Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Lorcan Doherty/INPHO McEneff: 12 for the season (file photo).
# Monday Night Football
Double delight for McEneff and Derry leaves Bray rooted to the bottom
Candystripes get back to winning ways against struggling Bray.

Derry City 2

Bray Wanderers 0

AARON MCENEFF’S DOUBLE saw Derry City clinch a first win in five league matches as they saw off the league’s basement men at the Brandywell.

The midfielder took his season’s tally to 12 goals in all competitions with a 37th-minute penalty and a sweet strike from 20 yards with three minutes left on the clock.

The win moved the Candystripes back into fourth spot, three points behind Waterford who they meet on Friday night at the RSC.

It was a weakened Derry City side without Scotsmen Nicky Low and Darren Cole while there was a real lack of experience on the home bench.

Bray, meanwhile, made one change from the team which lost heavily to champions Cork at Turner’s Cross last time out with Darragh Gibbons replacing Conor Kenna.

It was a lacklustre opening to the contest and the first shot arrived on seven minutes when Derry’s Jamie McDonagh blasted high and wide with an effort with the outside of his right boot.

Rory Patterson then headed over the crossbar from six yards after Jack Doyle’s inviting cross from the left flank on nine minutes.

Bray were gifted a glorious chance 60 seconds later when Daniel Kelly found Ronan Coughlan unmarked at the far post but he headed over.

The Seagulls struck the post on 22 minutes as they broke down the left wing with Daniel Kelly. City keeper Gerard Doherty raced out of his penalty area to cut out the danger but misjudged the pace of the ball and Kelly attempted to curl into the empty net only to be denied by the woodwork.

McEneff came close with a rasping drive from 25 yards which had Bray keeper Evan Moran beaten but it bounced a yard wide of the left post on the half-hour mark.

Match referee Tomas Connolly awarded City a spot-kick when McDonagh was challenged from behind by Cory Galvin. Up stepped McEneff who blasted his penalty into the net to hand Derry a timely lead in the game.

Dan McKenna found himself in acres of space just outside the Derry area two minutes before the break but his curling strike went narrowly over the crossbar.

Derry finished the half strongly as Rory Patterson’s snapshot was saved by Moran before Curtis, making his 100th club appearance, sent his close-range header into the Bray stopper’s hands.

Kelly found himself in behind Doyle inside the box 10 minutes after the break and his low strike was spilled by Doherty but the Derry defence managed to clear their lines.

Curtis met McEneff’s free-kick on 63 minutes but his header from point-blank range was parried behind by Moran.

Doherty tipped Galvin’s left-footed strike from 16 yards behind for a corner on 79 minutes to maintain his side’s slender lead.

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McDonagh saw the Bray keeper stray off his line and hit an audacious 40 yard free-kick which looped over the head of Moran and cannoned back off the post with six minutes left on the clock.

McEneff sealed the win with a sweetly struck goal from 20 yards which curled into the bottom corner on 87 minutes.

Derry City: Doherty, McDonagh, Peers, Toal, Doyle, Ronan Hale (Delap 70), McDermott (Farren 90), Curtis, McEneff, Patterson.

Bray: Moran, Hayes, Gibbons (Rogers 90), Heaney, Lynch, O’Conor, McKenna, Kelly, McCabe, Galvin, Coughlan (Pender 82).

Referee: Tomas Connolly

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