Bray pay penalty for a lack of firepower
Superior Seagulls fail to capitalise BRAY WANDERERS DERRY CITY 0 0 BRAY WANDERERS paid the penalty for their lack of firepower as Derry City escaped from the Carlisle Grounds with a lucky point.
A whole host of first half chances – including a penalty – were squandered by the Seagulls against a lacklustre Candystripes outfit.
Graham Kelly was the man responsible for the 12-yard miss, crashing his spot kick off the underside of the crossbar to let Derry midfielder Danny Ventre off the hook after handling an Ismahil Akinade cross.
Wanderers continued to pepper Gerard Doherty’s goal and but for some flying saves from the 32-year old, the Wicklow club would have enjoyed a very comfortable evening’s work garnished with three points.
As it was though, Doherty excelled and his opposite number Stephen McGuinness was called upon to prevent the away side from snatching victory at the death.
McGuinness’ inclusion dominated the prematch chat. Shane Redmond had served his suspension and was available for selection once again but Mathews kept faith in the Kilcoole youngster and it was rewarded as the 19-year old recorded his second clean sheet in a row.
Bray were given a boost prior to kick-off with the presence of Adam Hanlon and Eric McGill on the bench, but they didn’t merit a starting berth as Mathews stuck with the same XI that had defeated Drogheda United.
There may have been a familiar face in the Derry line-up to some eagle eyed viewers as Arklow man Aaron Barry took his place at centre half alongside City captain Cliff Byrne, who was almost responsible for handing Bray an early advantage. He had his arms wrapped around Akinade on the edge of the box and Welsh referee Iwan Griffith whistled for a free kick. Both Rob Maloney and David Cassidy ran over the dead ball before Kelly struck it and, after a nick off the wall, Doherty had to quickly readjust to flick out a left hand and turn the effort away.
Kelly’s inventive corner kick deliveries have been bearing fruition lately and he almost repeated his trick on 14 minutes. He drove in the flag kick and, after Adam Mitchell had touched it on, Akinade managed to back-heel it towards goal, only for Doherty to dive on the ball and deny him.
Akinade was again frustrated by Doherty when he charged down Cliff Byrne’s weak back-pass but Doherty just beat the Nigeria native to the chase and booted it off Akinade to safety.
David Cassidy then assumed corner kick responsibilities and his delivery from the right found Dave Scully ten yards from goal. He met it with his head but it flew over and his expletive told the crowd what he thought of the missed chance.
Within a minute, stand-in skipper David Webster missed a glorious chance. After Shane O’Neill had been fouled, Cassidy’s quick-thinking saw him find the unmapped run of Webster into the penalty area but the centre half finished like a centre half as he side-footed his volley wide.
Derry manager knew his boys were being plucked apart so he made a 32 nd minute change, withdrawing Patrick McEleney for his brother Shane, and it left the former seething.
Danny Ventre was soon quite enraged too when five minutes from the interval, his attempts to block Akinade’s cross saw him handle the ball and Griffith awarded the penalty.
Graham Kelly, who succeeded from 12 yards against Bohemians, blasted his effort down the middle and it thumped off the underside of the crossbar and bounced out of harm’s way.
As the scorching sun began its descent, the Seagulls continued their search for a deserved goal and almost got it in the 61st minute. Scully dinked a pass up to O’Neill, and he deftly touched it into the path of the onrushing Graham Kelly. The ex-Derby County youngster carried the ball into the area and drilled in a low shot from the left that whizzed inches wide.
Another corner kick created another two opportunities for Mathews’ men. Scully failed to hit the target from Cassidy’s initial cross, and when the midfielder got a second bite of the cherry, he smashed in a low cross that landed at the feet of O’Neill. The attacker couldn’t move his feet quickly enough to divert it home though so instead, it simply struck him and rolled into Doherty’s arms.
Wanderers continued to press the issue as Cassidy played the ball to Akinade. He held it up brilliantly before laying it off to Kelly, who venomous drive had to be dramatically pushed over the bar by Doherty.
And then, after all the chances – the near misses – the heroics from Doherty, Wanderers nearly threw it all away. Webster made a hash of a clearance and Michael Duffy pounced.
He struck a powerful effort but McGuinness managed to flap the ball behind to ensure Bray at least took a point on a night that they richly deserved three.
Top Form: Graham Kelly (Bray Wanderers): Did all he could do to unpick the lock.
32. Stephen McGuinness; 12. Niall Cooney, 2. David Webster, 5. Adam Mitchell, 22. Rob Maloney; 19. Dave Scully, 24. Graham Kelly, 16. Dean Zambra, 7. Shane O’Neill; 8. David Cassidy; 9. Ismahil Akinade. SUB: Adam Hanlon for O’Neill (81). Not used: Shane Redmond, Jamie McGlynn, Eric McGill, Gary Curran, Michael Brown, Ciaran Byrne.
1. Gerard Doherty; 2. Roddy Collins Jr., 26. Cliff Byrne, 30. Aaron Barry, 3. Dean Jarvis; 16. Mark Stewart, 8. Danny Ventre, 9. Enda Curran, 14. Michael Duffy; 11. Rory Patterson, 10. Patrick McEleney. SUBS: Shane McEleney for P. McEleney (32); John Paul McGovern for Stewart (62); Tony McNamee for Curran (72). Not used: Ciaran Gallagher, Raymond Foy, Ryan Curran, Dave Elebert. VENUE: Carlisle Grounds
REFEREE: Iwan Griffith (Wales)
Bray’s Graham Kelly takes the penalty kick against Derry City but he misses the opportunity.