In-form Miele does the trick for Rovers
Bluebell Utd 2 Seery 23, Stritch 71 Shamrock Rovers 4 Miele 21, 40, 78 Connolly 52
Brandon Miele scored a sublime hat-trick at Tallaght Stadium last night to end non-league Bluebell United’s interest in the FAI Cup.
The Rovers midfielder also provided an assist against his former club to ease Rovers into Monday night’s semi-final draw.
Bluebell created the first chance as Aaron Robinson shot straight at Tomer Chencinski but Rovers were patient and took the lead on 21 minutes.
Bluebell failed to fully clear a corner and Cameron King set up Miele who struck a delightful right-footed shot to the far corner of the net.
But Bluebell hit back to level two minutes later. Dean Ebbe’s ball in from the left wasn’t dealt with by Rovers and right winger Gary Seery arrived to flick the ball home.
Rovers regained command with O’Connor and Ryan Connolly off target before Bluebell ’keeper Andy McNulty had to tip Hoops’ skipper David McAllister’s deflected shot onto the bar and out for a corner on 36 minutes.
Four minutes later McNulty was left rooted to the spot as Rovers regained the lead, Miele again displaying his quality in taking a pass back from Connolly to dip a shot into the far corner of the net.
The game looked up for Bluebell seven minutes into the second half when Rovers extended their lead.
O’Connor, Madden and Miele all combined to pick out Connolly in the area who turned and stroked a left-footed shot to the bottom corner for a fine team goal.
But Bluebell reduced the deficit on 71 minutes. Substitute Richard O’Hanlon whipped in a low cross from the right for Shane Stritch to stretch and toe the ball past Chencinski.
Bluebell captain Tony Griffiths was sent off four minutes later for a second yellow card offence for a foul on Madden. Miele completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes after a surging run by Clarke set him up.