John Sullivan scored a last gasp winner to earn relegated Bray Wanderers their first points in 10 games after home goalkeeper Evan Moran excelled to frustrate Derry City in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the Carlisle Grounds.
With referee Neil Doyle’s watch in the 95th minute, Derry keeper Eric Grimes failed to gather Jake Kelly’s corner.
Midfielder Sullivan reacted superbly to head the loose ball into the net.
It was Gary Cronin’s first win as Bray manager and heaps further pressure on Derry boss Kenny Shiels’ whose side have lost seven of their last eight league games.
There was late drama in the Carlisle Grounds as @BrayWanderers ended their three-month losing run to put more pressure on Kenny Shiels at @DerryCityfc. @sullo11 popped up late on #SoccerRepublic @sseairtricitylg pic.twitter.com/Ral1LyIUcy— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) October 23, 2018
Shiels side did enjoyed plenty of the ball early on with a linesman’s flag denying them a 13th minute lead.
Shane McNamee’s shot cannoned down off the under side of the crossbar with Darren Cole’s header to the net from the rebound promptly ruled out for offside.
But there was nothing wrong with Derry’s lead goal two minutes later.
Aidy Delap linked with Republic of Ireland under-21 international Ronan Hale on the right. The cross found Dean Shiels who took a touch before driving his shot past Evan Moran.
A remarkable goal-line clearance prevented an equaliser on 22 minutes, Derry midfielder Jamie McDonagh somehow heading off the line from Bray’s 17-year-old striker Jake Ellis.
Four minutes later a resurgent Bray were deservedly level.
Left-back Kevin Lynch’s diagonal free kick into the area was met by central defender Sean Heaney, whose header found the corner of the net with Grimes rooted to the spot.
Despite Bray having plenty of the ball for the remainder of the half, they needed Moran to excel five minutes before the break to prevent Derry regaining the lead.
A surging run from the back by Derry captain Eoin Toal opened Bray up, the central defender playing Ronan Hale in to bring a parry from Moran.
The Bray keeper got quickly back to his feet to save again from McNamee’s follow-up.
Home midfielder Paul O’Conor also had to come to his side’s rescue in the final minute of the half when turning Ronan Hale’s shot out for a corner.
In a slow burner of a second half, Derry were again denied regaining the lead on 65 minutes.
Shiels’ sublime through ball put winger Ally Roy in on goal. Once more Moran stood up well to make a terrific save with his body.
The inspired Moran would deny Derry yet again on 76 minutes.
Aaron Splaine and Roy worked the ball through for Ronan Hale whose low shot was saved by the feet of Moran.
Derry substitute Aaron McEneff drilled a shot narrowly wide on 80 minutes before the stoppage time drama brought long awaited joy to the Seagulls.
Grimes did well to tip over a free kick from Sean Harding before Sullivan would score from the resulting corner.
Bray Wanderers: Evan Moran; Cian Walsh, Conor Kenna, Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch (Jamie Crilly 65); Sean Harding, Paul O’Conor, John Sullivan, Darragh Noone (Rhys Gorman 80); Ger Pender, Jake Ellis (Jake Kelly 84).
Derry City: Eric Grimes; Jamie McDonagh, Eoin Toal, Darren Cole, Kevin McHattie; Aidy Delap (Aaron McEneff 61), Aaron Spillane, Dean Shiels (Rory Hale 67), Ally Roy; Shane McNamee (Ben Fisk 61); Ronan Hale.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).