Sunday 21 January 2018

Shanahan all but seals Galway survival

Bray Wds 1-1 Galway Utd

Galway's draw saw the side virtually secure their Premier Division status (stock photo)
Galway's draw saw the side virtually secure their Premier Division status (stock photo) Newsdesk Newsdesk

After what he described as a "grueller" of a season, Tommy Dunne will demand a big improvement next year as Galway all but secured their Premier Division status at the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday night.

The Tribesmen are three points ahead of Drogheda United, who occupy the relegation play-off spot going into Friday's finale of games, though a superior goal difference of seven will surely be enough to see them safe. Galway host St Pat's while Drogheda travel to Shamrock Rovers.

A goalkeeping error gifted Bray the lead on 17 minutes as John Sullivan's header from a corner was adjudged to have crossed the line.

A mistake at the other end had Galway level four minutes later. Peter Cherrie's throw out to Michael Barker struck the left-back on the heel. Gary Shanahan collected the loose ball to curl it beyond the stranded Cherrie to the net.

"Our goal at the start was to stay up and get a good cup run. I think we achieved that," said Galway manager Dunne. "Is it going to be good enough next year? I don't think so. We need to seriously improve.

"A lot of times this year we weren't competitive enough. We didn't win enough home games. We didn't win enough matches for me.

"I thought at times we were naive. But you've to understand for many of the players it was their first time in the Premier Division. And it takes time to get that physically and mentally right."

Bray Wanderers - Cherrie; Douglas, McNally, Cooney, Barker; Sullivan; Hanlon (Wixted, 66), Kelly, McEvoy, Cassidy; Scully (Lyons, 81).

Galway United - Winn; Horgan, Sinnott, Oji, Ludden; Shanahan, O'Leary (Raftery, 30), Connolly, Melody (Saarelma, 78); Keegan, Curran (O'Connell, 84).

Ref - Ray Matthews (Westmeath)

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