EA Cup R1
Date: 7:45 p.m. April 4, 2017
Venue: Richmond Park
Att: 300 (est)
TV:

Billy Dennehy 43' -
Scored: 43'




EA Sports Cup Report: St Patrick's Athletic 1 - 0 Bluebell United

Thu, Apr 06 2017

Ryan Coombes grabs the shirt of St Patrick's Athletic's Aidan Keena during their EA Sports Cup first round game. Credit: Laszlo Geczo

Billy Dennehy's header just before half-time proved the matchwinner as St Patrick's Athletic edged their EA Sports Cup first round clash with Bluebell United with the only goal at Richmond Park.

 

The Kerryman stole in between Bluebell centre-halves Brian Cullen and Dean Lawrence to head the game's only goal, though not without a valiant attempt from keeper Andy McNulty to keep it out.

 

The goal was just reward for an opening period where Pats had passed through and probed their Leinster Senior League opposition and created all of the game's clear-cut chances.

 

Andy Noonan's side competed manfully, however, weathering the second-half pressure and creating a few of their own chances in the final 15 when a series of Barry Murphy saves denied them extra time.

 

The home side lined up with a somewhat experimental feel as midfielder Sam Verdon lined up at centre-half while Rory Feely, who would normally occupy that position, was on the right wing.

 

There were a number of familiar faces in the Bluebell line-up, not least former Pats striker Ryan Coombes, while ex-Bohs men Dave Scully and Willie McDonagh anchored the midfield.

 

Initially, however, the experienced pair were outplayed by their comparatively much greener opposite numbers, with Jack Bayly and Darragh Markey starring alongside Graham Kelly in the engine room.

 

Bayly, as the most advanced of the three, was a livewire during the opening period, and he set up the game's opening chance as Rory Feely's strike from the edge of the area was deflected over.

 

What the midfield trio lack in stature was more than made up by wingers Feely and Dennehy, whose ability to get in the box and supporter striker Josh O'Hanlon created untold problems for the visitors.

 

Feely stung McNulty's palsm just before the half-hour as he broke into the box and shot powerfully from a tight angle, before Markey drilled a ball across goal that just evaded Dennehy by inches.

 

And the Saints really should have led shortly after when a quick counter, Pats' first of the game, had Bayly in space on the right and he crossed for O'Hanlon who, with the goal gaping, allowed the ball to hit his standing leg and roll kindly for McNulty.

 

What fortune evaded the home side there seemed to return with interest two minutes from time when Dennehy powered his header at McNulty, who saved, only to see the momentum on the ball carry it across the line.

 

Substitutions and an injury to Lawrence saw a major reshuffle in the Bluebell backline, with only Brian Cullen finishing in the position he started in, but the most effective change saw Shane Stritch introduced as a target man.

 

As Pats went in search of the second goal that would effectively kill the tie, they left room in behind for the physically imposing Stritch to exploit, which he almost did to great effect as he cut inside Kelly, now playing at right-back, and hit a rocket that Murphy did well to hold on to.

 

Scully showed skill and composure to sidestep Markey before unleashing a 30-yard strike down Murphy's throat, before Coombes very nearly nudged his side in front following a mix-up in the Pats defence, only for Lee Desmond to clear on the cover.

 

Bluebell had half-hearted appeals for a penalty as, deep in injury time, Stephen Larkin saw him header clawed off the line, but referee Tom Dempsey deemed it to be the keeper's arm.

 

From the resulting corner, Scully headed wide at the back post and St Patrick's Athletic held on for a deserved win, their third successive victory in all competitions.

 

 

St Patrick's Athletic: Barry Murphy; Michael Barker (Stephen Grogan 46), Sam Verdon, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Graham Kelly, Darragh Markey, Jack Bayly (Alex O'Hanlon 87), Rory Feely, Billy Dennehy; Josh O'Hanlon (Aidan Keena 58).

Subs not used: Conor O'Malley (gk), Ciaran Kelly, Conan Byrne, Kurtis Byrne, Aidan Keena.

Booked: G Kelly (32)

 

Bluebell United: Andy McNulty; Karl Russell, Brian Cullen, Dean Lawrence (Gilmar Mandiangu 66), Tony Keeler (Glen Walsh 58); Dave Scully, William McDonagh (Shane Stritch 58), Tony Griffith, Gareth Cooney, Stephen Larkin; Ryan Coombes.

Subs not used: Sean Gleeson, Gary Seery, Conor O'Brien, Keith Foy.

Booked: None.

 

Referee: Tom Dempsey.

Attendance: 500 (estimate).

Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Jack Bayly (St Patrick's Athletic).

 

 



St. Patrick's Athletic
Barry Murphy
Goalkeeper
Lee Desmond
Defender
Ian Bermingham
Defender
Michael Barker
46'
46Subbed Off: 46'
Defender
Rory Feely
Defender
Billy Dennehy
43Scored: 43'
Midfielder
Jack Bayly
87'
87Subbed Off: 87'
Midfielder
Graham Kelly
32Booked: 32'
Midfielder
Darragh Markey
Midfielder
Josh O'Hanlon
58'
58Subbed Off: 58'
Midfielder
Sam Verdon
Forward

Substitutes
Conan Byrne
Midfield
Kurtis Byrne
Forward
Steven Grogan
46'
46Subbed On: 46'
Midfield
Aidan Keena
58'
58Subbed On: 58'
Forward
Ciaran Kelly
Defender
Alex O'Hanlon
87'
87Subbed On: 87'
Midfield
Conor O'Malley
Goalkeeper
Bluebell United
Andrew McNulty
Goalkeeper
Brian Cullen
Defender
Tony Keeler
Defender 58'
58Subbed Off: 58'
Dean Lawrence
Defender 66'
66Subbed Off: 66'
Karl Russell
Defender
Ryan Coombes
Midfielder
Stephen Larkin
Midfielder
William McDonagh
Midfielder 58'
58Subbed Off: 58'
Gareth Cooney
Forward
Tony Griffiths
Forward
David Scully
Forward

Substitutes
Keith Foy
Midfield
Sean Gleeson
Midfield
Gilmar Mandiangu
Defender
66Subbed On: 66'
66'
Conor O'Brien
Midfield
Gary Seery
Midfield
Shane Stritch
Forward
58Subbed On: 58'
58'
Glen Walsh
Defender
58Subbed On: 58'
58'


Photo Gallery for St. Patrick's Athletic -v- Bluebell United