Murphy grabs brace as Saints march on to quarter-finals

Wexford Youths 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 3

Mark Quigley’s opener was followed up by a John Murphy brace that sealed Mick Wallace’s outfit’s fate but Gavin Doyle’s goal just before the half hour mark did give Pat’s something to think about.

Fielding just six of the side which drew in Europe last week, the Dubs started this fourth round tie brightly with almost incessant pressure on the home side’s goal.

The first division side were finding life difficult during the opening 10 minutes, a period that saw the Premier Division side denied on two occasions by home keeper Pa Doyle.

Wexford Youths were tottering at this stage with keeper Pa Doyle keeping his goal intact with a fine third-minute save from Quigley, who moved into the area having played a one-two with Bobby Ryan. Three minutes later it was Quigley who once again brought the best out of Doyle with a fine effort from the right edge of area.

Having come agonisingly close on two occasions, St Patrick’s broke the deadlock after 11 minutes, but it was dreadful defending by the home side that created the opening. Paul Malone was short with his backpass, leaving keeper Doyle stranded as Quigley raced on to the ball, moving around the keeper before firing low into the net, although right back Paul Rossiter should have done better in his effort to clear off the line.

With Pat’s clearly controlling the game, it came as no surprise when they added a second. Quigley had his 20-metre shot spilled by keeper Doyle, with Murphy on hand to drill the loose ball home from five metres making it 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Wexford Youths jolted the visitors on 28 minutes when Gavin Doyle, collecting a ball to the right edge of the area, drilled a rising shot into the roof of the net past a helpless Barry Ryan in the Pat’s goal. That was how it remained to the interval, with an improving home side fielding four 18-year-olds content to be trailing just 2-1.

Within five minutes of the restart Wexford Youths came close to snatching a dramatic equaliser. After a Conor Sinnott corner was only partially cleared, Keith Kearney had a rising shot from just outside the area over the top. At the opposite end Doyle affected a great save from David Rogers on 54 minutes to keep Wexford in the game.

Another Sinnott corner on 61 minutes saw Danny Furlong’s overhead kick fly just outside the left upright with keeper Ryan beaten as the home side continued their search for an equaliser. St Pat’s looked to have secured their quarter-final spot when Murphy headed powerfully home from a Brennan cross on 70 minutes.

Wexford Youths responded with Danny Furlong heading against the angle of crossbar and upright two minutes later but that was Wexford’s last real chance of the game.

WEXFORD YOUTHS: P Doyle, P Rossiter, A Russell (S Lawlor 64), C Wallace, J Flynn-O’Connor, G Doyle, C Sinnott, P Malone, K Kearney (R Fitzgerald 71), D Furlong, P Murphy (S. Dempsey 80).

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: B Ryan, S Brennan, J O Cearraill, J Harris (S Paisley 80)), D Rogers, B Ryan, G Dempsey, J Bialek (R. Guy 65), A Kirby (K. Fahy 65), J Murphy, M Quigley.

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).

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