A sparse crowd at the Carlisle Grounds saw Bray Wanderers and Derry City play out a 0-0 draw on a fine evening beside the sea.
Pat Devlin and Keith Long’s side will feel they could and indeed should have won the game, particularly after strong opening and closing showings, but Derry City certainly held their own.
Bray began well and pinned the Candystripes back for the opening 15 minutes. Marty Waters had the best opportunity during that period when a blocked Sean Houston shot fell to him at the edge of the box.
Waters, who would be dangerous all evening, could not hit the target from the edge of the area. It was not to be his final chance though.
Bray’s John Mulroy got on the end of a Dave Webster cross with nine minutes on the clock but Derry City goalkeeper Gerard Doherty was equal to it, tipping the ball over the bar.
Going the other way, Derry defender Simon Madden was electric on the right side in the first half and created his team’s best first half chance.
Madden whipped the ball in from the wing and found Stephen McLaughlin. McLaughlin headed low but his effort from five yards was watched bounce wide by Darren Quigley in the Seagulls’ goal.
The visitors came into the game more after that and Ruaidhri Higgins was next to go close, but the midfielder pulled his effort wide after Madden again created the opportunity.
Good passing football continued in the second period but real chances were at a premium until about 25 minutes from time.
Marty Waters popped up again, on the receiving end of a delightful backheel pass from Sean Houston, but the effort on goal was well saved down low by Doherty.
Doherty saved Derry City again a moment later when John Mulroy hit a powerful shot from outside the area. Mulroy could only watch in frustration though, as the sharp stopper made a tremendous one handed save.
David McDaid has Derry’s best chance shortly afterwards but Bray defender Dane Massey managed to throw himself between the ball and the goal, conceding a corner but saving his side from going behind.
A flurry of substitutions by both teams began with the introduction of Conor Murphy for Derry, and the striker was dangerous in the closing stages without scoring.
Despite good back and forth attacks, Bray looking perhaps the most likely, neither team could make the breakthrough and Declan Devine’s men probably went home the happier to have taken a point.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; Dave Webster, Danny O’Connor, Shane O’Connor, Dane Massey; Daire Doyle (Lee Dixon, 84), John Mulroy, Kevin O’Connor, Sean Houston, Dean Marshall (Ismahil Akinade, 66); Kieran Marty Waters (Conor Early, 80). Subs not used: Colm Tresson, Pat Seery, Brian Kane, Yani Georgiev.
Booked: Webster (61).
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney (Stewart Greacan, 76), Dermot McCaffrey; Stephen McLaughlin, Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry Molloy, Owen Morrison (Ryan Curran, 82); David McDaid, Patrick McEleney (Conor Murphy, 56). Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Barry McNamee, Michael Duffy, Matthew Rooney.
Booked: Molloy (89).
Referee: Tom Connolly.
Attendance: 275 (estimate).
Man of the Match: Simon Madden (Derry City) - A quieter second half but the visitors’ leading light in the first.