Belfast Telegraph

Derry get a point as wasteful Bray pay the penalty

By Eoin Wilson

Bray Wanderers 0 Derry City 0: Derry City escaped the Carlisle Grounds with a point as Bray Wanderers wasted chance after chance in yesterday's Airtricity League clash.

The Candystripes have still to fire on all cylinders this season and it proved to be the same old story once again as they struggled to contain a Bray side who dominated the game for long periods.

Graham Kelly missed a first half penalty for Bray, but that was just one of several chances that the home side squandered.

Ismahil Akinade was causing problems for Cliff Byrne in the opening stages and as a result the City skipper was forced into giving away a free kick 25 yards from Gerard Doherty's goal just six minutes in.

The hosts very nearly scored as a result as Kelly's free kick was deflected on its way through a poor Derry wall and Doherty was forced into a brilliant save low to his left, turning the ball behind for a corner to deny Bray what looked like a certain goal.

Derry were slower to react all over the pitch and Bray were deserving of a goal as the half-hour came and went.

They should have had the opener when Dean Jarvis gave away a free kick 25 yards from goal on the right and, with City trying to organise defensively, David Cassidy took it quickly. His cross found Dave Webster completely unmarked, but the Bray man somehow volleyed wide of goal from six yards out.

Defensively Derry were so sloppy and again Akinade was the main source of their problems as his skill and endeavour earned his team a penalty five minutes before the break.

The Nigerian was allowed too much space to cross as Aaron Barry and Roddy Collins left the ball to each other and, in his desperation to cover, Danny Ventre stuck his hands in the air and blocked the striker's cross, giving referee Iwan Griffith an easy penalty decision.

Kelly took the spot kick, but his decision to go for power proved the wrong one as his effort smacked off the underside of the crossbar and bounced down on the goal line with the official waving away Bray's claims that the ball had crossed the line.

Bray remained a threat in the second half and a swift passing move opened up the Candystripes defence again, as Akinade's flick gave Kelly a sight on goal, but his low shot from the left hand side just passed wide of Doherty's goal.

A snapshot from Rory Patterson gave Derry late hope, but the momentum remained with Bray and David Scully headed just over with five minutes remaining before Byrne produced a vital tackle to deny Cassidy another run in on goal.

Derry very nearly snatched it right at the death following superb individual work from Michael Duffy, who received the ball on the edge of the area with his back to goal.

Duffy flicked the ball over the head of his marker and raced into the area before shooting high for the top left corner, only for McGuinness to produce a fantastic save to turn the ball behind for a corner.

A goal for Derry then would have been barely deserved and a point was about as much as their performance merited.

Bray Wanderers: McGuinness, Cooney, Maloney, Webster, Mitchell, Zambra, Kelly, O'Neill (Hanlon 82 mins), Akinade, Cassidy, Scully.

Derry City: Doherty, Collins, Byrne, Barry, Jarvis, Ventre, P McEleney (S McEleney 32 mins), Stewart (McGovern 62 mins), Duffy, Patterson, Curran (McNamee 72 mins).

Referee: Iwan Griffith (Wales).

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