Leinster Senior Cup Report: Bray Wanderers 0 - 4 St Patrick's AthleticWed, Feb 01 2017
St Patrick's Athletic booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Leinster Senior Cup thanks a blistering first-half display that saw them beat Bray Wanderers 4-0 at the Carlisle Grounds.
Striker Christy Fagan scored twice in between goals from full-back Ian Bermingham and tricky teenager Alex O'Hanlon as Liam Buckley's side were simply superior in every aspect of their game.
Another teenager, midfielder JJ Lunney, was at the heart of everything positive in the Inchicore side's play, while centre-half Gavin Peers was imperious before being substituted with a minor knock.
The visitors took control of proceedings from the first whistle as Harry Kenny's side uncharacteristically sat off, allowing Barry Murphy and Gavin Peers to dictate the tempo from deep.
Nevertheless, it was Bray who created the first chance of the game as Conor Kenna got his head to a Karl Moore corner, but he couldn't steer it on target as Murphy waved it harmlessly behind.
Bray had a scare of their own when an errant Peter Cherrie clearance went straight to Alex O'Hanlon, and the Scot was relieved the young attacker wasn't able to dig the ball out from under his feet.
There was to be no relief two minutes later when, following good work from Lunney, Fagan teed up Bermingham at the corner of the penalty area and his low drive beat Cherrie and trickled in off the far post.
Four minutes later, the Saints doubled their lead when Conan Byrne was afforded too much room down the right by Kevin Lynch, and his drilled cross was wonderfully controlled into the roof of the net by Fagan.
Bray should have pulled one big just before the midway point in the first half as Lynch's corner was somehow allowed to bounce on the six-yard line and John Sullivan seemed certain to score only to see a red leg block his effort.
During a purple patch for the Seagulls, Dylan Connolly for once freed himself of Michael Barker's attentions and crossed for Ger Pender, but Gavin Peers got just enough on the ball to ensure it fell favourably for Murphy.
A long-range effort from Keith Buckley – the only new signing in Harry Kenny's starting eleven – had Murphy scrambling to tip wide.
And from the resulting delivery from Moore, Pender flicked out a leg to divert the ball on goal with pace, but Murphy again denied Bray with a sharp reflex save.
Moments later, it was three as Pats broke upfield and Fagan found himself one-on-one with Lynch on the edge of the box, took one step to his right and drilled the ball under Cherrie's body.
And the Dubliner immediately had a chance to secure his hat-trick with less than 40 minutes on the clock as he flashed another shot over the bar from the edge of the box before Peers hurt his ankle attempting to trip the speedy Connolly.
The break did nothing to halt Pats' momentum, and O'Hanlon made it four seven minutes into the second half after Fagan cut out Kevin Lynch's defensive pass and unselfishly teed up the former Liverpool trainee.
Fagan had another chance to seal his hat-trick before he was withdrawn as he took Billy Dennehy's pass and strode into the box, but Conor Kenna got across to block his shot.
Another Bray corner was allowed bounce in the Pats box without being attacked by a defender, and again Sullivan was on hand, and he was unlucky this time to see his half-volley strike the crossbar.
Murphy did well to react and tip a Hugh Douglas header over the bar and got down to stop a Ryan Brennan, while Michael Barker might have made it five had his cross-shot not been clawed out of the top corner by Cherrie.
Liam Buckley's Saints have now recorded 5-0 and 4-0 victories in their two pre-season games to date as his squad looks sharp and fit, while Bray clearly have a lot more work to do before these sides meet again in the league opener three weeks time from now.
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Tim Clancy (Derek Foran 53), Conor Kenna, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan, Keith Buckley, Darragh Noone (Ryan Brennan 59), Karl Moore, Dylan Connolly; Ger Pender (Anthony Flood 72).
Subs not used: Ryan Brown (gk), Mark Salmon, Gary McCabe, Aaron Greene.
St Patrick's Athletic: Barry Murphy; Michael Barker, Gavin Peers (Rory Feely 45), Darren Dennehy, Ian Bermingham; Pat Cregg, JJ Lunney, Conan Byrne, Billy Dennehy, Alex O'Hanlon (Graham Kelly 64); Christy Fagan (Kurtis Byrne 64).
Subs not used: Conor O'Malley (gk), Lee Desmond, Sam Verdon, Aidan Keena.
Booked: Gavin Peers (40), Michael Barker (83).
Attendance: 250 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: JJ Lunney (St Patrick's Athletic).