Friday 23 February 2018

Kendrick gets rub of the green to stun Saints

St Patrick's Athletic 2 Bray Wanderers 3

If St Patrick's Athletic were flattered by the margin of last week's three-goal victory in Galway, karma came back to bite them last night as second-half goals from Conor Murphy and Joe Kendrick cancelled out a Saints brace and left them with nothing in a game they probably deserved to win over the 90 minutes.

Bray recorded their first win at Richmond Park since 2002 and, if it wasn't thoroughly deserved, the heart shown in the making of it bodes well for Pat Devlin's side for the coming season.

The Seagulls did start the brighter, but after chances from John Mulroy and Jake Kelly went abegging, they conceded the opener in a move that was much of their own making.

After they gave up a cheap free-kick just left of the box, Daryl Kavanagh's delivery to the back post looked harmless, but centre-half Derek Prendergast got caught in two minds and, snatching at the loose ball, he gave a surprised Matt Gregg no chance with the misguided finish.

Gregg could do nothing about St Pat's second when Evan McMillan rose at the near post in the 48th minute to power Kavanagh's corner downward and home.

Bray substitute Conor Murphy provided a stagnating second-half with the fillip it needed in the 70th minute, after he side-footed Kendrick's defence-beating cross past Gary Rogers.

Five minutes later Murphy popped up for the equaliser as he powered Shane O'Neill's cross past Rogers with an exquisite header.

Stunned, the St Pat's faithful were left fuming with the possibility of taking the minimum from a game that should have been a definite three-pointer.

However, they were left with nothing when, eight minutes from the end Kendrick's free-kick took a wicked deflection to sail past a flat-footed Rogers in the Saints goal.

St Patrick's Athletic -- Rogers; Pender, E McMillan, Kenna, Birmingham; Murphy (Doyle 61), Mulcahy, McFaul, Kavanagh (Keegan 87); D McMillan, Daly (North 78).

Bray Wanderers -- Gregg; Webster, Mitchell, Prendergast, Kendrick; Zambra (O'Neill 66), O'Connor (Murphy 66), Dempsey, Kelly (Doyle 86); Mulroy, Shields.

Ref -- A Buttimer (Cork).

Irish Independent

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