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Fagan on double as Pat's flex muscles

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Dean Zambra, Bray Wanderers, in action against Christy Fagan, St. Patrick’s Athletic.

Dean Zambra, Bray Wanderers, in action against Christy Fagan, St. Patrick’s Athletic.

Dean Zambra, Bray Wanderers, in action against Christy Fagan, St. Patrick’s Athletic.

CHRIS FAGAN (pictured) netted a first-half double as St Patrick's Athletic comfortably dealt with the threat of Bray Wanderers to maintain their position at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division.

Liam Buckley's side never looked troubled by Bray and dominated the game from start to finish, with the Seasiders relying on rare counter-attacks to relieve the pressure.

The Saints hit the front on seven minutes following good work in midfield by Chris Forrester, who played in Ian Bermingham. The full-back supplied a killer cross for Fagan to tap home from close range.

Pat's nearly doubled their lead on 24 minutes when a cross from Conan Byrne was met powerfully by Shane McFaul who saw his header rebound off the crossbar.

A deserved second for the home side arrived five minutes later as Ger O'Brien skipped past Kevin Knight on the right wing to cross for Fagan who made no mistake from five yards out.

Bray striker Jason Byrne should have reduced the arrears in the 40th minute but his shot was tamely struck and Saints keeper Brendan Clarke saved comfortably.

St Pat's maintained their dominance after the restart with John Russell and Forrester both going close in the opening minutes.

Byrne very nearly got Bray back into the game in the 53rd minute but Clarke was equal to the veteran striker's deft volley.

The vistors, however, offered little going forward and the Saints went close to increasing their lead with Byrne and Forrester going close.

Fagan's last act was to supply Byrne with a cross, but the winger's header looped just over.

The striker made way for Anto Flood in the 78th minute as Liam Buckley's side sought to close out the game as they turn their attentions to Thursday's Europa League clash with Zalgiris in Lithuania.

Bray's frustrations boiled over late on as full-back David Webster was sent off by referee Alan Kelly for a second bookable offence, following a challenge on Saints substitute Stephen Maher.


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