Derry City 5, Bray Wanderers 1
TEN MAN Derry City romped to an emphatic victory over struggling Bray Wanderers as Kenny Shiels enjoyed a week of home comforts at the new Brandywell Stadium.
The Candy Stripes have netted 10 goals in two games since returning to the club's traditional base on the Lone Moor Road.
It's been the perfect response to last weekend's 6-1 drubbing against Shamrock Rovers as they recorded a third win of the season and moved into fifth spot , just a single point behind the fourth placed Hoops.
Rory Patterson's deflected shot gave the home side the lead on 15 minutes while Ronan Hale missed a sitter from two yards in a comfortable first half for City.
Nicky Low was handed his marching orders on 55 minutes for a reckless challenge on Darragh Noone just inside the Bray half. But the sending off simply kicked Derry into gear as the goals began to flood in. Bray capitulated after Ronan Curtis' deft lob found the net on 59 minutes for his fourth goal of the season.
Aaron McEneff netted his second goal in five days from the penalty spot before Ronan Hale continued his goalscoring heroics with his fifth goal in three games as he tops the goalscoring charts alongside Graham Burke who netted four against City in Tallaght last Friday night.
Bray defender, Sean Heaney did add a consolation goal when he headed in from a corner, however, new signing, David Hopkirk then scored two minutes after coming off the bench on his debut to complete the rout.
Kenny Shiels unsurprisingly kept faith with the side which defeated Limerick 5-0 last Monday night while new signings, Gavin Peers and Hopkirk made the bench for the first time after recovering from injuries.
The first shot on target arrived on 13 minutes when Derry defender, Jack Doyle delivered long towards the back post and Ronan Hale's well struck volley was safely gathered by Aaron Dillon.
And two minutes later the home side took the lead as Low's shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection off Patterson to send the keeper the wrong way.
The Candy Stripes really should've doubled their lead on 17 minutes as Curtis' shot was parried into the path of Ronan Hale by Dillon but the striker somehow directed his shot wide of the post from two yards!
Bray keeper, Dillon produced a terrific save at full stretch to push McEneff's swerving drive from distance away from danger.
Curtis intercepted a careless pass by Hugh Douglas deep in the Bray half and the striker raced towards goal, cut inside on his right foot but his shot was tipped over the bar by Dillon.
It was a comfortable first 45 minutes for Derry but they could so easily have went in at the interval with a three goal cushion.
Ten minutes after the break Bray broke quickly and Low brought Noone to ground with a high tackle which referee, Damien MacGraith deemed worthy of a straight red card.
When the resultant free-kick broke down, McEneff set Ronan Hale through on goal but his shot was beaten away by Dillon.
Derry added a second just short of the hour mark when Conor McDermott sent Curtis clear and he lobbed the advancing Bray keeper with a deft touch from the edge of the box.
And four minutes later, substitute, Ben Doherty was brought crashing down inside the Bray box by Douglas and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped McEneff who dinked his spotkick cheekily down the middle of the goal to add Derry's third of the night.
Bray totally capitulated after that goal and Ronan Hale added a fourth when he broke clear before rifling in his fifth in three games with a terrific finish into the corner.
Bray pulled one back with 10 minutes to go when Heaney headed Kevin Lynch's corner into the net.
Hopkirk was then introduced from the bench for his debut and within two minutes the former Dunfermline striker found the net as he slotted in Doherty's low cross to complete another memorable night for the home lot.
Following a slow start to the season, the Candy Stripes have now won three and lost three of their opening six league fixtures.
So two home fixtures and City has scored five goals on both occasions to move them into fifth place as the number five proves significant once again in the lead up to next Monday's first anniversary of the death of the late skipper, Ryan McBride who wore the number with such pride.
Derry City: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, D. Cole, E. Toal, J. Doyle; R. Hale, N. Low, Rory Hale (D. Hopkirk 86), R. Curtis; A. McEneff, R. Patterson (B. Doherty 60); Subs Not Used - E. Grimes, D. Kayode, G. Peers, C, Farren, S. Whiteside, N. Logue.
Bray Wanderers: A. Dillon; D, McKenna, H. Douglas, S. Heaney, K. Lynch; R. Coughlan (D. Kelly 78), P. O'Conor, J. Sullivan, C. Galvin (J. Kelly 71); D. Noone, A. Greene (G. Pender 87); Subs Not Used - E. Moran, D. Hayes, R. Gorman, D. Gibbons.
Referee - Damien MacGraith (Mayo)