nine-man Drogheda. The former Ireland striker netted his third goal in the 95th minute at the Carlisle Grounds to complete a stunning hat-trick.
United's David Cassidy was dismissed for a second yellow after fouling Kieran Marty Waters. The winger swung in the resulting free which saw Shane O'Connor's header pushed onto a post by sub-keeper Michael Schlingermann.
But the predatory Byrne pounced right on the line to score his 199th League of Ireland goal.
The Seagulls forged a 10th minute opener. Jason Byrne slipped in John Mulroy and the veteran took the return ball, burst between two Drogheda players and fired to the net.
United levelled four minutes later when Declan 'Fabio' O'Brien hooked a stunning volley from 16-yards that dipped over Darren Quigley.
But the visitors then had netminder and former Seasider Gabriel Sava dismissed on the half hour for handball outside the box.
The Wicklow side made the extra man count and had the perfect start just 20 seconds after the interval. as Waters squared for the unmarked Byrne to tap in from four-yards.
Yet, the Louth side showed their mettle to level matters again in the 52nd minute.
Fed by Alan Byrne's great low ball, Gavin Brennan's drilled, low cross was converted close in by O'Brien, but it was to prove in vain.
Bray Wanderers– Quigley; Doyle, Webster, O'Connor, Earley; Zambra; Dempsey, Mulroy (Knight 80); Akinade, Waters; Byrne.
Drogheda United – Sava; Daly, McNally, Alan Byrne, Grimes; R Brennan, Cassidy, O'Conor, G Brennan (Marks 79); Hynes (Schlingermann 31) , O'Brien.
Ref – K Callanan (Cork).