FAI Cup Report: Cork City 0 - 2 St Patrick's Athletic

Mark Doyle scored a 76th minute winner for St Pat's

Mark Doyle scored the opening goal against Cork City. Credit: Liam Coughlan (ETPhotos)

Goals in each half from Mark Doyle and Conor Carty proved to be the difference at Turners Cross as St Patrick’s Athletic reached their second FAI Cup Final in three seasons when they ran out 2-0 winners over Cork City.

They managed to weather a lot of pressure from the home side before winning though and they will now take on Bohemians in a repeat of the final from two years ago.   

It was a case of what might have been for Cork City, they created plenty of opportunities but were just not able to convert them, especially in the first-half. Their focus must now turn to a relegation fight and a possible relegation play-off against whomever emerges from the First Division.      

Despite the rain all day, the game did go ahead after two pitch inspections. Richie Holland made one change from the starting lineup against the same opposition last Friday. Conor Drinan came in for John O’ Donovan who was sent off in that game but not suspended for today.

Jon Daly was able to welcome back Jake Mulraney and Ryan McLaughlin into the side who won here nine days ago. They replaced Adam Murphy and Jay McClelland.  

In front of a packed Turners Cross, both sides started in a lively fashion. Ruairi Keating drove into the box before he saw the ball taken from his feet by Joe Redmond.

The Saints were probing with intent at the other end also. They had probably the best opportunity to go ahead when Mark Doyle got to the endline to find Kian Leavy lurking in space. It was on target, but Cian Coleman was at hand to clear it off the line.

City had not learned their lesson and the lead goal arrived ten minutes into the game. The home side had been struggling to deal with the pace down the right-hand side and Ryan McLaughlin was the man to provide the assist on this occasion for Doyle to get ahead of his marker and head past Ollie Byrne.

The Rebels were stunned but sought their way back into the game. Keating was close to landing an equaliser almost straight away when he picked the ball up on the right of the penalty area. He used the defender in front of him as a foil and curled his effort towards the top left corner. It went just past the post with Dean Lyness stretching.

The game continued to ebb and flow as both sides gave as good as they got. City created a number of chances for the likes of Cian Murphy and Keating. The latter was off target with a header halfway through after a Murphy run and cross. It appeared to hit his shoulder rather than making proper contact with it.

Cian Bargary also saw two efforts go over when he was unmarked at the back post. Ben Worman providing the ammunition on both occasions.

Much had been said about the amount of yellow cards during yesterday’s other FAI Cup semi-final but it was just before the break when we had our first caution. Anthony Breslin going into the book for pulling down Bargary. The game otherwise saw a number of firm but fair challenges that were waved on.

City were attacking the shed end in the second half and sought to get right back into the game. Worman was unable to get any power on his shot after it fell into his path whilst Dean Lynnes did well to come out and claim the ball before Murphy after Keating slipped it into his path.

Proper chances were at a premium for both sides though as a nervous tension gripped the game. The Saints were marshalled superbly by Redmond and his backline cleared whatever came its way despite City winning numerous set pieces.

It was the away side who were to clinch it with ten minutes to go. Substitute Jason McLelland saw his effort saved by Byrne but fellow sub Conor Carty turned and swivelled in the box to lash a shot high into the top corner to send the fans into delirium.

Despite five minutes added on, Cork were unable to mount a response. Despondency and elation in equal measures from both sides on the final whistle.

The Saints now look forward to the cup final in the Aviva Stadium in November.

Cork City: Oliver Byrne; Cian Coleman, Conor Drinan (Babatunde Owolabi 71), Jonas Häkkinen, Joshua Honohan; Cian Bargary, Aaron Bolger, Andrii Kravchuk (Barry Coffey 79), Ben Worman (Joseph O'Brien-Whitmarsh 71); Ruairí Keating, Cian Murphy (Malik Dijksteel 60).
Subs not used: Jimmy Corcoran, John O'Donovan, Gordon Walker, Jaze Kabia, Josh Fitzpatrick.

Booked: Ruairí Keating (78), Barry Coffey (86).

St. Patrick's Athletic: Dean Lyness; Anthony Breslin, Ryan McLaughlin (John-Alan McGrath 76), David Norman Jr., Joseph Redmond; Christopher Forrester (Thijs Timmermans 76), Kian Leavy (Jason McClelland 81), Jamie Lennon, Thomas Lonergan (Conor Carty 68), Jake Mulraney (Alex Nolan 81); Mark Doyle.

Subs not used: Daniel Rogers, Ben McCormack, Mason Melia, Adam Murphy.

Booked: Anthony Breslin (45), Dean Lyness (80).

Referee: Rob Harvey

Attendance: 6335

extratime.com Player of the Match: Joe Redmond (St Patrick's Athletic)