Drogheda United secured their first three points of the season in a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Bray Wanderers at Hunky Dorys Park.
Bray opened the scoring on 15’ through Jason Byrne but a peach of a free kick from Eric Foley levelled matters before Ryan Brennan headed home the winner.
Kieran Marty Waters produced the first chance of the game as he cut inside Shane Grimes but his weak effort was comfortable for Gabriel Sava. Drogs responded immediately as neat approach play from David Cassidy led to a good chance for Ryan Brennan which was parried behind for a corner.
Intense Drogheda pressure followed as a Ryan Brennan chip and an Eric Foley free kick produced excellent saves from Quigley in the Bray goal.
A mix-up between Sava and Paul O’Conor presented the ball to Jason Byrne and the veteran’s drilled effort was too strong for Sava as the Seagulls took the lead against the run of play.
Foley then pounced on a misplaced pass in midfield and his lovely disguised ball played Declan O’Brien through but his effort was stopped by the impressive Quigley.
Drogheda United were awarded a penalty on 25’ as fine play on the left wing from Gavin Brennan resulted in Cassidy being taken down by Gary Dempsey. O’Brien placed the penalty straight down the middle but his spot kick was saved by the legs of Quigley as he continued to frustrate the home side.
The Drogs came out early for the second half but it was Bray should have gone further in front. A long ball over the top from Dempsey was missed by Alan Byrne and his namesake Jason ran through but uncharacteristically missed the target.
United equalised on 52’ as a deliberate handball from Eoin Hyland gave Foley a dead ball opportunity from twenty yards and he made no mistake as he curled his free kick past Quigley.
A more even game ensued as half chances for both sides were squandered until a Shane Grimes cross to the back post was headed in from close range by Ryan Brennan to put Drogheda in front with ten minutes remaining.
Bray pushed several men forward in hope of an equaliser and despite five minutes of added on time, the home side held on for a deserved three points.
Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava; Shane Grimes, Alan Byrne, Stephen Quigley; Ryan Brennan, David Cassidy (Graham Rusk 70), Paul O’Conor, Eric Foley (Peter Hynes 85), Gavin Brennan; Declan O’Brien.
Subs not used: Michael Schlingermann, Philip Hand, Cathal Brady, Dean Gaynor, Jason Marks.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; Eoin Hyland (Daire Doyle 60), Danny O’Connor, David Webster, Kevin Knight; Kieran Marty Waters, Kevin O’Connor, Gary Dempsey, Conor Earley (John Mulroy 70), Dean Zambra; Jason Byrne (Shane O’Neill 78).
Subs Not Used: Ismahil Abinade, Paul Malone, Peter Thomas, Sean Holmes.
Booked: Eric Hyland
Referee: Tom Connolly
Drogheda United.ie Man of the Match: Eric Foley