Bradley aims for cup final

HAVING not been good enough to put First Division Shelbourne away at Tolka Park on Friday night, St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Stephen Bradley wants a massive improvement at Richmond Park tonight for the FAI Cup semi-final replay (7.45pm).

“We’ve got to go out and improve on what we did on Friday,” said Bradley. “It was a battle and when they went down to 10 men we weren’t good enough. We didn’t pass the ball and we didn’t deserve to win the game. We just have to go out tonight and prove that we are the better team.”

Despite being Danny North’s goal to the good and with a man advantage following Colm James’ sending off, St Pat’s boss Pete Mahon wasn’t happy with his players at the break.

And his fears that their performance was below par materialised as Shelbourne stormed back to level through their leading scorer Philly Hughes and force tonight’s rematch.

“[Mahon] told us at half time that we needed to be better than we were. Even though we were a goal up we weren’t playing too well,” said Bradley of Mahon’s half-time chat.

“But we didn’t do it. “It felt like at defeat on Friday. I think we now just have to concentrate on tonight.

“There is a cup final at the end of it.”

Shels remains without experienced left-back Lorcan Fitzgerald with a knee injury, but regular right-back Gareth Matthews returns from suspension.

Manager Alan Mathews will give winger Conan Byrne a fitness test this morning while James is obviously suspended.

“We produced a really, really excellent performance to get back into the game,” said Mathews.

“Inchicore is a good place to go and play. There should be a good atmosphere, like there was on Friday night. Hopefully, the players will respond, like the did in the first game.”

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