Sligo Rovers’ recent struggles on the road continued as they dropped two further points following their scoreless draw with Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
However, with Derry City experiencing their own difficulties at the Brandywell against UCD, the point garnered here may be something that the league leaders may cherish as the season advances.
Both sides arrived into this evening’s encounter buoyed by encouraging results last Monday with the visitors having regained top spot following their 3-0 win over Derry City, while Bray received a morale boosting 2-1 victory over Shelbourne at Tolka Park.
That mood of confidence was reflected in a lively opening period and the visitors could well have taken the lead in the seventh minute but David Cawley shot wastefully wide from 14 yards after Aaron Greene had flicked on an Iarfhlaith Davoren throw-in.
Sligo continued to dominate possession but they had to remain patient against an initially well-organised Bray defence, although Lee Lynch found sufficient space to drive a well-struck shot that Darren Quigley gathered comfortably in the 17th minute.
That pressure was maintained as Greene was inches away from a Ross Gaynor cross in the 21st minute but the chances dried up from that juncture with the hosts looking increasingly comfortable with their defensive task at hand.
At the opposite end, there were few highlights to speak of with Ismahil Akinade slicing wide in the 39th minute after making room for himself at the edge of the penalty area.
The half petered out from that point with Wanderers forced to make a change in the appropriately named injury-time as Eoin Hyland suffered a hand injury and was replaced by Daire Doyle.
The contest resumed with Bray immediately on the front foot and a classy flick by Jason Byrne teed up Dean Zambra who dragged his shot wide from eighteen yards when under little pressure.
The hosts were then fortunate not to concede as Joseph Ndo freed Gaynor down the right flank and his inswinging delivery was narrowly headed over the crossbar by Lynch in the 54th minute.
With both Anthony Elding and Raffaele Cretaro introduced as the half progressed, Sligo continued to show the greater threat and Cretaro saw a goalbound attempt blocked by the impressive David Webster.
Bray’s defending was becoming increasingly last-ditch and they were indebted to the good positioning of Doyle who was in the right place at the right time to deflect Greene’s ten-yard shot away to safety in the 78th minute.
The late pressure that Sligo placed on their opponents was progressively desperate and it was little surprise that the hosts comfortably repelled Rovers, claiming a precious and deserved point in the process.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; Eoin Hyland (Daire Doyle 45), David Webster, Shane O’Connor, Conor Earley; Ismahil Akinade, Gary Dempsey, Dean Zambra, Kieran Marty Waters; Jason Byrne (Sean Hurley 90), John Mulroy.
Subs not used: Paul Malone, Peter Thomas, Danny Joyce, Adam Cox, Sean Holmes.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Evan McMillan, Iarfhlaith Davoren (Raffaele Cretaro 66); Pacal Millien (Anthony Elding 56), Joseph Ndo, David Cawley, Lee Lynch, Ross Gaynor; Aaron Greene.
Subs not used: Danny Ventre, Adam Murphy, Liam Martin, Jeff Henderson, Kieran Djilali.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).
Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on MNS from 7pm on Monday 13 May on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).