Bray stay clear of trouble

Bray Wanderers moved further out of the relegation zone in a tight encounter with Derry City at a near deserted Carlisle Grounds.

Minus suspended veteran striker Jason Byrne, Bray had an early chance when Sean Houston had an effort blocked by Shane McEleney only for Marty Waters to fire the rebound wide.

The Seagulls, urged on by a 250 crowd, again went close on eight minutes when a Dave Webster cross from the right allowed John Mulroy to get in a header pushed away for a corner by keeper Ger Doherty.

Derry threatened when Simon Madden had a cross from the right headed just wide by winger Stephen McLaughlin before Houston blazed over for the home side on 23 minutes.

A Madden cross from the left almost led to Derry breaking the deadlock when a poor clearance by Danny O’Connor enabled Ruaidhri Higgins to fire just narrowly wide of the target.

Bray had a chance three minutes after the interval when a long clearance by goalkeeper Darren Quigley was mis-headed by Derry central defender Shane McEleney which allowed Mulroy to get in a shot blocked by the knees of keeper Doherty and away to safety.

It was Doherty to the rescue the Candystripes twice in quick succession when producing super saves to deny efforts from Waters and Mulroy as Bray piled the pressure on the visitors’ goal.

But it was Derry who went close on 70 minutes when a fiercely struck volley by David McDaid from 20 yards looked goal-bound until a fortunate deflection off Dane Massey diverted the ball for a corner.

Substitute Ismahil Akinade went close to a winner for Bray after Shane McEleney lost possession 25 yards from goal only for the ever vigilant Barry Molloy to get back make a crucial block.

BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Webster, D O’Connor, S O’Connor, Massey; Marshall (Akinade 66), Mulroy, K O’Connor, Doyle (Dixon 84), Houston; Waters (Earley 82).

DERRY CITY: Doherty; Madden, McBride, S McEleney (Greacen 78), McCaffrey; McLaughlin, Higgins, Molloy, Morrison (Curran 83); McDaid, P McEleney (Murphy 57);

Referee: Tom Connolly (Dublin).

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