Shamrock Rovers needed the help of extra-time to progress past St. Patrick's Athletic and book their place in the semi-finals of the EA Sports Cup on Tuesday night. A wonder strike from Billy Dennehy in extra-time gave Rovers the victory after a Mark Quigley goal had been cancelled out by a sublime finish by Conan Byrne.
The first chance of the game fell to Christy Fagan after he attempted to pounce on an error by Ken Oman. Fagan's toe poked effort however never really looked like troubling Richard Brush who got down to save at the feet of Fagan.
Billy Dennehy had the home side's first opportunity but failed to make a good connection with a Karl Sheppard cross although the final effort, which seemed to come off Dennehy's back, almost wrong footed Rene Gilmartin who scrambled across his goal line to save his own blushes.
James Chambers nearly managed to catch the Pats defence sleeping when he was played in by Karl Sheppard. Chambers failed to get the ball out of his feet quick enough allowing Stephen Maher to get a last ditch challenge in.
The following twenty minutes proved to be very uneventful with neither side managing to fashion any chances of note. It wasn't until near the half hour mark that Gary McCabe tried to create a chance for one of his Hoops teammates.
McCabe fired in a fantastic floated ball towards the back post. Jason McGuinness was up from the back but the big centre half failed to get the necessary touch to take it past Rene Gilmartin as the ball instead trickled out for a goal kick.
Gary McCabe was proving to be a thorn in the side of the Pats defence as he used some neat footwork to go past Stephen Maher before blasting his shot straight at Gilmartin. The Pats shot stopper was without doubt the busier of the two keepers in the opening half of this EA Sports Cup clash.
Six minutes into the second half Rovers found went ahead and it came in the form of a Mark Quigley volley. The ball was originally floated in by Billy Dennehy. The winger's cross was perfect as it found Karl Sheppard lurking in at the back post. The on-loan Reading striker then headed the ball back across the face of the goal before James Chambers got his head on it. This time the ball fell into the path of Quigley allowing the ex-Sligo striker to volley home from six yards out giving Rene Gilmartin no chance.
With twenty minutes left in the game referee Thomas Connolly was forced off through injury having suffered an injured hamstring. Fourth official Adriano Reale came on in his place.
Conan Byrne gave the travelling support something to cheer about as he slotted home inside the box to put Pats back on level terms. The goal came after Killian Brennan was alert enough to see that the Rovers defence had gone to sleep allowing the substitute to play a quick free kick to Byrne who neatly planted the ball into the far corner of the net.
We didn't have to wait long in extra-time for the first chance. Christy Fagan looked to put Pats in front for the first time in the game. He managed to turn Conor McCormack but the Pats striker's shot was low and tame allowing Brush to get down and save.
As half time approached in extra-time Billy Dennehy nearly put the Hoops in front after his cross evaded everyone. Gilmartin in the Pats goal did however manage to get down and push the ball to safety.
It only took two minutes into the second half of extra-time for Billy Dennehy to send the Shamrock Rovers fans into delirium with a spectacular strike. Dennehy took one touch thirty yards out before smashing his shot past Rene Gilmartin into the top corner.
Neither team managed to create any more chances as Shamrock Rovers progressed into the last four where they will face Sligo Rovers.
Shamrock Rovers: Richard Brush; Conor McCormack, Ken Oman, Jason McGuinness, Danny Ledwith; Gary McCabe (Sean O'Connor 107), Shane Robinson, James Chambers, Billy Dennehy; Karl Sheppard (Eamon Zayed 99); Mark Quigley (Ronan Finn 84).
Subs Not Used: Shane Fagan, Nathan Browne, Conor Powell, Derek Foran.
Booked: McCabe (68), Chambers (95).
St Patrick's Athletic: Rene Gilmartin; Sean Gannon, Conor Kenna, Stephen Maher, Sean Hoare; John Russell, Peter Durrad (Killian Brennan 62), Lorcan Fitzgerald; Jake Kelly (Conan Byrne 46), Christy Fagan, Chris Forrester (Shane McFaul 46).
Subs Not Used: Brandan Clarke, Aidan Price, Kenny Browne, Ger O'Brien.
Booked: Russell (44), C Byrne (76), Maher (118).
Referee: Tomas Connolly (Adriano Reale 72)
Attendance: 1,200 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Billy Dennehy (Shamrock Rovers).
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>