An impressive second-half performance, and a Pat Hoban goal, was enough for Dundalk to earn all three points with a 1-0 win at The Carlisle Grounds and continue their impressive early season away form.
The first half had been a particularly dull affair with little for either keeper to worry about, although more of the chances, such as they were, fell to the visitors.
Mid-way through the half Tiarnan Mulvenna failed to read Pat Hoban’s knock down at the edge of the box, in a move that summed up the lack of fluency of the first 45 minutes.
At the other end, John Mulroy’s 34th minute shot from about 25 yards was perhaps Bray’s best effort but it screamed narrowly past the angle of post and bar.
Stephen Kenny rang the changes at half time, with Darrren Meenan and Kurtis Byrne replacing John Dillon and Tiarnan Mulvenna respectively, and one of those changes had an immediate effect.
Meenan’s corner from the Dundalk left in the 51st minute was met by Patrick Hoban, and his header from about four yards gave Darren Quigley no chance in the Bray goal.
The goal seemed to settle the away side, and from then on it was mainly one way traffic.
Hoban continued to look dangerous and good work from Ward in particular in the Dundalk midfield kept the visitors in control without extending their lead.
With just one goal to show for their dominance, there was always the danger Bray could nick something, and they came close when substitute Ismahil Akinade toe-poked Kieran Marty Water’s corner goalward on 78 minutes.
Peter Cherrie fumbled the effort, but recovered sufficiently to keep Wanderers at bay.
Five minutes later David Webster came forward to take a free for Bray 22 yards out but blasted his shot high over the Dundalk goal.
And so one proved enough for Dundalk to take the spoils and continue their impressive form on the road.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley, David Webster, Kevin Knight (Shane O’Neill 71), Gary Dempsey, Jason Byrne (Ismahil Akinade 67), Kieran Marty Waters, Conor Early, Eoin Hyland, John Mulroy (Daire Doyle 84) , Dean Zambra, Paul Malone.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie, John Sullivan, Andy Boyle, Stephen O’Donnell, John Dillon (Darren Meenan HT), Keith Ward, Dane Massey, Tiarnan Mulvane (Kurtis Byrne HT), Richie Towell, Mark Rossiter, Patrick Hoban (Vinnie Faherty 78).
Referee: D McKeon
Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on MNS from 7pm on Monday 6 May on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).