Derry City 2 Bray Wanderers 0
City followed on from where they had left off on Friday, this time dispatching Bray Wanderers after a double strike from Michael Rafter. The Candystripes made it three wins on the spin and continue to lead the chasing pack behind Sligo Rovers.
City missing the influential Patterson were not unduly troubled by Pat Devlin’s side thought it could have been a different story if Jason Byrne’s effort had not crashed off the bar, having beaten Doherty.
The home side once again deployed a three man midfield with McNamee replacing Houston and Rafter leading the line in the absence of Patterson. The home side dominated the early proceedings, with Simon Madden prominent down the flanks. Rafter was picked up by a terrific cross from McNamee but he tamely headed the ball straight at the debutant keeper Holmes.
However it was to be a day to forget for the Bray netminder as he gifted City their opener. A speculative effort from Rafter appeared to be heading straight for the keepers arms, but he somehow managed to spill it onto the post, then back off his body and into the back of the net. A fortuitous goal for the home side, but after a wretched home record last season, it looks as if the Gods are smiling on the Brandywell so far this season.
Mark Griffin’s deep runs where breaking the Bray offside trap on a regular basis and his teasing cross was not converted when Madden and Higgins appeared to be caught in two minds who should take the chance at the back post. Derry continued to press but with only the single goal advantage at the break, there was some nervousness around the home support at the break.
These fears were unfounded as City made it two shortly after the break. A tremendous ball out of defence by McBride found Griffin who laid it inside to Rafter. The striker considered a shot, but offloaded to McEleney who beat a defender and floated the ball back across the box for the unmarked Rafter to make it two nil.
Devlin tried to change his side’s approach, bringing on a second striker and opting for a flat back four but City were never really threatened despite the industry of the likes of Dempsey, Zambra and Mulroy for the visitors. Declan Devine opted to introduce Paddy Kavanagh for his first league appearance after injury as well as Michael Duffy and Ryan Curran. Duffy was the pick of the bunch from the substitutes and a sparkling move saw Curran send him clear down the left. He drove forward into the box but opted to square the ball when the easier option appeared to be to shoot and thus the game was lost.
City closed out the game and a comfortable two nil win ahead of Friday’s trip to Dalymount to take on Bohemians(game live on RTÉ, 7.05PM kickoff).