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FAI Senior Cup quarter-final

Premier Division Pat’s end Wexford’s run

Underdogs unable to capitalise after hosts reduced to ten men at early stage

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17 September 2021; Lorcan Fitzgerald of Wexford in action against Matty Smith of St Patrick's Athletic during the extra.ie FAI Cup Quarter-Final match between St Patrick's Athletic and Wexford at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

17 September 2021; Lorcan Fitzgerald of Wexford in action against Matty Smith of St Patrick's Athletic during the extra.ie FAI Cup Quarter-Final match between St Patrick's Athletic and Wexford at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

17 September 2021; Jack Moylan of Wexford in action against Paddy Barrett of St Patrick's Athletic during the extra.ie FAI Cup Quarter-Final match between St Patrick's Athletic and Wexford at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

17 September 2021; Jack Moylan of Wexford in action against Paddy Barrett of St Patrick's Athletic during the extra.ie FAI Cup Quarter-Final match between St Patrick's Athletic and Wexford at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

17 September 2021; Wexford players, lead by Karl Fitzsimons, remonstrate a decision from referee Derek Michael Tomney during the extra.ie FAI Cup Quarter-Final match between St Patrick's Athletic and Wexford at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

17 September 2021; Wexford players, lead by Karl Fitzsimons, remonstrate a decision from referee Derek Michael Tomney during the extra.ie FAI Cup Quarter-Final match between St Patrick's Athletic and Wexford at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

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17 September 2021; Lorcan Fitzgerald of Wexford in action against Matty Smith of St Patrick's Athletic during the extra.ie FAI Cup Quarter-Final match between St Patrick's Athletic and Wexford at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

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ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 3

WEXFORD FC 0

PREMIER DIVISION title contenders St. Patrick’s Athletic proved a hurdle too high for Wexford FC on Friday as the Ferrycarrig Park side exited the FAI Senior Cup at the quarter-final stage in Richmond Park.
Ian Ryan’s side came into the game as 22/1 underdogs but had real hope of a shock when Sam Bone received a straight red card after just seven minutes for a foul on Jack Moylan. However, Wexford lost Conor Crowley to a second yellow card offence before half-time, all but ending the fairytale potential.
Still, it was a respectable, battling effort against the Premier Division high-flyers for Wexford, as they had their opportunities but when playing against a top side they had to be taken. Too many strikes from promising positions missed the target and Pat’s managed the game professionally after the dismissal.
Wexford set out their stall to defend deep and counter, with Jack Moylan very much a lone front man. Kyle Robinson was unable to play because of the details of his loan agreement and he may have started with Moylan deeper, but the visitors weren’t exactly unsuited to their imposed line-up.
Things were going as anticipated for the first few minutes, with their back three bolstered by deeper than usual full-backs Thomas Considine and Paul Fox. Wexford were soaking up the pressure as Pat’s looked to find a weak spot to pick their way through the low block.
However, a long ball forward sent Moylan away and there was a coming together with Bone. Frankly, it was a soft red card, as the Wexford attacker got the wrong side of Bone but he was attacking a bouncing, difficult ball to get under control.
The Pat’s defender went into the back of Moylan, who was to the left of goal and a good 40 yards out. The red card came out as Bone was the last man denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, but there was a lot to do to get into goalscoring position and had the shoe been on the other foot Wexford would have been furious.
The red card gave Wexford renewed hope but also a decision to make - do they stick or twist? They eventually twisted slightly as Karl Fitzsimons got into a more attacking position, by design or by chance, although this did give Pat’s a little more space to pick their passes.
The game didn’t change massively, as Wexford had more of the ball but St. Pat’s still had their fair share and never lost control. Paul Cleary headed Lorcan Fitzgerald’s free-kick wide after the dismissal, and Fitzsimons fired off target from the edge of the area.
Wexford got away with one when Considine misplaced a defensive pass, Matty Smith nipped in and went down under contact from Kevin McEvoy. There was nothing doing as the home crowd roared their disapproval.
Conor Crowley dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box in the 21st minute. Fox was clearly bundled over from behind, and didn’t get a free-kick, but Wexford survived the resulting corner.
At the other end he did win a free-kick in the 32nd minute but Fitzgerald’s strike was held by Vitezslav Jaros.
St. Patrick’s took the lead in the 34th minute and it was a little too easy. Billy King slipped Darragh Burns into the clear and he slotted low under Jimmy Corcoran. The Wexford stopper got a touch on it but not enough to keep it out.
The pressure on referee Derek Tomney was showing in the soft yellow cards being flashed in Wexford’s direction. Moylan almost got one for two nothing fouls before the yellows came for Conor Crowley for his first foul and then Paul Fox for reacting to a flashpoint in midfield that St. Pat’s escaped from without punishment.
When Crowley slid in, vigorously but winning the ball in the 40th minute, Tomney reached for his book and produced the second yellow. There was an inevitable feel about it.
There should have been a realisation for Wexford that they were walking a tightrope and staying on your feet would have been advisable, but it’s tough to take measured aggression out of the game just because of a referee’s frame of mind.
In all Tomney was poor; not for one team or the other, his whole performance was poor. In fact, overall it was worse than Jason Mannix in the Shelbourne game, as the small decisions were inconsistent throughout and the big decisions ranged from unnecessary to completely wrong.
Playing ten against ten for the second-half, one might assume that St. Patrick’s would dominate. It wasn’t quite like that, as Wexford battled well and matched their opponents for much of the period.
Wexford tried a short free-kick on the left in the 51st minute but Harry Groome’s effort rose over the bar. The midfielder had another effort from Moylan’s feed four minutes later, but Jaros was up to the challenge. Moylan fired into the side-netting when breaking away in the 57th minute.
The visitors had been on top but got caught in the 63rd minute, when Burns broke in behind the Wexford defence and coolly slotted home the second.
The Ferrycarrig Park side kept battling, as Evan Farrell dragged a shot wide and Moylan couldn’t get the ball under control when clean through a short time later.
It was fitting that the night ended with another officiating blunder. Paul Cleary took down Chris Forrester deep into injury-time, as the Pat’s man was racing towards goal.
It was clearly outside the box, not even particularly close as these decisions can be. It was also a stonewall red card offence.
Wexford would probably have taken the double-error trade-off at that stage, not to have Cleary suspended but give up a penalty that should have been a free-kick.
Pat’s didn’t give Burns the chance for a hat-trick, as instead Ronan Coughlan converted to end the game in style for the hosts.
Ian Ryan, deputised by Jason Goodison as he served the first of his three-game touchline ban, will still be in the stands when his side travel to Athlone on Friday evening.
League games against UCD, Cork City, Galway United and Bray Wanderers will close out the season for Wexford.
Wexford FC: Jimmy Corcoran; Thomas Considine, Kevin McEvoy, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Paul Cleary, Paul Fox; Karl Fitzsimons, Conor Crowley (capt.), Karl Manahan, Harry Groome; Jack Moylan. Subs. - Evan Farrell for Manahan (67), Ayman Yousif for Fitzsimons (87), Jack Connolly for Groome (87), Daniel Dobbin for Considine (87), Luke Scanlon for Moylan (90+5), also Seán Martin, Fionn McCaffrey, Andrew Farrell, Tyler Dunphy.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; Jak Hickman, Paddy Barrett, Sam Bone, Ian Bermingham (capt.); Jamie Lennon; Darragh Burns, Chris Forrester, Ben McCormack, Billy King; Matty Smith. Subs. - Alfie Lewis for King (62), Ronan Coughlan for Smith (72), James Abankwah for Barrett (88), also Barry Murphy, Jason McClelland, Nahum Melvin-Lambert, Shane Griffin, Kyrian Nwoko, Kian Corbally.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).
 

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