Young guns beaten
THE MEN of Inchicore dispatched the boys of Bray with ease in their Leinster Senior Cup quarter-final encounter on Monday night, writesDaniel Gorman.
Pat Devlin made ten changes from Friday night as he fielded a Bray Wanderers side with an average age of just 21 years of age, while Pete Mahon rested six of his starters from Friday but still had the luxury of being able to call on League of Ireland stalwarts like Chris Bennion, Stephen Bradley and Paul Crowley as replacements.
And that experience showed almost immediately. Moments after Bradley had sent a free-kick whistling over Brian Kane's crossbar, Daryl Kavanagh set the Saints on the road to victory when he latched onto Bradley's pass before nicking the ball past the outrushing Kane and rolling home into the empty net with just four minutes on the clock.
The rest of the half remained largely like the Quinsboro road - one way traffic.
Pat's fans were screaming for a red card in the 22nd minute when debutant Stephen Last clumsily felled Danny North as he looked to be through on goal but referee Philip Cashcera decided a yellow card was enough punishment for the former Cardiff City man. Bradley then forced Kane into a fine sprawling save from the resultant free kick and the Richmond Park outfit really began to batter at the door after that.
On 23 minutes, Jordan Keegan slipped in Ian Bermingham but the left-back's rampaging run didn't end in a goal as his effort drifted inches wide of the far post.
Two minutes later goalscorer Kavanagh left Daire Doyle eating his dust as he burst clear of the defender to set up another duel with Kane. The shot-stopper won this battle though, with Kavanagh going to ground after his attempt to round Kane was foiled and Cashcera was having none of his appeals.
The visitors continued to lay siege to Kane's goal but his team-mates were helping him out, with both Shane O'Connor and then Dean Zambra clearing off the line in a matter of three minutes.
Wanderers managed to get to the half-time break with the one goal deficit and they then held out until the 61st minute until eventually succumbing to the pressure.
Having made just made a substitution, Bray's minds were perhaps preoccupied when Stephen Bradley took a quick free-kick, putting the ball on a plate for Ian Daly and although his shot was blocked by Kane, the rebound landed at his feet and at the second time of asking, the attacker tapped home to double his side's lead.
So then it was 2-0 to the Saints. Where have we heard that before? Surely Bray could not do it again? Well, no, they couldn't.
But they did began to stamp their own authority on the game in the latter stages and enjoy some good spells of possession although they never tested Chris Bennion in the Saints' goal.
Philip Cashcera's final whistle confirmed Wanderers' exit from the competition in which they finished as runners-up last season, but it is one less worry for Pat Devlin and his inexperienced squad who now turn their attentions to the Sligo Rovers' visit to the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night.
Having tasted defeat against Shamrock Rovers on Saturday night, Paul Cook's side will be keen to get back to winning ways, while the Seagulls will be hoping to build on Friday's marvellous result in Richmond Park.
Some of Monday's players may well have played their way into Devlin's mind for Friday, but Devlin will have to plan without Stephen Brennan and Gary Shaw.
Top Form: Stephen Bradley (St. Patrick's Athletic).
Shane O’Neill on the attack during the Leinster Senior Cup game against St. Pat’s.