Masterful Miele proves too sharp for Bluebell
Shamrock Rovers 4 Bluebell United 2 FAI Cup Quarter-Final
Brandon Miele scored a sublime hat-trick at Tallaght Stadium last night to end non-league Bluebell United's interest in the FAI Cup.
The Rovers midfielder also provided an assist against his former club to ease the Hoops into Monday night's draw for the semi-finals.
Despite an energetic start with Simon Madden, Aaron Bolger and Trevor Clarke shooting off target, Rovers were given a scare six minutes in.
Bluebell's Gary Seery did well on the right to pick out the unmarked Aaron Robinson who planted his shot from the edge of the area straight at Tomer Chencinski.
Passing the ball well in stretching their opponents, Rovers remained patient and orchestrated their lead on 21 minutes following a third corner.
The impressive Cameron King, on his full debut, set up Miele who struck a delightful right-footed shot to the far corner of the net.
Far from laying down, Bluebell hit back to level when catching Rovers cold at the back two minutes later.
Dean Ebbe's ball in from the left wasn't dealt with and right winger Seery arrived ahead of Trevor Clarke to flick the ball past Chencinski.
Rovers regained command with Michael O'Connor and Ryan Connolly off target before Bluebell goalkeeper Andy McNulty had to tip Rovers skipper David McAllister's deflected shot on to the bar and out for a corner on 36 minutes.
Four minutes later McNulty was left rooted to the spot as Rovers regained the lead.
Miele again displayed his quality in taking a pass back from Connolly on the left before nonchalantly dipping a shot from outside the area to the far corner.
The game looked all but up for Bluebell seven minutes into the second half when Rovers extended their lead following a terrific move.
O'Connor, Madden and Miele combined to pick out Connolly in the area who turned and stroked a left-footed shot to the bottom corner for a delightful team goal.
Bluebell did hit back on 71 minutes to score a second goal against the run of play.
Substitute Richard O'Hanlon whipped in a low cross from the right for Shane Stritch to stretch and toe the ball past Chencinski.
It got no better for Bluebell, though, as captain Tony Griffiths was sent off four minutes later for a second yellow-card offence for a foul on Madden.
Miele then completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes, shooting low to the net after a surging run into the area by Trevor Clarke set him up.
BLUEBELL UNITED - McNulty; Russell, Flood, Walsh, Quinn; Seery (Keegan, 81), Scully (O'Hanlon, 63), Griffiths, Robinson (Bayly, 59), Ebbe; Stitch.
SHAMROCK ROVERS - Chencinski; Madden, Lopes, Grace, T Clarke; McAllister, Bolger; King (Doona, 69), Connolly (Dillon, 82), Miele; O'Connor (D Clarke, 82).
REF - G Kelly (Cork).