Bray pick up a rare win with stoppage time winner
Sligo and Bohemians shared the spoils at the Showgrounds in end of season slow burner
Bray’s John Sullivan celebrates scoring a late goal in their Airtricity League win over Derry City. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Bray Wanderers 2 Derry City 1
John Sullivan scored a stoppage time winner to earn relegated Bray Wanderers their first points in 10 games after home keeper Evan Moran excelled to frustrate Derry City at the Carlisle Grounds.
With referee Neil Doyle’s watch in the 95th minute, Derry keeper Eric Grimes failed to gather Jake Kelly’s corner allowing midfielder Sullivan to head the loose ball into the net.
Derry started purposefully, having a goal disallowed for offside, before deservedly taking a 15th minute lead.
Aidy Delap linked with Republic of Ireland under-21 international Ronan Hale to cross for Dean Shiels to take a touch before driving his shot past Moran.
Bray passed their way back into the game to level on 26 minutes.
Left-back Kevin Lynch’s diagonal free kick into the area was met by central defender Sean Heaney’s whose header found the corner of the net.
Moran then excelled for the first time five minutes before the break to prevent Derry regaining the lead with saves from Ronan Hale and then Shane McNamee’s follow-up.
In a slow burner of a second half, Derry were again denied retaking the lead on 65 minutes.
Shiels’ sublime through ball put Ally Roy in on goal, But once more Moran stood up well to make the save.
The inspired Moran would deny Derry yet again 11 minutes later.
Aaron Splaine and Roy worked the ball through for Ronan Hale whose low shot was saved by the Bray keeper’s feet.
In the late drama, Grimes tipped over a free kick from Sean Harding before Sullivan scored from the resulting corner.
BRAY WANDERERS: Moran; Walsh, Kenna, Heaney, Lynch (Crilly, 65); Harding, O’Conor, Sullivan, Noone (Gorman, 80); Pender, Ellis (Kelly, 84).
DERRY CITY: Grimes; McDonagh, Toal, Cole, McHattie; Delap (McEneff, 61), Spillane, Shiels (Rory Hale, 67), Roy; McNamee (Fisk, 61); Ronan Hale.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).
Sligo Rovers 1 Bohemians 1
Mikey Drennan’s early opener was cancelled out by Keith Ward’s precise penalty in a draw at the Showgrounds that had end-of-season written all over it.
Both teams have one more game remaining, but both will be satisfied with a result that sees the visitors move above St Pat’s to fifth, and leaves Rovers still with an outside chance of catching Derry in seventh.
Rovers had only three league wins at home all season coming in to the game, but had a dream start with striker Drennan netting in the opening minutes.
The club’s top-scorer seized on a slip in the Gypsies rearguard to slide the ball to the net before most players had touched the ball.
Drennan and Rovers almost doubled their tally 15 minutes later as he got on the end of David Cawley’s delivery, but headed off the crossbar.
But the leveller came on 32 minutes, with the ever-impressive Ward to the fore.
His slick ball in to the area picked out the run of Danny Grant, who went down under the mistimed tackle of Rovers full-back Kyle Callan-McFadden.
McGinty did his best – diving full-length in the right direction – but Ward’s spot-kick delivery was pinpoint accurate inside the post.
SLIGO: McGinty, Callan-McFadden, Mahon, Sharkey, McClean, Keaney, McCabe, Cawley (McAleer 63), Kerrigan (Collins 75), Lynch, Drennan.
BOHS: McCabe, Casey, Cornwall, McCourt, Brennan, Morris, Lunney, Stokes, Grant, Ward (Devaney 67), Corcoran (Magerusan 84).
Referee: P McLaughlin.