Ronan Coulghlan’s double sinks Derry as Bray Wanderers pick up valuable win
Bray Wanderers 2 Derry City 1
Ronan Coulghlan scored twice to give bottom side Bray Wanderers a rousing win at the Carlisle Grounds as they ended Derry City’s nine-match unbeaten run.
With Martin Russell, set to be officially unveiled as manager next week, again watching from the dugout, Bray deservedly got their second win of the season to move to within six points of ninth-placed Limerick.
Cory Galvin forcing Derry goalkeeper Ger Doherty to tip over a cross two minutes in set the tone for Bray to have much the better of a dour first half.
The only clear-cut opportunity of the first period fell their way after six minutes.
Central defender Sean Heaney, arriving unmarked at the back post from Kevin Lynch’s corner, contrived to slice his shot back across the area with the goal gaping.
It took the sluggish visitors 31 minutes to register their first attempt on goal. Even at that it came from a speculativelong-range shot by defender Darren Cole that was off target.
Though Derry showed more impetus from the restart, they fell behind right on 60 minutes. Paul O’Conor’s flick from a Kevin Lynch corner was deflected out for a second one.
Skipper Gary McCabe whipped this one in for Coughlan to head home at the near post. It was a lead that lasted just three minutes.
Conor McDermott did well on the right to cut across and pick out Nicky Low who drilled a crisp shot into the bottom corner. Bray kept playing and were rewarded with the winner on 73 minutes.
The lively McCabe dribbled past several defenders before managing to lay the ball off to Dan McKenna. His chip found Coughlan who controlled the ball before shooting low to the net off his right foot. Bray then defended doggedly to the death.
Rhys Gorman cleared off the line from John Cofie on 84 minutes before keeper Evan Moran saved a drive from fellow substitute Ronan Curtis right on the final whistle.
BRAY WANDERERS – Moran; Douglas, Kenna, Heaney, Lynch; Gorman, O’Conor; Kelly (McGovern, 77), McCabe, Galvin (McKenna, 68); Coughlan (Pender, 90).
DERRY CITY – G. Doherty; McDermott, Peers, Cole, Doyle; Rory Hale; McEneff, Low; Ronan Hale (Curtis, 65), Patterson (Cofie, 77), McDonagh (B. Doherty, 65).
REF – J McLoughlin (Roscommon).