- UCL Grp E
- UCL Grp F
- FAI QF
- UCL Grp E
- UCL Grp F
- UCL Grp G
- UCL Grp G
- UCL Grp H
- UCL Grp H
St Patrick's Athletic are off the mark for the season following a deserved 2-1 win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
The action was confined to the first 20 minutes as the visitors raced into a two-goal lead through Conan Byrne after 70 seconds and a second from the returning Christy Fagan.
Bray – who wore their blue away kit due to an appparent dispute with their kit supplier – pulled one back against the run of play through Gary McCabe but rarely looked like getting anything from the game.
The home side were unchanged from the side that held Dundalk to a scoreless draw on day one, while Pats welcomed back Fagan after he missed the defeat to Cork City with illness.
A heathly visiting support thronged outside the stadium in the hour before kick-off, and hundreds were still outside when referee Graham Kelly sounded the opening whistle.
And they remained on the outside as Pats took a quickfire lead with just over a minute on the clock, though few will have been surprised by the source of the goal.
Byrne scored an equaliser 45 seconds into the second half of last week's game with Cork, and he needed only slightly longer from whistle to whistle in order to register his second of the campaign.
Owen Garvan floated in a free kick from the right and the ball dropped kindly for the winger, who had far too much time to steady himself and send a side-footed volley looping over Aaron Dillon.
The on-loan Blackburn Rovers keeper will have been annoyed he didn't do more to position himself prevent the goal, but there's little doubt it was an intentional lob from Byrne.
Byrne had a chance to double his tally when he found himself in space on the right-hand side of the box, but Kevin Lynch did well to deflect the shot past the post.
It was brief respite, however, as Dean Clarke was allowed run from his own half and past a half-hearted challenge by Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Dan McKenna.
The former Limerick man showed poise to take the ball to the endline and pick out Christy Fagan on the edge of the six-yard box, and the striker made no mistake as he stuck his shot under Dillon.
Bray equalised against the run of play and it was down to a moment of invention from Aaron Greene – who had been isolated on his own up top – to tee up McCabe.
Greene broke into the box and dragged the defence across to the left before rolling the ball into space for McCabe, who finished with style into the top corner.
The visitors should have restored their two-goal lead on the half hour as Bray made a mess of Garvan's corner and the ball fell to Lee Desmond.
The defender had to dig the ball out from under his feet and his effort lacked power, and the ball broke to Fagan, who is normally deadly from close range but saw his shot blocked on the line.
Graham Kelly headed Byrne's cross wide of the post before the same player burst into the box to tee up Fagan, but again the striker couldn't generate the power required on his left foot.
The Seagulls enjoyed a purple patch as the half drew to a close with more possession in the final third.
Ronan Coughlan saw his shot cleared off the line by Desmond in the dying moments of the half and Pats took a deserved lead to the break.
After an event-filled opening half, the second half never really got going. Bray had more of the ball but didn't show the ambition to break down a comfortable Pats side.
Fagan was withdrawn six minutes into the second half and replaced by debutant Jake Keegan, and the American almost set up Byrne for a clincher 13 minutes from time.
A deft first-time pass showed the winger through on goal, but full-back Kevin Lynch did brilliantly to get his body in the way and forced Byrne to scuff his shot.
Byrne had another chance to seal the three points five minutes from time as he strode in off the right, controlled a bouncing ball and sent a right-footed volley past the post with Dillon beaten.
Bray Wanderers: Aaron Dillon; Dan McKenna, Hugh Douglas, Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan, Paul O'Conor (Daniel Kelly 77), Gary McCabe; Ronan Coughlan, Corey Galvin (Jake Kelly 62), Aaron Greene.
Subs not used: Evan Moran (gk), Rhys Gorman, Calvin Rogers, Darragh Noone, Ger Pender.
Booked: Aaron Greene (50).
St Patrick's Athletic: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Graham Kelly, Owen Garvan, Ryan Brennan; Conan Byrne, Dean Clarke, Christy Fagan (Jake Keegan 51).
Subs not used: Brian Maher (gk), Michael Barker, Jamie Lennon, Darragh Markey, James Doona, Ian Turner.
Booked: Owen Garvan (27).
Referee: Graham Kelly.
Attendance: 1,300 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Graham Kelly (St Patrick's Athletic).