Derry are left frustrated after drawing another blank
Derry City 0-0 Bray Wanderers
Derry City drew a blank in front of goal for the fifth time in eight games as they were frustrated by a stubborn Bray Wanderers at the Brandywell.
Peter Hutton's side created the better chances throughout a rather forgettable game but Cillian Morrison, Patrick McEleney and Aaron Barry were unable to put the ball into the net.
Derry also lost captain Ryan McBride to a late red card for a foul on Chris Lyons, and the defender will now miss Monday's trip to Limerick.
Bray, on the back of two successive wins, came to the Brandywell to stifle Derry as striker Emika Unmndiko was the only player in green in the Derry half. Unsurprisingly, it was the hosts asking all the questions but they had to wait until 18 minutes had passed before they could manage a shot on target, McEleney sending a left-footed effort straight into the arms of Stephen McGuinness from 15 yards.
Bray grew in confidence as the half came to an end and Ryan McEvoy sliced a shot from 30 yards well wide of Gerard Doherty's goal. But the visitors gave Derry a real scare moments later from their first corner when the ball went all the way to the back post where defender Hugh Douglas powered a header just wide of the target.
There was very little between the teams and the game was crying out for a goal.
The game's best chance came on 56 minutes and it was Bray who created a superb opening, Peter McElynn finding Adam Hanlon who drove a fierce effort at the Derry goal, forcing Doherty into a brilliant save.
The game was finally beginning to deliver some excitement and Derry should have broken the deadlock on 63 minutes when Anthony Elding held up the ball brilliantly before playing Morrison in on goal. Morrison was one on one with McGuinness but again the Bray goalkeeper came out on top as he parried the shot away.
It looked like it wasn't going to be Derry's night when the ball somehow stayed out on 75 minutes. Another McEleney free-kick into the area was flicked on by Barry, only for the ball to crash off the crossbar.
It bounced down into the six-yard box and Philip Lowry headed it in, only for an offside flag to curb the City celebrations.
Derry's chances of grabbing a late winner suffered another blow on 84 minutes when captain McBride received a straight red card for a high challenge on Lyons.
Derry remained the more adventurous team despite their disadvantage and they had a late penalty claim when Ryan Curran went down in the area, but referee Paul Tuite was unmoved.
derry city 0
DERRY CITY: Doherty, Barry, McBride, S McEleney, Sharkey, Timlin, McNamee, Lowry, Morrison (Curran 64 mins), P McEleney, Elding (Houston 90 mins).
BRAY WANDERERS: McGuinness, Barker, O'Reilly, McNally, Douglas, Kelly, Cassidy, McEvoy, McElynn (Scully 78'), Unmndiko (Lyons 61 mins), Hanlon (McDonagh 83 mins).
Man of the match: Douglas
Match rating: 5/10
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).