McEneff at double as Derry stop rot
Derry City 2 Bray Wanderers 0
Aaron McEneff was the Brandywell hero as his two goals got Derry City back to winning ways against Bray Wanderers last night.
For Derry, the three points and clean sheet were always going to be more important than the performance after successive defeats to Dundalk and St Patrick's Athletic, with the Candystripes returning to fourth place.
The hosts were the better team in the early stages with Jamie McDonagh and Rory Patterson trying their luck without hitting the target.
The game very nearly swung Bray's way, however, when Gavin Peers left the ball for Gerard Doherty. The goalkeeper raced for the ball with Daniel Kelly, with the Bray man always favourite to get there first.
Kelly sidestepped Doherty and went for goal, but his effort hit the outside of the post.
The opening goal came on 37 minutes when McDonagh took on and beat Corey Galvin, and in his desperation the Bray man hauled down the Derry full-back, giving referee Tomas Connolly an easy penalty decision.
McEneff stepped up and found the top corner for his ninth league goal of the campaign.
Bray were much more of a threat in the second half and Kelly skilfully beat Eoin Toal to go one-on-one with Doherty, but his low shot could not beat the Derry goalkeeper.
Derry responded in kind and Bray goalkeeper Evan Moran had to be alert to push a header from Ronan Curtis around his post from McEneff's free-kick.
McDonagh very nearly had the Brandywell on its feet on 82 minutes when he spotted Moran off his line from halfway and tried his luck, his free-kick eluding the goalkeeper but hitting the post.
The Candystripes ensured the three points just four minutes from time when Patterson tangled with Sean Heaney and McEneff picked up the loose ball before curling it beautifully beyond Moran and into the net from 20 yards.
Derry City: Doherty, McDonagh, Peers, Toal, Doyle, McDermott (Farren 90), Rory Hale, McEneff, Curtis, Ronan Hale (Delap 70), Patterson.
Bray Wanderers: Moran, Lynch, Heaney, O'Connor, Galvin, Hayes, Gibbons (Rogers 90), McKenna, Kelly, Coughlan (Pender 82), McCabe (McGovern 45).
Referee: Tomas Connolly
Results last night: Derry City 2 Bray Wanderers 0; Dundalk 2 Waterford 0; Limerick 0 Cork City 2