DERRY CITY: Bray fight back to hold Shiels' Candy Stripes
Bray Wanderers 2, Derry City 2
This was definitely a case of a point gained rather than two dropped for Derry City.
The Candy Stripes, who gave Austrian defender Maximilian Karner his debut, were under quite a bit pressure with Bray winger Dylan Connolly a constant threat throughout.
Although City came from behind to lead, it was Bray, with Connolly’s Usain Bolt like pace, who always looked dangerous and were capable of taking the points.
The Brandywell men a great chance on 10 minutes after Nathan Boyle’s cut-back found Rory Patterson, but his close range strike was saved by Wanderers keeper Peter Cherrie.
The home side took then lead on 17 minutes after Connolly easily raced clear of City debut boy Karner before calmly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Gerard Doherty.
Minutes later Wanderers went close to adding a second but Conor Kenna’s shot from just inside the box was bravely blocked by Niclas Vemmmelund, as City failed to clear Karl Moore’s corner.
Soon after the impressive Kevin Lynch, saw his left wing cross find danger man Connolly, but the winger’s effort at the back post flew well over.
City levelled things on 30 minutes as Patterson scored his first goal in six games when he fired home from close range, after Aaron McEneff’s initial thunder bolt free-kick from 35 yards came crashing back off the crossbar.
City suffered another injury set-back on 48 minutes as Karner had to be replaced by Ben Doherty, with what looked a groin problem.
Derry took the lead on 55 minutes when Ronan Curtis was brought down inside the box by Gareth McDonagh and McEneff fired home his third penalty in four games.
That man Connolly levelled things on 70 minutes when he blocked Conor McDermott’s attempted clearance from the edge of the box before side footing past Doherty.
In the closing stages Connolly, who continued to torment the Derry back-line throughout, went close on a few occasions but Doherty did well to deny him.
Right at the death Wanderers substitute Chris Lyons had claims for a penalty, but referee Sean Grant, adjudged the striker to have dived inside the box and awarded a free out.
Bray Wanderers: Cherrie, Douglas, Kenna, Pender (Lyons 85), Harding (McDonagh 29); Lynch, Sullivan, Marks (Noone 66), Salmon; Moore, Connolly.
Derry City: Doherty, McDermott, Karner (Doherty 48), Vemmelund, Jarvis; McCormack, McEneff; Curtis, McNamee, Boyle (Daniels 70); Patterson.
Referee: Mr Sean Grant.