Derry City continued their winning ways at The Brandywell this evening as the ten-man Candystripes put five past a lacklustre Bray Wanderers side.
Patterson was the first to put City in the lead 15 minutes into proceedings as Nicky Low’s shot from range took a deflection off the striker, sending Aaron Dillon the wrong way in the Bray goal.
City were down to ten men shortly after half-time after Nicky Low stopped Bray’s Darragh Noone in his tracks, whose challenge gave referee Damien MacGraith no choice but to produce a red card on 55 minutes.
Despite the setback, City went ahead again just short of the hour mark after Ronan Curtis managed to convert his lobbed effort on 59 minutes.
The Candystripes scored a third just minutes later after Bray skipper Hugh Douglas brought down second half substitute Ben Doherty in the area. Derry City’s Aaron McEneff stepped up to convert his chipped effort from the spot on 63 minutes, all but confirming the three points for Kenny Shiels’ men.
Birmingham City loanee Ronan Hale was next to add to his impressive Derry City goal tally as the 19-year-old chased a fantastic Aaron McEneff through ball, only to have his effort from close range nestle in the bottom corner of the Bray goal.
Despite the increasing score-line, Bray did manage to get a consolation goal on 80 minutes after Sean Heaney rose highest in the penalty area to head home from close range.
All three points were surely wrapped up on 87 minutes as city scored a fifth. Debutant David Hopkirk who was on the pitch no more than two minutes, did well to find space in the box to net his first Derry City goal.
Kenny Shiels kept faith in his young city side as he made no changes to the starting eleven that beat a poor limerick side on Monday evening. However, both Gavin Peers and David Hopkirk return to the bench after a lengthy spell on the side-lines.
It was a confident start from the Candystripes who appeared to look the more threatening in the opening minutes. Ronan Hale was involved in action early on as a lovely cross from Jack Doyle on the left-hand side found the 19-year-old on the edge of the box, only to have his tame effort saved comfortably by Dillon.
City were first to take the lead on 15 minutes. Nicky Low did well to find space on the edge of the box to have a shot on goal however the scot’s goal-bound effort struck the body of Rory Patterson, sending Aaron Dillon the wrong way in the Bray Wanderers goal.
City almost went further ahead minutes later after Ronan Curtis managed to get his shot off on goal on 17 minutes. However, the young keeper only managed to parry the shot back into the path of Ronan Hale who put the shot narrowly wide but really should have scored.
Aaron McEneff was next to test Dillon on 26 minutes who was to have a busy night in the Bray goal. The midfielder drove into the Bray danger area to get his shot off on goal however Dillon was equal to the task and pushed the effort to safety as City led at the break.
City emerged strongly in the second half as the first chance of the half fell to Nicky Low. A corner played short from Aaron McEneff on 54 minutes found its way to Nicky Low whose effort was straight at the Bray Wanderers keeper.
That was to be Nicky Low’s last action in the game as the midfielder was sent off on 55 minutes after bringing down Darragh Noone just short of the halfway line. Noone attempted to break on an attack when the scot made a challenge deemed unacceptable by Damien MacGraith as the referee showed Low the red card amid intense protests from the Bray wanderers players.
However, Kenny Shiels’ men did not let their heads drop after the sending off and managed to add a second goal just short of the hour mark on 59 minutes. A superb cross-field ball from Conor McDermott failed to be dealt with by the header of Kevin Lynch which put Ronan Curtis straight in on goal. The Republic of Ireland Under 21 international lobbed his effort beautifully over the head of Dillon to make it 2-0 to the Candystripes.
City increased their lead shortly after as the Candystripes got a penalty on the 63rd minute. Second half substitute Ben Doherty made his way into the Bray Wanderers box only to be brought down by Bray skipper Hugh Douglas. Aaron McEneff stepped up to chip the ball past Dillon to net his second goal of the season in superb fashion.
The evening was only to get worse for Dave Mackey’s men as the game grew on. City’s top goalscorer Ronan Hale, further added to his impressive tally on 75 minutes. A fantastic through ball from Aaron McEneff sent the winger in on goal with only the keeper to beat. Hale showed fantastic composure as he managed to find the bottom corner of the goal with a lovely finish. The winger has now netted 5 goals in his last three games for the Candystripes.
Despite the gaping score-line, Dave Mackey’s men did manage to retrieve a consolation goal with ten minutes left on the clock. From a Bray corner, Sean Heaney wriggled free from the Derry defence to head home his first goal of the season from close range to give the visitors some positive from the game.
City were deadly in attack throughout the game and wrapped up an impressive performance with their their eleventh goal in the space of a week, on 88 minutes. Ex -Dunfermline striker David Hopkirk replaced Rory Patterson on 86 minutes and no longer than two minutes later, popped up on the edge of the six yard box to score his first goal for Derry City with his first touch of the ball.
Derry City: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, D. Cole, E. Toal, J. Doyle; R. Hale, N. Low, Rory Hale (D. Hopkirk 86), R. Curtis; A. McEneff, R. Patterson (B. Doherty 60);
Subs Not Used – E. Grimes, D. Kayode, G. Peers, C, Farren, S. Whiteside, N. Logue.
Bray Wanderers: A. Dillon; D, McKenna, H. Douglas, S. Heaney, K. Lynch; R. Coughlan (D. Kelly 78), P. O’Conor, J. Sullivan, C. Galvin (J. Kelly 71); D. Noone, A. Greene (G. Pender 87);
Subs Not Used – E. Moran, D. Hayes, R. Gorman, D. Gibbons.
Referee: D. MacGraith