ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC boss Pete Mahon has kept alive the dream that the men from Inchicore can win the FAI Cup for the first time in 49 years with a 3-1 victory over holders Sporting Fingal in Saturday’s quarter-final at Richmond Park.
“I’m obviously delighted – it’s a great win for us. You could see that even though there was a small crowd at the game, how much the FAI Cup means to St Pat’s. The fans got right behind the team and it’s very important, ” said Mahon.
With a 1pm kick-off time for this Ford-sponsored quarter-final to cater for live television coverage, the official attendance was a meagre 759 with Mahon claiming that the club had lost £20,000 as a result.
American striker Ryan Guy had St Pat’s in front after 22 minutes with a rising drive past ‘keeper Darren Quigley after defender Kenny Browne had lost possession. The Saints doubled their advantage on 52 minutes when the unmarked skipper Damian Lynch headed home a James O’Brien corner.
Fingal pulled a goal back a minute later when Shaun Williams fired home a fierce 15-yard drive that gave ‘keeper Gary Rogers no chance. But Vinny Faherty was to have the final say for St Pat’s in the 86th minute with a low shot past Rogers from the edge of the box after Danny North had created the opening.
“We’re just happy to be in the semi-finals. It’s a great feeling, I put myself under pressure at the start of the season by saying we’d love to win this cup. The dream is still alive,” said Mahon. “No matter who we get in the semi-finals when the draw is made all we want is a home game and pack Richmond Park out. I don’t mind if it is Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians or Sligo Rovers. There’s a name on the cup, I just hope it’s ours.”
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Rogers; Pender, Bermingham, Lynch, Kenna; S Byrne, Mulcahy, O’Brien (Faherty 70); Guy, Doyle (Cash 87), North (Stewart 90+3).
SPORTING FINGAL: Quigley; O’Brien, Frost (Cahill 84), Williams, Hawkins; Browne, C Byrne (Gannon 79), Finn, Kirby; O’Neill, Zayed (Crowe 73).
Referee: Richie Winter.
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