Derry held at Bray


Bray Wanderers 0 Derry City 0

By Paul Doyle

Though they conceded most of the possession to their hosts, Derry City will be angry at not having taken the three points from Bray this afternoon.

Employing their usual counter attacking strategy away from home, Derry created three excellent scoring chances in a game that ultimately ended goalless.

The first fell to Gary Beckett on 20 minutes. Latching on to a cunning dink from Tommy McCallion, Beckett scampered into the box but failed to lift the ball over Bray’s new goalkeeper, giving Matt Gregg the opportunity to block well on his league debut.

Just before half-time, Derry’s 18-year-old wonderboy, Gareth McGlynn, was sent clear by Darren Kelly but, as Gregg came charging off his line, he put his teenage kick just wide.

The last chance to fall Derry’s way was perhaps the best of the lot. Deep into injury time, Beckett drifted an apparently harmless cross into the Bray box. Davy Williamson fluffed his attempted clearance and the ball squirted to Padraig Moran right in front of the home goal who tried to slip it past Gregg but the keeper got enough on it to divert it wide.

Though Bray didn’t carve out many clear cut chances, they still gave Derry goalkeeper, Russell Payne, plenty of opportunity to keep himself warm. Payne spent much of the afternoon bravely intercepting corners and crosses, and on 35 minutes he was called upon to show a touch of true talent.

Eddie Gormley chipped a cross into Jason Byrne on the edge of the box. The striker took it on his chest before executing an overhead kick Rivaldo would have been jealous of but Payne dived full stretch to tip it over the bar for a corner.

That save by Payne typified another resilient display from Derry and explains why despite their hard work Byrne and Thomas Morgan were destined to get little joy from the afternoon. The result keeps Derry second in the league, three points behind Shamrock Rovers who beat bottom of the table Monaghan 3-2.

Elsewhere, Cork City overcame Dundalk 3-1 at Oriel Park.