McBride tributes on an emotional night as City edged out in thriller
Derry City 2 Bray Wanderers 3
Derry City hearts were broken by Bray Wanderers' stoppage time winner in an incredible game on an emotional night at Maginn Park.
The Candystripes had fought back from two goals down but a last gasp header from Tim Clancy sealed it for the visitors.
It was a disappointing result for Kenny Shiels' side on a night when tributes were paid to Ryan McBride whose recent tragic death stunned everyone.
After clinching a fourth straight league win by beating Drogheda United on March 18, City were plunged into mourning a day later by McBride's sudden death.
Their first match since their former skipper's passing was a thriller, but City didn't get the result they desperately wanted.
Derry almost got off to the perfect start as Nathan Boyle chased down the ball before finding Aaron McEneff in space.
The midfielder's cross took a deflection and went all the way to the back post where it seemed that Rory Patterson would finish it off, but it somehow went wide of the target from just three yards out.
But the visitors silenced Maginn Park - the Brandywell is being redeveloped - on 27 minutes thanks to a superb free kick from Gary McCabe.
The Bray man had a lot to do from 30 yards but he curled the ball brilliantly over the City wall and past the outstretched hand of new skipper Gerard Doherty for a shock lead.
City suffered a further setback when Patterson was substituted and had to be helped from the pitch just 30 minutes into his comeback, with Josh Daniels replacing him.
City were stunned by a second Bray goal in the final minute of the half. Hugh Douglas eased the mounting pressure on the Bray defence by just hoofing the ball down the pitch but Aaron Greene was onto it in a flash.
There was still plenty for the lone striker to do but he collected the ball and drilled it superbly past Doherty and into the bottom corner to the disbelief of the City players and the crowd.
It meant a 2-0 lead at half time for the visitors, who had barely threatened throughout.
Doherty failed to emerge for the second half, with Eric Grimes coming in for his City debut.
The goalkeeper was tested immediately as Conor McDermott fouled Dylan Connolly on the edge of the area, that man McCabe again curling the ball around the wall and it looked to be heading in until Grimes sprung to his left to push it out.
Derry finally got the break their play deserved on 65 minutes as they got back into the game.
Boyle was found by McEneff and again drove down the right before drilling the ball low into the area.
The cross came to McEneff whose snapshot was somehow saved by Cherrie, but as the Derry player went to strike the rebound he was bundled over from behind by Conor Kenna and referee Derek Tomney immediately pointed to the penalty spot.
McEneff promptly picked himself up and dispatched the penalty high to the left corner, giving Derry a lifeline which they more than deserved, with still 25 minutes left to play.
Maginn Park exploded into celebration with five minutes to go as Derry equalised from the most unlikely of scorers.
Nicky Low played a superb ball in behind the Bray defence and Dean Jarvis nipped in before hooking the ball over Cherrie and into the net to make it 2-2.
But with City pushing for the winner, Clancy was allowed to head in with just a minute to go.
Derry City: G Doherty (E Grimes 45), C McDermott, D Jarvis, A McEneff, N Low, B McNamee, R Curtis, R Patterson (J Daniels 30), N Boyle (M Kennedy 65), L Schubert, A Barry.
Bray Wanderers: P Cherrie, H Douglas, J Sullivan, C Kenna, K Buckley (J Marks 75), M Salmon, A Greene, G McCabe (D Noone 80), C Early (A Kehoe 38), D Connolly, T Clancy.
Referee: D Tomney.
Match Rating: 8/10