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EA Sports Cup Report: Bray Wanderers 2 - 3 St. Patrick's Athletic (AET)Mon, May 02 2016
Chips by the seaside saw St. Patrick’s Athletic through to the EA Sports Cup semi-final after Mark Timlin’s superb dinked effort late in the second half of extratime gave the Saints a 3-2 win over Bray Wanderers.
As the sun shown on the pitch in the opening passages of play, St. Pat’s controlled possession but the Seagulls threatened through setpieces with Hugh Douglas’ touch off a low Karl Moore corner blocked just after seven minutes had elapesed.
Douglas nearly got on the end of Sean Harding freekick soon after as the weather took a turn for the worse and the vast travelling support were subjected to hailstones and rain.
It was in the midst of the poor spell of weather that Pat’s had their first chance. Just after the 20 minute mark, Conan Byrne was in the centre of the box when the ball teed up nicely but his volley was blocked away.
He had a similar chance a minute later but a similar outcome was also met as his shot only yielded a corner.
Bray came back into the game through another set piece as Harding sent a freekick into the box. Brendan Clarke did just enough to put off Robbie Creevy from heading home before Moore just about missed with his scissor kick at the far post.
The weather hampered the game after this and it wasn’t until the 36th minute that the Saints created another chance to try and put themselves in front.
After some sustained possession around the Bray box, Lee Desmond floated a cross to the far edge of the area. David Cawley volleyed the ball back into the box before it went out and Darren Dennehy was there to meet it with a downward header. However, the Seagull skipper Conor Kenna was there to clear the ball off the line.
Before the half was out, Bray had one last chance. A long freekick from Peter Cherrie found Ger Pender and he laid the ball off to Moore. The wide player broke into the box, cut back and put a cross into the centre of the area.
Andrew Lewis was there to head down but Clarke stuck out a leg to save before the clearance fell to Connolly, though his follow-up was well blocked.
The second half started at a frantic pace with Dinny Corcoran just missing getting his toe on the end of a Graham Kelly ball across the box before Moore’s looping header needed to well handled by Clarke.
The Inchicore side were to break the deadlock though soon after as Graham Kelly once again created an opening by driving at the defence with the ball.
He slipped Mark Timlin in behind the defenders and his pass across the box was met by Billy Dennehy. Sean Harding valiantly blocked the winger’s shot but the rebound fell kindly and the Pat’s player wasn’t to be denied this time around from two yards out.
They were to be in the lead for just six minutes though as Connolly restored parity. Pender passed straight into the wide man’s feet with the defence at sea and he cut inside once in the area and curled a lovely shot over Clarke and into the net.
Chances for both sides were created as the game livened up with Pender trying quite the lob from far out but the Pat’s goalkeeper was alert to tip the ball over. A one-two with Desmond then saw Billy Dennehy presented with another chance but Cherrie made himself big to block the shot from an acute angle.
Half chances for Pat’s came and went as Kelly and Timlin went close before Billy Dennehy’s freekick forced Cherrie into a save with five minutes remaining. Connolly then fired wide under pressure at the other end as the game was forced into extratime.
The Saints were nearly in the lead again as Timlin headed past Cherrie soon after the restart but he also headed past the far post. They weren’t to be denied though as substitute Jamie McGrath put them ahead.
Graham Kelly passed out wide to fullback Ger O’Brien and his cross right into the middle of the Bray box saw McGrath rise highest and head home with six minutes of extratime gone.
Pender had two half chances to get Bray level once more but a quick start in the second half saw just that.
Darragh Noone broke into the box after a one-two and put one across the face of the goal. Defenders and attackers alike couldn’t get a touch as it made its way to Gareth McDonagh at the far post, who slammed the ball home.
Yet it was Timlin would have the last say in the game as he got the ball out wide on the left hand side. He flicked his head up before chipping the ball towards goal. Cherrie scrambled back but it was too late as the ball pinged off the far post and into the goal.
Jason Marks had a shot afterwards but it went wide of the goal as McGrath also shot straight at Cherrie in the closing stages as Pats secured passage into the semi-finals.
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Alan McNally, Conor Kenna, Sean Harding (Jason Marks 91); Karl Moore Robbie Creevy, Mark Salmon (Darragh Noone 76), Dylan Connolly; Ger Pender, Andrew Lewis (Gareth McDonagh 60).
Subs not used: Sean Noble, Curtis Murphy, Conor Earley, Aaron Shanahan.
Booked: Ger Pender, Hugh Douglas
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Sean Hoare, Darren Dennehy, Lee Desmond; David Cawley, Graham Kelly; Mark Timlin; Conan Byrne (Jamie McGrath 72), Dinny Corcoran (Keith Treacy 86), Billy Dennehy.
Subs not used: Rory Feely, Shane McEleney, Sam Verdon, Michael Barker, Pat Jennings.
Booked: Ger O’Brien
Referee: Ben Connolly
Attendance: 700 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Graham Kelly (St. Pat’s)