St. Patricks Athletic progressed to the FAI Ford Cup semi-finals after a hard-fought 3-2 win over local rivals Bohemains, following a lively Dublin derby at Richmond Park last night.
Both sides struggled to find their rhythm in the early stages, with little in the way of goal chances for the opening twenty minutes. Derek Pender gave the visiting side the lead somewhat against the run of play, nicking the ball past the onrushing Brendan Clarke following an excellent pass from Kevin Devaney. Their lead was short-lived however, as the Saints took only three minutes to respond, with Christy Fagan getting on the end of a Conan Byrne free kick to head the ball home from close range.
Delaney was kept busy in the Bohemians goal, producing two vital saves before half-time to keep his side in the game. The first stop came shortly after the equalising goal, Mark Quigley played in Keith Fahey, who couldn’t force his shot past Delaney. Quigley was involved in most of St. Pat’s best moves, and nearly gave his side the lead with a brilliant dipping long range strike, which Delaney managed to tip over the bar. At the other end, the in form Dinny Corcoran was unlucky to see a sweetly struck twenty yard volley fire straight into Clarke’s arms.
Pats started the second half much brighter than the first, taking a deserved lead less than five minutes after the restart, as Killian Brennan curled a superb twenty five yard free kick over the wall past a static Delaney.
Liam Buckley’s side continued to pile on the pressure, and Christy Fagan doubled his tally for the night to make it 3-1, squeezing the ball past Delaney after being found in space by Conan Byrne.
Greg Bolger was sent off after being booked twice for two late tackles in the space of five minutes, leaving St. Pats with ten men and over twenty minutes left on the clock.
Brendan Clarke did brilliantly to tip away Eoin Wearen’s deflected low drive from the edge of the box, but was helpless minutes later when Aiden Price headed home for the visitors from a Kevin Devaney corner.
Price’s goal made for a nervy final ten minutes for the home supporters as Bohemians fought hard to find an equaliser, but the Saints defence were a match to everything thrown at them, as St Pats held on to secure the win.
Scorers: Fagan 23, 58, Brennan 48,
Booked: Bogler 62, O’Brien 71, Quigley 78
Sent-off: Bolger 67
BOHEMIANS: Delaney; Beattie, Lopes, Mulcahy, Pender; Price, Moore (Kavanagh 56), Wearen, Devaney; Byrne, Corcoran.
Scorers: Pender 20, Price 81
Booked: Wearen 46
Referee: Neil Doyle