FAI Cup R3
Date: 7:45 p.m. June 4, 2010
Venue: Oriel Park
Dundalk 0 - 1 St. Patrick’s Athletic
However Cash’s late winner for the Saints was overshadowed by the refereeing performance of Anthony Buttimer. The Cork man brandished two first half red cards to Dundalk’s Ciarán McGuigan and JJ Melligan, and a third red to the Lilywhites centre back Garry Breen.
The game began dramatically as both sides missed gilt-edged chances, the Inchicore side being first to go close in just the second minute. Former Dundalk striker Alex Williams initially saw his free-kick strike the Dundalk wall, but on gathering the loose ball, the striker saw his shot strike the post and bounce clear.
Dundalk created their first chance just minutes later. A free from the left was swung in by the experienced Wayne Hatswell, and after the away side failed to clear the danger, the ball fell for Garry Breen in the six yard box. However the young defender snatched at the loose ball and his effort trickled harmlessly wide of Gary Rogers’ right hand post.
Referee Buttimer showed that he was in no mood to let things go, with Melligan and the Ryan Guy booked for diving at the edge of both penalty areas. However the referee was only just getting into his stride.
Dundalk looked to be the superior passing side in the opening stages, their passing and movement always looked a threat. This was shown as Hatswell and winger Ross Gaynor had shots well blocked by Guy and then Saints skipper Damian Lynch in the 22nd minute.
For Pats, long throw-ins and set-pieces always looked like their greatest chance of creating a goal. Ian Bermingham’s free after 38 minutes found Conor Kenna on the back post, but his pull back to defensive partner Shane Guthrie in the six yard box just evaded his outstretched leg.
However the game dramatically swung in St. Pat’s favour in a crazy two minute spell before half-time. The first of Buttimer’s red cards was for Dundalk full-back Ciarán McGuigan in the 43rd minute, his two footed challenge on Bermingham on the halfway line was deemed to be a straight red card offence. With his two feet raised off the ground, the decision of the referee was understandable. Melligan would soon follow his teammate moments later.
After Dundalk had won a free in a good attacking position seconds, referee Anthony Buttimer was called to the sideline by assistant referee Marc Douglas. After consulting Douglas, he showed Melligan a straight red for what was later found out to be offensive gestures made to the away support. The incident echoed back to Dave Rogers’ red card for his gesture towards Saints fans in the same fixture and the same corner in May of last year.
Reduced to nine men, Dundalk were forced into playing everyone behind the ball. Meanwhile the Saints pushed on for a win by replacing Bermingham with winger Brian Cash and initially, the Dubliners made full use of the two man advantage. Alex Williams narrowly sent a shot wide after a good break and cross from Guy on 49 minutes, while four minutes later, Conor Kenna headed against the crossbar from another Guy cross.
On 57 minutes, Dundalk keeper and skipper Peter Cherrie proved why he’s a fans’ favourite with the home side. After good build-up play by Stuart Byrne and Guy, Saints defender Damian Lynch crossed for Alex Williams. The Scot’s header was destined for the top corner but Cherrie acrobatically tipped the ball wide.
As the game went on, the St. Pat’s struggled to break the home side down and were reduced to long range efforts, while Cherrie remained solid in the home goal sweeping up any loose ball in the penalty area. Even when the Lilywhites keeper was beaten on 83 minutes, the woodwork again came to the rescue of the home side as Ryan Guy’s long range effort struck the post.
However with Dundalk looking like they were set to hold on for a deserved draw, the Saints struck to break the hearts of the home support. Guy’s long throw-in was initially flicked on by Dave Mulcahy and Paul Byrne, and breaking to Cash from just ten yards out, he found the bottom corner of the net.
Dundalk won a late free and threw everyone forward in an attempt to salvage a draw, but after Kenna headed clear for the Saints, the Lilywhites’ Garry Breen kicked out at the Pat’s defender, and Buttimer issued the Dundalk man the third red card of the night. The Corkman then blew the full-time whistle, leaving the field of play under heavy security. But the Saints care little, as they progress to the next round of the competition.
Dundalk: Cherrie(c), McGuigan, Miller, Breen, Hatswell; Melligan, McGowan (Kelly 60), Maher, Cawley, Gaynor; Kudozovic (Mulvenna 84).
Subs not used: Gregg, Murphy, McDonnell, J Breen, Fenn.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Rogers; Lynch(c) (Haverty 91), Guthrie, Kenna, Bermingham (Cash 50); Guy, S Byrne, Mulcahy, D Doyle; Williams (P Byrne 72), Faherty.
Subs not used: Connor, Sinnott, Coughlan.
Extratime Man of the Match: Peter Cherrie.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.