There was never a hint of a cup giant-killing at Richmond Park as St Patrick’s Athletic booked their place in the last-16 of the FAI Ford Cup thanks to a comfortable 3-0 victory over neighbors Crumlin United on Sunday afternoon.
St Pat’s never really got into their normal rhythm but it was enough to record another 3-0 win over the Leinster Senior League side in the FAI Cup in the space of a little less than 12 months.
St Pat’s wasted little time asserting their 1/4 favourtism with the bookies as they took the lead after only three minutes. Darren Meenan, playing on the left of three front men, found space on the left flank to direct a cross into the box, but it was the touch of Crumlin’s
Derek Griffin that sent the ball looping over David Meehan and into the net for an own goal.
Sensing they could effectively end the tie early on Pat’s had a number of goal chances, with Chisty Fagan threatening four minutes later when he found himself in on goal but he slid his shot wide of the far post.
The Saints weren’t to be denied a quick-fire second, though, when the only surviving Pat’s starter from the same fixture last season; Jake Carroll, made it 2-0 in the 12th minute. Meenan was involved again as it was his pass into Carroll's path which allowed the midfielder to break into the box and he coolly put the ball through the legs of the
Pat’s looked dangerous when on the attack and created numerous half chances in the first 45 minutes, with John Russell coming closest to adding his name to the score sheet when he hit the stanchion at the back of the goal from Ger O’Brien’s pull back on 26 minutes.
Crumlin produced some good approach play at times but the final ball was lacking and their lone front man Ger Rowe looked isolated for large parts of the match. A good chance finally fell Crumlin’s way just before half time, when the ball broke to Darren Forsyth at the edge of the box but his effort flew just over Brendan Clarke's crossbar and into the Shed end of Richmond Park.
That meant Pat’s went in at half-time 2-0 up but they were far from their fluid best. The second period followed the pattern of the first with St Pat’s failing to dominate their non-league opponents and it was Crumlin that threatened first in the second period. Former St Pat’s and Shamrock Rovers striker Gerard Rowe had an opportunity to pull one back when
in on goal but Kenny Browne recovered well to block his effort on 52 minutes.
Half chances came and went for Pat’s without any rise in tempo, and it was substitute Sean O’Connor who should have made it 3-0 when he scuffed his shot at the back post from Jake Kelly's cross after 77 minutes.
Crumlin began to visibly tire in the heat as the half progressed and there was some poor tackling from Crumlin, resulting in three players seeing yellow.
The third goal that the Saints faithful were waiting for arrived with three minutes remaining and it was an individual goal from Jake Kelly. The former Bray man cut in from the left wing, evading a couple of Crumlin defenders and he fired a low shot past Meehan and into the bottom corner.
Crumlin had a chance for a consolation goal in injury time but Carl Forsyth’s crisp effort was well saved by Brendan Clarke. That was the final action and Pat’s manager Liam Buckley will be happy to have his side’s name in the hat for the next round, but they will
have to improve considerably if they are to end their 51 year wait for the FAI Cup.
Crumlin United: David Meehan; Niall Cooney, Derek Griffin, Paul McCabe (Martin Cramer, 63), Paul Connaughton; Ciaran Kenna, Carl Forsyth, James Lee (c) (Carl Redmond 81), Darren Forsyth, Daniel Loughran (Alan McGreal 63); Gerard Rowe.
Subs not used: Mark Roach, Dermot Hennessy, Peter Sherlock.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Kenny Browne, Connor Kenna (c), Ian Bermingham; Greg Bolger, John Russell, Jake Carroll (Jake Kelly 75); Chris Forrester, Christy Fagan (Dean Kelly 59), Darren Meenan (Sean O’Connor 65).
Subs not used: Barry Murphy, Aidan Price, Pat Flynn, Ian Daly.
Referee: Tom Connolly.
Attendance: 600 (estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Jake Carroll.