Late Fagan goal sees off spirited Limerick
St Patrick's Athletic 2 Limerick 0
St Patrick’s Athletic dominant second-half display helped them claim a comfortable 2-0 win in their FAI Cup last-16 clash at Richmond Park last night.
Pat’s opened the scoring through Conan Byrne after his shot took a deflection off Limerick defender Robbie Williams three minutes before half-time.
Their second finally arrived on 77 minutes with Christy Fagan heading home after a dominant second-half display from Liam Buckley’s side.
The visitors took the game to their top-flight opponents to begin with.
Limerick had the first real chance of the match after four minutes, but Lee Lynch’s shot from outside the Pat’s box flew over the crossbar.
The previously undefeated visitors, enjoying a runaway lead at the top of the First Division, certainly did not look of their depth against the Saints, but they failed to take advantage of some good possession before the tide eventually turned.
Pat’s had a decent penalty shout on 26 minutes when Jamie McGrath was taken down by Williams. Referee Tom Connolly opted against awarding a spot-kick, but McGrath admirably rose straight to his feet, centring the ball for Fagan, whose shot hit the bar before Limerick cleared it.
The hosts had been slightly sloppy up to this point, but they were gradually wresting control of the game.
The opener came on 42 minutes as Keith Treacy pinged a ball towards Byrne, who worked his way into the box before letting off a shot that took deflection off Williams past keeper Freddy Hall.
Pat’s nearly went two up soon afterwards, but Ger O’Brien’s curling effort from outside the box in injury-time was punched over by Hall.
Saints again come close to doubling their lead seconds after the break as Fagan’s shot was blocked after good work from Ian Bermingham, while Byrne’s blast from outside the box was touched over by Hall five minutes later.
It was pretty much all Pat’s at this stage, with Fagan and Byrne creating regular openings, while their defence was well marshalled by Seán Hoare.
Mark Timlin tested Hall again after a mazy run on 69 minutes before a long-range shot from Saints sub Graham Kelly tested the keeper.
Hall was helpless to stop the Saints second, however, as Fagan pounced after 77 minutes after Hoare had headed on Timlin’s corner towards the striker.
St Patrick’s Athletic – B Clarke; G O’Brien (c), D Dennehy, S Hoare, I Bermingham; C Byrne, L Desmond, K Treacy (G Kelly ht), M Timlin (D Markey 90), J McGrath (S Kinsella 86); C Fagan.
Limerick – F Hall; S Kelly, Paudie O’Connor, R Williams, S Tracy (G Coughlan 86), S Kenny (S Russell 63); Paul O’Conor, S Duggan (c) , A Greene; L Lynch; C Mulhall (J O’Flynn 63).
REF – T Connolly (Dublin)