Derry City edged to a 3-2 win in the Carlisle Grounds, doing the hard work during a first half which was played in atrocious conditions, with driving rain and a stiff breeze favouring them slightly more than it did Bray Wanderers in the second.

Derry dominated the early part of the first period, and duly went ahead just before the quarter hour when Simon Madden's cross was flicked neatly on by Rory Patterson and poked past Darren Quigley by Pat McEleney.

A little against the run of play, the home side drew level with a well-judged set-piece shortly after the half-hour, Ismahil Akinade steering a flag-kick from Kieran "Marty" Waters home after Ger Doherty had produced a quality save to deny Dave Webster's powerful 20m shot from a short Gary Dempsey free.

But Rory Patterson popped up to deliver a half-time lead for the Candystripes from Barry McNamee's cross, deep in time added, after Quigley had struggled with a Derry free, parrying weakly into Patterson's path, though the Derry man failed to connect..

And the same player extended the visitors' lead six minutes into the second period, given the easiest of tasks by Paddy Kavanagh's low cross into the crowded area.

The Seagulls won one back six minutes after that, Dean Zambra's flag-kick ricocheting into the net off the back of a Derry defender.

That was to be as good as it got for the home side, despite a number of late challenges, and a run by Jason Byrne to make a deep cross which Doherty smothered safely.

With St Patricks Athletic dropping points in in Oriel Park, the win sees the Candystripes move to within three points of the league leaders and with a game in hand they'll go into the mid-season break very satisfied.

Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; Daire Doyle, David Webster, Shane O'Connor, Conor Earley; Ismahil Akinade, Dean Zambra, Gary Dempsey, Kieran Waters; John Mulroy; Jason Byrne

Subs: Kevin Knight (for Akinade 58), Danny O'Connor, Adam Mitchell, Kevin O'Connor (for Doyle 85), Peter Thomas, Seán olmes, Seán Hurley

Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney, Barry McNamee; Patrick Kavanagh, Kevin Deery, Ruaidhri Higgins, Michael Duffy; Rory Patterson, Patrick McEleney

Subs: Stewart Greacen (for McBride H/T), Mark Griffin, Michael Rafter (for P McEleney 93), Seán Houston (for Duffy 67), James Gallagher (gk), Ryan Curran, Raymond Foy