Adam Hanlon 76' -
Bray Wanderers extended their lead over Derry City to five points with a 1-0 win over Peter Hutton’s men on Saturday evening in the Carlisle Grounds.
A second half strike from substitute Adam Hanlon was enough for the Seagulls to obtain all three points at the end of what has been a turbulent week for the Wicklow club.
It was a first half full of chances and the first fell to Derry’s Stephen Dooley nine minutes in. Some good work from Barry McNamee and Patrick McEleney helped create the oppertunity. However, Dooley’s close range effort was well matched by Peter Cherrie, who was making his home debut for Bray.
Cherrie was called into action again moments later, as Dooley played in Philip Lowry, but again the Bray net-minder was alert to keep the game level.
The home side’s first effort came about after 18 minutes, as Peter McGlynn cut in from the left before firing over from 25 yards.
City forced Cherrie into yet another save three minutes later, as Mark Timlin passed the ball to the over lapping Dean Jarvis. He crossed for Patrick McEleney, but his effort was acrobatically saved by the busy Seagulls number one.
Mick Cooke’s men turned it up a notch as the game after that. Peter McGlynn cut inside before seeing his near post shot deflected off the post by McNamee, while Chris Lyons also hit the woodwork after a cross from Gareth McDonagh with the last kick of the first half.
However, if Bray felt they were unlucky not to be in front at the break, Derry certainly did. The Candystripes were denied a stone wall penalty six minutes before the half time whistle. Winger Dooley cut in from the right before being bundled over by McGlynn. It looked a penalty, but Referee Tomás Connolly said no.
Lowry came close to what would’ve been a goal of the season contender, as his quick free kick inside his own half caught Cherrie off guard, but the ball ended up on top rather than inside the net.
The second half began the way the first ended, with chances. The first went to the home side, as a long ball from Alan McNally was headed on to Lyons by Hugh Douglas, but the Bray forward volleyed narrowly over Doherty’s cross-bar.
The Candystrypes fashioned their first chance of the second half, as Patrick McEleney burst down the right before crossing to Dooley at the back post, but the winger’s effort was again expertly saved by ex-Dundalk stopper Cherrie.
After that the game went through a little bit of lull, the only other effort before the hour mark came in the form of a long range effort from midfielder Graham Kelly, whose effort was easily dealt with by City net-minder Doherty.
The long lull finally ended 14 minutes from time, as we were treated to only goal of the evening. Second half substitute Hanlon cut in from the left before unleashing a magestic effort which flew past Doherty and into the far bottom corner.
The Seagulls went straight in search of a second and could have doubled their lead moments later, as Kelly worked space for himself before seeing his 20 yard goalward shot well saved by Doherty.
Wanderers finished the game brightly with power and pace. Four minutes from time Lyons found himself through on goal, only for Doherty to race out to deny Cooke’s side a second.
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Alan McNally, Niall Cooney, Michael Barker; Graham Kelly, Ryan McEvoy, John Sullivan; Gareth McDonagh (Emneka Onwbiko 83), Chris Lyons (David Scully 88), Peter McGlynn (Adam Hanlon 71).
Subs Not Used: Adam Mitchell, Daniel O’Reilly, Luke Gallagher, Corry Chambers.
Yellow Cards: McNally (53), Lyons (68), Onwubiko (84).
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Shaun Kelly, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney, Dean Jarvis; Barry McNamee (Seanan Clucas 90), Philip Lowry, Patrick McEleney; Mark Timlin, Ryan Curran (Cillian Morrison 81), Stephen Dooley (Ronan Curtis 67) (Seanan Clucas 90).
Subs Not Used: Josh Daniels, Shaun Patton, Seamus Sharkey, Patrick McClean.
Yellow Cards: Kelly (16), McBride (56), Lowry (85).
Referee: Tomas Connolly (Dublin).
Attendance: 350 (Estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Peter Cherrie (Bray Wanderers).