Derry ran out comfortable 3-1 winners against Bray at the Brandywell on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. Strikes from Mark Timlin, Dean Jarvis and Patrick McEleney sealed the points for Derry against Bray who got a consolation goal through Graham Kelly shortly after the half-time break.
Derry now leap frog Bray who slip to seventh in the table as the relegation battle at the bottom heats up.
The Candystripes got off to a flying start and registered their first chance of the game in the very first minute. Stephen Dooley gathered possession before crossing the ball into Ciaran O’Connor in the box however the striker’s glancing header was collected comfortably by Peter Cherrie.
However Derry were to get the opener just sixty seconds later. Derry charged forward and just as the attack seemed to be fizzling out, Mark Timlin collected the ball and fired it straight into the top corner from 25-yards.
Just six minutes later, Derry added a second. A superb corner from Stephen Dooley was met by an equally brilliant headed finish from full back Dean Jarvis to put his side two to the good without even making it out of the first ten minutes of the game.
Following Derry’s brilliant start, the game rather fizzled out for the remainder of the first half with neither side having too many genuine goalscoring opportunities.
The second half started just as brightly as the first did with chances at both end in the opening exchanges with Bray halving the deficit nine minutes into the second period. A terrible defensive mistake from Derry gifted Bray an avenue back into the game. An error that Graham Kelly took full advantage of by firing home.
The goal from the Seagulls appeared to rattle the Derry side and for the next period of the game Bray came into their own and although they never threatened Ger Doherty’s goal too often they were able to get into some great positions.
However Derry’s nerves were settled when Patrick McEleney stepped up and scored a superb goal just after the hour mark. McEleney gathered the ball just outside of Peter Cherrie’s box before he opened his body up and curled the ball into the keeper’s bottom corner.
Despite their best efforts Bray never looked like getting back into the game and Derry in actual fact had two more chances to make it 4-1. Firstly after 67 minutes, Conor McCormack crossed the ball into Patrick McEleney however when the midfielder couldn’t direct the ball goalwards, substitute Aaron McEneff attempted a spectacular volley that flew just over the crossbar.
And the final real opportunity of the game was through Mark Quigley. Derry broke through Mark Timlin just after 85 minutes. The winger eventually got his cross in towards Conor McCormack who took a touch before sublimely laying it off to Mark Quigley who fired goalwards, however Cherrie was more than equal to it in one of the final minutes of play.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Ben McLaughlin, Seamus Sharkey, Rob Cornwall, Dean Jarvis; Stephen Dooley (Aaron McEneff 63), Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee, Mark Timlin; Patrick McEleney (Ronan Curtis 90+2), Ciaran O’Connor (Mark Quigley 59).
Subs not used: - Shaun Patton, Joshua Daniels, Patrick McClean, Cillian Morrison.
Booked: Rob Cornwall (44).
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Niall Cooney, Alan McNally, Michael Barker; Adam Hanlon (Emeka Onwubiko 78) John Sullivan, Ryan McEvoy, David Cassidy, Graham Kelly (Luke Fitzgerald 66); Chris Lyons (David Scully 66).
Subs not used: Sean Fogarty, Adam Mitchell, Gareth McDonagh, Adam Wixted.
Booked: McNally (68).
Referee: Paul Tuite.
Attendance: 1,000 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Dean Jarvis (Derry City).