Date: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 22, 2010
Venue: Richmond Park
The opening 15 minutes of the game were not the most entertaining, as a game of ping-pong ensued between both defences. Bray’s Shane O’Neill was the liveliest player on the field, seeing a couple of attempts on goal sailing over and wide.
The Saints then had their first chance of real malice. Ryan Guy ebbed and weaved through the defence, and his pass finds David McAllister who tee’s up an oncoming Gareth O’Connor. O’Connor connected perfectly with the ball, but Gregg in the Bray goal was equal to it.
As the home crowd began to find their voice, St. Pat’s found their rhythm. Guy, who had been causing the Bray defence with the most trouble, set up Danny North for his sixth goal of the season. The striker latched on to Guy’s header in the 26th minute, and very calmly slotted the ball passed an oncoming Matt Gregg.
Seven minutes later, and North had his second. In a similar vein to his first, the former Grimsby front man was on the receiving end of a Vinnie Faherty knock down. With his first touch, North put two goals between the sides, with the inside of his right foot.
The Seagulls were struggling to breakdown the pairing of Conor Kenna and Noel Haverty at the heart of the Saints defence throughout the first 45. Kenna, who was this week named in the Airtricity team of the season, looked in complete control of his line. Daire Doyle did however find some space on the end of a free, but could not connect with his head, and the Saints defence brought their two goal lead in to the dressing rooms at half time.
It was the away side that started the brighter in the second half. Within two minutes, St. Patrick’s Athletic keeper Gary Rogers was forced into making a split second save, as O’Neill’s close range effort couldn’t finds the back of the net.
Saints defender Kenna used his defensive heading ability at the other end of the pitch, when he found himself on the end of O’Connor’s corner. Although he connected well, the opportunity didn’t test the keeper. At this point, Wanderer’s were playing the better football, although they couldn’t convert their possession into goal chances.
As the clock ticked away, there was very much a sense of ‘getting the job done’ in the air. It was evidently an end of season game, as at times both sides were looking tired and unenthused. Vinnie Faherty then leaped above the defence to get his head behind a corner, but his effort was met by Gregg.
Chris Shields then found himself with space in the St. Pat’s penalty box. His tired attempt was deflected out for a corner, which came to nothing. Apart from this, Wanderers had nothing else to offer from an attacking perspective, as the Saints worked towards a victory in their last home match of the season.
And a victory it was, and an important one at that. Although results didn’t favour the Inchicore side on the night, they did what they were asked of, and that was winning. Pete Mahon and his team will be delighted to finish off the season in Richmond Park with a 2-0 victory. Next weekend against Sligo Rovers will be their next and final game of the season, with European qualification still a realistic prospect. For Bray, they can continue their preparation for the play-off, with a home tie against Shamrock Rovers.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers, Derek Pender, Conor Kenna, Noel Haverty, David McAllister, Sean Stewart, David Mulcahy (James O’Brien, 77), Gareth O’Connor, Ryan Guy (Brian Cash, 88), Danny North, Vinnie Faherty.
Subs not used: Stuart Byrne, Paul Byrne, Chris Bennion
Bray Wanderers: Matt Gregg, David Webster, Daire Doyle (Graham Kelly, 66), Adam Mitchell, Nicky Byrne, Gary Dempsey, Colm Tresson, Danny O’Connor (Richie Baker, 75), Ian Tuohy, Chris Shields, Shane O’Neill (Jake Kelly, 79)
Subs not used: David Tyrell, Robert Lambert.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Danny North, Scored the two goals for the Saints tonight.
Referee: Dave McKeon
Attendance: 800 (Estimate) .