Action from Treaty Utd's SSE Airtricity League First Division meeting with Bray Wanderers at the Markets Field on Friday night Pic: Brendan Gleeson
TREATY UNITED need just four more points to guarantee a promotion play-off spot in the SSE Airtricity League First Division following their 2-1 victory over Bray Wanderers at the Markets Field on Friday night.
Stephen Christopher and Dean George netted in Limerick, while Adam Lennon and Pat Hickey won it for Athlone at Lissywollen, opening a nine-point gap between Tommy Barrett’s fifth-placed charges and Wexford in sixth.
Before a ball was even kicked, Treaty were dealt a huge boost.
A quick glance at a teamsheet or a sharp ear would have picked up the return of club captain Jack Lynch.
Ironically he’d be the only change from the side that dug out a one-nil win against Cobh last week. That result came off the back of Tommy Barrett returning to the last eight of the FAI Cup – but with the focus back on league matters, and six points being the cushion ahead of sixth in the playoff hunt, there could be no doubt about priorities.
Dean George's goal which extended our lead pic.twitter.com/eqxBtUNEUZ— Treaty United FC (@TreatyUnitedFC) September 9, 2022
Bray had yet to taste victory over the Shannonsiders, but they had just racked up consecutive wins to give themselves a sneak of nabbing a top-five spot. That gave this game an edge.
And you could see it from the off.
Both sides struck the woodwork in the opening ten minutes and if that wasn’t enough early action, the opening goal came just after.
Marc Ludden’s energetic parading down the left flank has become a Markets Field staple and after he was fed with room to run into, his teammates knew to burst a gut.
Stephen Christopher was the man to benefit on this occasion; stopping his run just inside the box, where he met Ludden’s pull back perfectly to fire past Stephen McGuinness.
Treaty began to turn the screw at this point and when Dean George found himself one-v-one, he crumbled under the simplicity of the chance and the hosts saw their best chance of doubling their lead disappear into an illuminated Garryowen sky.
Stephen Christopher's goal which opened the scoring tonight pic.twitter.com/bT8rdrnVyr— Treaty United FC (@TreatyUnitedFC) September 9, 2022
Well, for roughly thirty seconds until he made amends.
Stephen Christopher’s delivery into the box after George himself was fouled down the left was pinpoint and George’s flick to the far post was aesthetically pleasing.
As is often the case with the home side, they made it tougher for themselves after allowing substitute Callum Thompson to set up a grandstand finish, finishing from a tight angle, but they hung on despite late pressure.
Treaty return to action at the Markets Field on Friday next when hosting Premier Division UCD in a tasty FAI Cup quarter-final tie, 7.45pm.
Treaty United: Jack Brady; Jack Lynch (Matt Keane, 80), Sean Guerins, Mark Walsh, Marc Ludden; Stephen Christopher, Lee Devitt, Callum McNamara, Willie Armshaw (Success Edogun, 70); Dean George (Joe Collins, 80), Enda Curran (Conor Melody, 70).
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness; Keith Dalton (Darragh Lynch, 57), Jack Hudson, Conor McManus, Joe Gorman, Paul Fox; Eoin Massey (Zak O’Neill, 69), Dean Zambra (Callum Thompson, 57), Jamie Hollywood (Anny-Nzekwue, 83); Ben Feeney, Colin Kelly (Conor Knight, 69).
Referee: Marc Lynch.
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