Darragh Burns bags two as St Pat’s march in to semi-finals
Red cards handed out to both sides at Richmond Park in a feisty Friday night encounter
St Patrick’s Athletic 3 Wexford Youths 0
A brace of Darragh Burns goals were the highlight at Richmond Park on Friday as St Patrick’s Athletic recorded a convincing FAI Cup quarter-final victory over Wexford.
In a feisty encounter that saw players red-carded on both sides, Burns found the net in each half before substitute Ronan Coughlan rounded off a fine evening’s work for the Saints with a stoppage-time penalty.
Hot favourites to prevail from this contest, the hosts were reduced to 10 men in the seventh-minute when centre-half Sam Bone was deemed to be the last man as he fouled Wexford attacker Jack Moylan 30 yards from goal.
Yet with Jamie Lennon taking up a defensive role in his absence, Pat’s came to grips with Ian Ryan’s First Division outfit.
Running onto Billy King’s precise pass on 34 minutes, Burns broke the deadlock by firing through the legs of opposition netminder Jimmy Corcoran at a right-hand angle. In addition to falling a goal behind, Wexford also lost their numerical supremacy when midfielder Conor Crowley was dismissed for a second yellow card offence in the 41st-minute.
1-0 to the good heading into the second half, Pat’s pushed hard for an insurance goal. Billy King, Ben McCormack and Matty Smith all went close to extending their lead, although Harry Groome’s curling effort off a Wexford counter-attack did produce a save out of Vitezslav Jaros on 55 minutes.
It was the top-flight side who carried the greater attacking threat, however, and Burns extended his tally just past the hour mark with a clinical finish into the bottom left-hand corner.
This provided the Saints with the additional breathing space they desired and with Coughlan on hand to coolly convert a spot-kick on 94 minutes, Stephen O’Donnell’s men convincingly marched forward into the penultimate round.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Jaros; Hickman, Barrett (Abankwah, 89 mins), Bone, Bermingham; Lennon, Forrester, McCormack; Burns, Smith (Coughlan, 72 mins), King (Lewis, 62 mins).
Wexford Youths: Corcoran; Considine (Dobbin, 87 mins), McEvoy, Fitzgerald, Cleary, Fox; Manahan (E Farrell, 68 mins), Crowley; Fitzsimons (Yousif, 87 mins), Moylan (Scanlon, 95 mins), Groome (Connolly, 87 mins).
Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).