Tuesday 20 February 2018

Gormley taps home to send new-look Pat's crashing out

(Cliftonville win 2-0 on agg) Ruaidhri O'Connor


LIAM BUCKLEY's second coming as St Patrick's Athletic manager might take a while to click on the evidence of last night's Setanta Sports Cup exit at the hands of Cliftonville.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Belfast, the Saints missed a host of first-half chances to level the tie, before losing a player and a goal within the space of five second-half minutes as John Russell saw red on his debut and Joe Gormley punished the hosts.

After a complete overhaul of personnel, this competition probably came too soon for the Saints and while there were signs that they will be potent come Friday week when they kick off their League of Ireland campaign against Bray Wanderers, it might take a while before they really gel.

They will have Dean Kelly in their ranks by then after he last night signed from Shamrock Rovers, who agreed to release him from his contract. The Hoops added Sligo's Aaron Greene and Galway goalkeeper Conor Winn to their own squad.

Having failed to breach the Irish League side's resistance, the hosts grew frustrated after half-time and the tie turned Cliftonville's way when Russell recklessly lunged into a tackle on Ryan Catney and Richie Winter ordered him off.

Four minutes later, George McMullan floated a free-kick to the back post for O'Carroll, whose effort crashed off the bar and fell to Gormley, who tapped home.

The away goal secured, the visitors closed the game out, with Stephen O'Flynn going closest to getting Pat's back into it.

ST PAT'S ATH -- Murphy; O'Brien, Flynn, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger, Russell, Chambers (Rossitter 90); O'Connor, Fagan (Daly 80), Kelly (O'Flynn 68).

CLIFTONVILLE -- Browne; Scannell, Caldwell, McVeigh, Seydak; McMullan, Catney, Templeton (Garrett 82); Boyce, Gormley (Scannell 82), O'Carroll (Donnelly 85).

REF -- R Winter (Wicklow).

Irish Independent

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