Pats edge closer to title with win over Bray

Killian Brennan, St. Patrick's Athletic, in action against Kevin O'Connor, Bray Wanderers. Picture: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

St. Patrick's Athletic edged a step closer to a first title in 14 years as goals from Anto Flood, John Russell and Christy Fagan gave them a fully deserved 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Bray Wanderers.

The victory stretched St. Pat's unbeaten league run to 11 games and pushes them six points clear at the top of the table overnight.

St. Pat's gradually got on top in a slow burner of a game to take a 36th minute lead when Flood showed good composure to control Killian Brennan's cross and volley home from close range.

Bray really ought to have levelled on 43 minutes when Jason Byrne latched onto a Dave Webster flick from a throw-in, but the veteran striker blazed over the bar.

Bray 'keeper Darren Quigley made good stops from Russell and Flood, twice, while Russell also headed wide within minutes of the start of the second half.

Midfielder Russell made no mistake, however, when putting St. Pat's 2-0 up on 67 minutes, scoring with a downward header from Ian Bermingham's left wing cross after a sweeping counterattack.

Ismahil Akinade gave second bottom Bray hope when drilling home from substitute Kevin Knight's pass on 83 minutes.

St. Pat's had done more than enough to take the points, though, with a post depriving Fagan before Saints' 'keeper Brendan Clarke made a fine save right on 90 minutes from John Mulroy.

Fagan then drove home from 20 yards five minutes into added time to seal it.

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