Saturday 18 November 2017

Pat’s return to summit as first-half blitz shoots down sad Seagulls


Ruaidhri O’Connor

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC returned to the top of the table and heaped more woe on Eddie Gormley, whose Bray Wanderers side couldn’t handle the Saints’ strength.

They conceded all four goals in a 14-minute first-half spell, three of which were headers and one came from a knock down.

The rout began when Colm Tresson’s 27th-minute clearance went to Dave McAllister, he moved the ball wide to Brian Cash and his back-post cross was headed home by Paul Byrne.

Having discovered a route to goal, Pete Mahon’s men just kept exploiting their aerial superiority and centre-halves Conor Kenna and Shane Guthrie got on the act with successive goals from almost identical Conor Sinnott free kicks.

The fourth was the pick of the bunch. Byrne nodded Kenna’s long ball at the feet of the onrushing Gareth Coughlan and the winger, who joined St Pat’s from Bray last winter, dipped a half volley from the edge of the box.

The hosts set about tightening up the ship after the interval, but the Saints continued to have chances. Vinny Faherty had a shot straight at Brian Kane, who then did well to save the impressive Sinnott’s free.

He was beaten on the hour mark, but Cash was offside when bundling in Coughlan’s lob. Sinnott took a quick free to Coughlan whose shot came off Tresson’s back and flew just over, before substitute Alex Williams, put through by Sinnott, should made it five only for Kane to save.

Gary Rogers denied Chris Shields a consolation for Bray, while ex- Saint Stephen Brennan cleared Kenna’s touch off the line. The linesman denied Pat’s a deserved fifth when the flag went up as a clearly onside Williams swept the ball home.

BRAY WANDERERS – Kane; D Doyle, O’Connor (Webster ht), Tresson, Massey; Zambra, Shields, Kavanagh (Brennan 59), Baker (R Doyle 51); O’Neill, Mulroy.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC – Rogers; Pender, Kenna (Lynch 81), Guthrie, Bermingham; Cash, Sinnott, McAllister, Coughlan (Doyle 73); Byrne (Williams 66), Faherty.

REF – N Doyle (Dublin).

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