Second-half goals saw Galway United past the challenge of Athlone Town in the opening round of the EA Sports Cup at Eamonn Deacy Park last night.
Both sides are waiting to register a first victory in the SSE Airtricity League First Division and the opening half was a tight affair, with Galway’s Dylan Sacramento going closest to opening the deadlock.
Soon after the restart, Galway’s Alberto Cabanyes tested Aaron Myles in the Athlone goal and in the 50th minute, Cabanyes gave the hosts the lead as he converted from Marc Ludden’s cross.
The lead was doubled on 66, Cabanyes the provider on that occasion as he crossed for Wilson Waweru to head home.
At Ferrycarrig Park, Joe Doyle was the hero for Bray Wanderers, who triumphed 2-1 against home side Wexford.
Janabi Amour’s 56th-minute goal looked like being enough for Wexford, another side looking for a first league win, but they were denied victory as Doyle equalised for the Seagulls in the third minute of injury time. Then, in extra time, the same player was on hand to put Bray into a lead they would hold until the end.
Wexford had Colum Feeney to thank for a number of important saves in the opening half while Bray’s Darragh Lynch hit the crossbar. Kaleem Simon was impressive on the right wing for the hosts, who almost made it 2-0 in the second half only for Karl Manahan to be ruled offside. Bray continued to press and were rewarded when Doyle tied the game before he completed the turnaround.
Elsewhere, Cobh Ramblers got past UCC after a penalty shootout at the Mardyke.
After a scoreless 90 minutes, Cian Leonard put Ramblers ahead in extra time but UCC replied through Owen Collins to send the game to spot-kicks.
Ultimately though, Cian Leonard, Pierce Phillips, Adam Foley and Charlie Lyons all converted from 12 yards to send Cobh through to the next round.
The game between Longford Town and Cockhill Celtic of Donegal was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. It has been rescheduled for next Monday, March 16.