Two goals from Rory Patterson helped Declan Devine's side record a hard-fought win over the Seagulls, keeping them in contention at the top of the Airtricity Premier Division
Patrick McEleney had given Declan Devine’s side an early lead after a bright start but were soon pegged back by the Seagulls when Ismahil Akinade headed the hosts level shortly after the half-hour mark.
Patterson then restored the visitors' lead in injury time before netting again minutes into the second period and despite Dean Zambra pulling one back, Derry held on for another crucial three points.
With the wind and driving rain at their back, the Foylesiders started with intensity and purpose and very nearly hit the front inside five minutes. Kevin Deery’s fierce strike was spilled by Darren Quigley but Patterson’s follow-up effort struck the upright.
It wasn’t long before the FAI Cup holders made their dominance count as Simon Madden’s cross found its way all the way to McEleney who clinically converted past Quigley.
However, Bray responded well to going behind and found themselves level after a good spell of pressure on the opposition goal. Ger Doherty pulled off a brilliant save to tip Dave Webster’s free kick over the bar but from the resulting corner, Akinade bundled the ball home from a couple of yards.
With the half petering out, the Bray defence went asleep and allowed Barry McNamee far too much space to pick out the unmarked Patterson in the box who needed no second invitation to fire into the corner.
The Seagulls didn’t learn from their mistake as Patterson netted his second and Derry’s third six minutes after the interval as former Seagull Paddy Kavanagh created space to fire a low cross into the box for the clinical frontman to convert.
Bray have shown great fight and determination in recent weeks to force their way up the standings and pulled one back shortly before the hour mark when Zambra’s corner somehow found its way into the net via a deflection.
The hosts, spurred on by a passionate set of supporters, pushed for a leveller in the last quarter but couldn’t muster enough pressure to test a shaky-looking Derry rearguard. Gary Dempsey and Jason Byrne both went close but the Candystripes hung on.
Derry head into the mid-season break just three points behind leaders St Patrick’s Athletic and have a game in hand.