Sunday 26 February 2017

Bennion heroics send Saints through

St Patrick's Ath 1
Shamrock Rovers 1
(Aet: St Pat's win 3-1 on pens) EA Sports Cup Second Round

Chris Bennion celebrates penalty save
Chris Bennion celebrates penalty save

In a penalty shoot-out there's always at least one hero.

Chris Bennion and Evan McMillan shared the honour at Richmond Park yesterday as the St Pat's goalkeeper saved two kicks from the spot and his centre-half scored the decisive one at the end of an otherwise lacklustre encounter.

It took 10 spot-kicks in total to decide the winner, with two of those coming in normal time as both managers opted to field virtually reserve teams.

St Pat's created a few half-chances early on and Pat Flynn spared Ryan Thompson an embarrassment when he cleared the goalkeeper's fumble from a David McMillan flick-on.

Rovers, though, got the best opportunity of the first half when Paddy Kavanagh linked up with Ciaran Kilduff, but Bennion got down to make a good save.

Bennion turned villain on 58 minutes when he upended Kilduff and Dean Kelly's low drive from the penalty spot gave the 'keeper no chance.

Just like he did last Friday against Derry, Danny North rescued the Saints from the spot.

Having been hauled down by substitute Jeff Flood with just a minute remaining, the Grimbsy native dusted himself down and swept home the equaliser.

Stephen Bradley came close for the home side with two free-kicks in extra-time before the penalty kick drama gave the home fans something to shout about.

St Pat's ATH -- Bennion; Harney, E McMillan, Shorthall, Carroll; Stewart, Bradley, O'Brien (McFaul 35), Keegan; D McMillan (North 71), Daly (Flood 71).

Shamrock Rovers -- Thompson; Doyle (Flood 58), Flynn, Gannon, Memery; Byrne (Connolly 99), Corcoran, McCormack, Kavanagh (Satelle 85); Kilduff, Kelly.

REf -- R Rogers (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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