Connolly (left) was called up to the Ireland U21 squad yesterday for next month's Euro qualifiers.
# Report
Ireland U21 international Dylan Connolly stars as Bray hold Derry in pulsating draw
Connolly grabbed both goals for Bray at a wet Carlisle Grounds.

Bray Wanderers 2 Derry City 2

DERRY CITY’S EUROPEAN dreams were blunted by Dylan Connolly’s marvellous double that stretched Bray Wanderers’ unbeaten run to nine matches.

The Candystripes came from behind to lead courtesy of a Rory Patterson strike and an Aaron McEneff spot kick, but Connolly’s brace ensured that they lost their grip on second place.

Connolly opened the scoring when he latched onto a pass he had no right to reach, but his pace enabled him to get to the ball, before steering past Ger Doherty with 17 minutes on the clock.

The Ireland U21 player’s explosive pace was matched by McEneff’s equally impressive 30-yard free kick, which rattled the crossbar before being smartly dispatched by the quick-thinking Rory Patterson.

A clumsy challenge on Ronan Curtis by Gareth McDonagh then handed City a penalty, which McEneff converted to put the visitors in command.

However, the City defence simply could not keep Connolly at bay and Ger Pender’s clever pass saw him surge past Conor McDermott and slot home to restore parity.

Wanderers went for the jugular and thought they had been awarded a spot kick when Chris Lyons went to ground, but referee Sean Grant — unconvincing on the night — opted to book the attacker for simulation.

Connolly inflicted one final scare on Kenny Shiels as he bombed through in the 87th minute, but a heavy touch allowed Doherty to race out and execute a sublime sliding tackle.

Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Sean Harding (Gareth McDonagh, 39), Hugh Douglas, Conor Kenna, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan; Jason Marks (Darragh Noone, 63), Mark Salmon, Karl Moore, Dylan Connolly; Ger Pender (Chris Lyons, 84).

Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Conor McDermott, Maximillan Karner (Ben Doherty, 48), Niclas Vemmelund, Dean Jarvis; Nathan Boyle (Josh Daniels, 77), Aaron McEneff, Conor McCormack, Ronan Curtis; Barry McNamee; Rory Patterson.

Referee: Sean Grant.

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