Teenager Glen McAuley was sprung from the bench to score his first goal for St Patrick’s Athletic, who had to come behind to put First Division Bray Wanderers out of the FAI Cup at Richmond Park last night.
Dominant from the start, St Pat’s hit the woodwork through Darragh Markey and Simon Madden, only to find themselves a goal down five minutes before the break.
Bray’s hardworking midfielder John Martin won a free kick before a sublime left-foot shot by Derek Daly saw the ball crash against the St Pat’s crossbar, before flying up into the air.
Striker Dean Williams was first to the dropping ball, bundling it over the line to stun the small home attendance.
St Pat’s laid siege to the Bray goal from the restart, equalising on 55 minutes. Centre-half Dave Webster burst forward, got the return pass from Dean Clarke, before drilling a low shot to the net.
But St Pat’s were caught square at the back as Bray came close to regaining the lead on the hour.
Martin threaded Dylan McGlade in on goal to go around Brendan Clarke, only to see his shot cleared off the line by Jamie Lennon.
Bray keeper Gabriel Sava batted away a drive from Lee Desmond before St Pat’s lived dangerously again on 66 minutes. This time McGlade cut in from the left to set up substitute Joe Doyle, whose shot was parried by Clarke with Williams firing the rebound wide.
St Pat’s soon regained control and forced the winner on 75 minutes. And it was all 19-year-old McAuley’s own work as he slalomed in from the left to drive a low shot into the corner of the net, despite Sava getting a touch to it.
B. Clarke; Madden (Forrester, 61), Webster, Kelly, Desmond; Markey, Lennon, Clifford (Coleman, 86); D. Clarke, Hale (McAuley, 60), Bermingham.
Sava; Cantwell, Douglas, Heaney, Daly; Martin (Ellis, 81), Keegan, Gannon (Doyle, 65); McCann (Lovic, 88), Williams, McGlade.
Derek Tomney (Dublin).