FAI Cup SF
Date: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 19, 2010
Venue: Richmond Park
A goal from Chris Turner seperated the sides in an entertaining game of football, which was somewhat tarnished after the final whistle with supporters from both clubs involved in ugly confrontations, with stewards and Garda assistance needed to quell the violence.
St. Patrick’s Athletic made one change from Sunday’s tie with Damien Lynch replacing Noel Haverty, while Shamrock Rovers started Dessie Baker and Craig Sives in place of Stephen Bradley and the injured James Chambers.
St Pat’s began the game the strongest and their opening chance of the game fell to midfielder Dave McAllister. Rovers left back Enda Stevens, an ex-St. Pat’s players, sliced his attempted clearance and the ball fell to McAllister but his strike was saved by Rovers keeper Alan Mannus. Billy Dennehy had Rovers opening change but Gary Rogers easily saved his long range strike.
Thomas Stewart caused problems all night and he almost created the opening goal after 21 minutes. Steward raced past Derek Pender and Dave McAllister and fired the ball low into the box where Gary Twigg flicked to the back post, but the late arriving Dennehy was unable to steer the ball home.
Ten minutes later, a great run down the left wing saw Dave Mulcahy outpace Pat Flynn before crossing for Guy, but his header was just over the crossbar. Five minutes before half time, St. Pat’s created the best chance of the opening 45 minutes. Danny North powered his way down the right flank, outrunning Aidan Price before delivering a superb low drive across the six-yard-box but the outstretched leg of Ryan Guy couldn’t make contact and the half finished scoreless.
The second period began at an almighty speed. Six minutes in the Gary Rogers produced an astonishing save to keep the score level. Chris Turner headed goalward after a Thomas Stewart cross and Dessie Baker looped his backward header over the head of Rogers, but he somehow manager to claw the ball off the line and away to safety.
Two minutes later came the turning point of the game as Gary Twigg raced clear from Baker’s flick forward. Struggling to keep in touch with the pace of Twigg, St. Pat’s Captain Damien Lynch grabbed a hold of his shirt. Although Twigg did try to continue his run, he was eventually felled just outside the penalty area with a free kick awarded and a straight red card handed out to Lynch. It was slightly harsh on Lynch considering there were a number of defenders surrounding Twigg at the time. The resulting free kick from Baker whistled past the far post with Rogers beaten.
The only goal of the game arrived with twenty minutes remaining. After some excellent build up play, Twigg controlled and laid the ball off to Chris Turner on the edge of the St. Pat’s penalty area, and he struck a crisp low drive across the goal into the bottom left corner past the despairing dive of St. Pat’s keeper Gary Rogers.
From then on it was a case of gung-ho for St. Pat’s as they went in search of an equaliser, which also began to leave gaping holes in the defence of home side. A Vinny Faherty cross saw Dave Mulcahy almost get his head to the ball but Mannus collected easily.
And so the game petered out as Shamrock Rovers held onto a lead and go through to face Sligo Rovers in FAI Cup Final in the Aviva Stadium on November 14th.
The scenes following the game saw Rovers supporters encroach the playing surface which resulted in fights breaking out before order was restored and the pitch was cleared. Missiles and bottles were also thrown in the incident which is sure to take away from what was a very good match.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Rogers; Pender, Lynch, Kenna, Bermingham; McAllister, Doyle (Cash 45+1’), Mulcahy, Byrne (Stewart 81’); Guy, North (Faherty 81’).
Subs not used:Guthrie, Haverty, O’Brien, Hunt.
Sent Off: Lynch
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Flynn (Bradley 80’), Sives, Price, Stevens; Dennehy, Turner, Rice (c), Stewart; Baker (Fenn 87’), Twigg.
Subs not used: Downs, Kavanagh, Jennings, Murphy, Bayly.
Booked: Flynn, Sives, Baker, Stewart.
Referee: Tom Connolly
Man of the Match: Dessie Baker