Pats recorded their second victory over UCD in just four days as they once again ran UCD’s defence ragged. Goals from Jake Kelly and a Christy Fagan brace alongside an unfortunate own goal by Gareth Matthews decided this FAI Cup Second Round fixture.
The home side, as expected, enjoyed the lion's share of possession throughout the game with UCD struggling to create any sort of half decent chance. Despite this, the first half an hour was a very evenly fought battle with both sides making numerous errors.
A poor opening twenty minutes was largely due to UCD putting lots of pressure on Pats who struggled to get out of their own half as Robbie Benson and David McMillan worked hard for the Students. They did however get some reward as the home side continuously misplaced simple passes.
Just as Pats appeared to be running out of ideas on how to break down the stubborn Students backline, Christy Fagan popped up with the game's opening goal. Jake Kelly went on a great run down the left side of the pitch and it was his cross that found Forrester who was allowed to turn inside the box. His nice little pass found the unmarked Fagan who blasted home from six yards out.
From there on out Pats never looked in any great difficulty. Fagan very nearly doubled the hosts lead but he snatched at a shot as Forrester once again played him through. Forrester has been one of the better players in the league this season and it was clear to see why. He clearly enjoyed the free role that Liam Buckley was allowing him.
UCD were left once again thanking teenage goalkeeper Conor O’Donnell for not going further behind as he dived the full length of his goal to keep out a Conan Byrne free kick that was headed for the top corner.
Martin Russell clearly saw that a change in personnel was needed as he introduced Cillian Morrison and Robbie Creevy at half time. However it took Fagan just over five minutes to grab his and Pats second as he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and just let fly with a screamer of a goal that gave O’Donnell in between the UCD sticks no hope.
Killian Brennan then showed some fantastically quick feet as he beat three UCD defenders with a variety of “Samba Style” step-overs only for O’Donnell to come charging off his line to smother the ball. However just three minutes later Jake Kelly put the Inchicore outfit three goals to the good. The goal came courtesy of the away side pressing the self destruct button. When centre half Thomas Boyle gave the ball away cheaply to Jake Kelly on the edge of the box the writing was on the wall. The former Bray man took two touches and calmly slid the ball into the back of the net.
At this stage Liam Buckley decided that this game was over as a contest and that he should now look ahead and focus on their upcoming league games. He withdrew Browne and Brennan for Carroll and Price. Pats threatened to run riot as all hands were needed on deck for the Students. Fagan, Forrester, Kelly and Byrne all saw numerous shots blocked and saved.
Just when it looked like things couldn’t get any worse for UCD right back Gareth Matthews scored an own goal. Again it was a sloppy goal to give away as substitute James Kavanagh tried to run the ball out from the back only to be easily disposed by Forrester. The ball was then played wide to Byrne who centred the ball which, despite missing all of the onrushing Pats players, found its way into the back of the net courtesy of Gareth Matthews shin.
Fagan will have left Richmond Park on Saturday evening wondering just how he didn’t manage to score a hat-trick. He first scuffed his shot wide after a great through ball from Chris Forrester. Then right at the death just after he was announced as the Ford FAI Cup Man Of The Match he blasted his shot high over the crossbar.
Both teams are now involved in Leinster Senior Cup ties on Tuesday with Pats welcoming Longford to Inchicore while UCD will hope to get back to winning ways by travelling to Shels.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien; Kenny Browne (Aidan Price 66); Conor Kenna; Ian Birmingham; Greg Bolger; Killian Brennan (Jake Carroll 66); Jake Kelly; Christy Fagan; Conan Byrne (Sean Gannon 80); Christopher Forrester
Subs Not Used: Dave Ryan; Anthony Flood; Stephen Maher; Conor Murphy
UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Hugh Douglas; Gareth Matthews; David O’Connor (James Kavanagh 76); Thomas Boyle; Barry McCabe; Craig Walsh (Robbie Creevy 46); Robbie Benson; Dean Clarke (Cillian Morrison 46); David McMillian; Gary Burke
Subs Not Used: Mark McGinley; Sean Coyne; Colm Crowe; Dinny Corcoran;
Booked: Gareth Matthews, Cillian Morrison
Referee Rob Rogers
Attendance: 1,000 (estimate)
Extratime Man Of The Match: Christy Fagan
Gareth has been writing for ExtraTime since the summer of 2013. He is one of the very rare souls that when the Friday night lights come on he will march it on down to Belfield to enjoy the pleasures of watching UCD kick a ball about. You can contact Gareth at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/gareth_oreilly">@gareth_oreilly</a>