Date: 7:45 p.m. May 29, 2009
Venue: Richmond Park
The home side went ahead just after the half hour as Gareth O’Connor sent a high corner into the box and Dave Partridge rose highest to head the ball past Chris O’Connor to give the home side the lead they had been threatening to take since the off and also claim his first goal for the club.
But despite numerous chances Pats never added to their tally and on 54 minutes they were made to pay as Dave Mulcahy turned up unmarked at the back post to volley home a Dan Massey free kick which overshot the entire Pats defence who remained rooted to their spots as Mulcahy silenced the fervent home support.
But the main talking points of the game were the three dismissals in the second half, the first two coming just on the hour as John Lester and Dave Mulcahy both went for the ball and collided heavily with each other but they rose swinging out of each other and after some handbags they were shown straight red cards. Lester was already carrying a yellow from a previous infringement earlier in the game.
Chris Deans was the third player to be given his marching orders after picking up two yellows in quick succession, the first coming from vigorous protesting as Pats were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box from what looked to have been a perfect tackle and then moments later Deans lead with his studs in a dangerous tackle which gave the ref no option but to card him.
Pats should have opened their account after four minutes when Captain Mark Quigley found himself wide open with the goal at his mercy however his tame effort allowed Chris O’Connor to scramble back and deny the striker.
Ryan Guy and Gareth O’Connor dominated the midfield, but it was the final ball that let Pats down as Gareth Coughlan was the only Bray player making inroads to the Pats defence but time and time again he became isolated and lost possession.
Quigley should have doubled his side’s advantage as on 37 minutes after he regained possession in the middle of the park and raced deep into Bray territory with Kyle Moran wide open on his right screaming for the ball and rather than pass he ran himself into trouble and was disposed.
The second half began as the first ended with Pats dominating and it was very much against the run of play that Bray clawed their way back in, but after their equaliser they became more confident as they sprayed the ball about more liberally.
With all the extra space on the field after the double dismissal St Pats seemed to play more difficult passes rather than the simple flowing game they had utilised in the beginning. Gary McCabe made some excellent tackles dropping back to help out his defenders, Jason Gavin found himself in possession in the Bray box and was about to pull the trigger as McCabe slid in to hack the ball to safety.
The man in black seemed to lose the run of the game handing out several yellow cards for what were innocuous challenges and awarding free kicks for less than nothing as he riled both sets of fans with several erratic decisions.
Either side could have secured a winner in the last five minutes as Darren Forsyth caught Pats on the break and raced 30 yards downfield where he freed Dave O’Neill who rounded the oncoming Gary Rogers and with an open goal O’Neill tapped the ball goal wards where Stephen Maher managed to get back and clear the lines. And then moments later O’Connor saved brilliantly from a Pats shot and the resultant corner was headed just over as the final whistle blew Pats fans will certainly see this as two points dropped.
St Patrick's Athletic: Rogers, Maher, Gavin, Partridge, Ryan, Lester, Lynch (Stevens 85), Guy, O'Connor, Quigley, Moran (Haran 65) Booked: S Maher, J Lester, G O’Connor, M Quigley Dismissed: J Lester
Bray Wanderers: Doyle, Massey, Webster, Mulcahy, Brennan, Kavanagh (Forsyth h/t), Shiels, Kelly (O'Neill 89), Coughlan (Deans 65), McCabe. Booked: D Massey, C Deans, Dismissed: C Deans, D Mulcahy
Referee: M Gough