Brendan Graham reports from Inchicore
St. Pat’s got the better of Bray Wanderers by a 3- 0 scoreline on Friday evening in front of a crowd of 1,146 at Richmond Park.
Both teams started the game brightly and were trying their very best to keep the ball on the ground and create some early chances in the game.
The first real chance came the way of the Saints after some very nice link up play between Darragh Markey and Jamie Lennon left Lennon through on goal but his shot was weak and left Evan Moran with an easy save.
Simon Madden was causing havoc down the right for St. Pat’s driving forward with his powerful runs. His dangerous cross right onto the head of Ryan Brennan almost gave Pat’s the lead but Brennan got too much on the header and sent the ball over the bar.
Moran in the Bray goal had his first test of the game shortly after pulling off two fantastic saves close to goal from Conan Byrne and Michael Leahy with Moran at full stretch for both to keep the game scoreless.
The home side took the lead after the half hour mark through a beautiful shot from 25 yards by Brennan.
Byrne broke free from a Kevin Lynch attempt at a tackle and drove towards goal doing well to stay on his feet.
An attempted shot from Byrne fell perfectly for Brennan who connected sweetly with the shot to send the ball past Moran and into the top corner.
Bray finished the first half strongly and began to create chances of their own with Gary McCabe displaying some lovely passes from the middle of the park.
They should have been level minutes before the half time whistle when Jake Kelly rattled the crossbar with a powerful header at goal.
St. Pats doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half though with Ian Turner scoring his first league goal of the season.
It was Byrne with his second assist of the night as he sent a lofted cross into the box which found its way through to Turner at the back post to tap home and double the lead for the Saints.
An up – hill battle at 2-0 down become an almost impossible task for Bray when McCabe was sent off for a second yellow following a bad tackle on Jamie Lennon. McCabe doing his side no favours with a silly challenge knowing he was already on a booking.
Substitute Graham Kelly got the third goal for the home side with five minutes remaining to get the Bank Holiday weekend off to a perfect start for St. Pats fans with the game ending 3-0 to the Saints.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Michael Leahy, Simon Madden, Conan Byrne, Ian Turner, Darragh Markey, Ryan Brennan (Conor Clifford 60) , Dean Clarke (James Doona 74), Jamie Lennon (Graham Kelly 83).
Subs not Used: Barry Murphy, Killian Brennan, Jake Keegan, Joe Manley.
Bray Wanderers: Evan Moran, Dylan Hayes, Darragh Gibbons, Connor Kenna, Kevin Lynch, Sean Harding (Alex Rafferty 89), Gary McCabe, Rhys Gorman, Jake Kelly (Darragh Noone 81), Ger Pender, Jake Ellis (Dragos Mamaliga).
Subs not Used: Enda Minogue, Sean Heaney, Cian Walsh, Jamie Crilly.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Jamie Lennon (St. Pat’s)
YES! The men who got our goals in 3-0 win over Bray Wanderers at Richmond tonight. @Ryanbrennan08, @2Ian_T and Graham Kelly. It’s @InchicoreAthFC in the FAI Cup next, Richmond Park, 7.45pm pic.twitter.com/k2jO28iQoC— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) August 3, 2018