St Patrick’s Athletic 3 Cobh Ramblers 2
Liam Buckley has warned his St Patrick’s Athletic side against complacency in the EA Sports Cup final against Limerick after coming through a second-half FAI Cup scare against Cobh Ramblers on Saturday.
The Saints progressed to the last four of the FAI Cup with a 3-2 win at Richmond Park, but only after a determined Cobh clawed two goals back after looking dead and buried at half-time.
Pat’s led by three at the break thanks to goals from Christy Fagan, Jamie McGrath and Billy Dennehy, but Cobh struck back through a Connor Ellis penalty and a Rob Lehane strike.
Buckley has lamented Pat’s lack of consistency all season and the manager insisted his side cannot be as complacent when they face Limerick in the League Cup final at Markets Field this weekend.
“We came in at half-time comfortable, 3-0 up,” said Buckley.
“Then in the second-half we gave away two stupid goals defensively, which brought them back into the tie. We played really well in the first half, limited them to nothing, but we just can’t throw out a second-half performance like that otherwise we won’t win any cups.
“We fundamentally need to be better than that next week in the League Cup final. We’re obviously going to have Dundalk, Cork or Derry in the FAI Cup, which is important for us bearing in mind getting into Europe as well, but ultimately, our performances need to be better,” added the Pat’s boss.
Opposing manager Stephen Henderson had the opposite complaint as his Cobh side defended naively in the first half before reshaping from a 5-3-2 formation to 4-4-2 to great effect after the break as they gave Pat’s a scare.
“We gave up three silly goals,” said Henderson. “They [his side] are young, but I lost the plot with them at half-time for no other reason than they’re better than what they showed. We’re just this ‘little club down in the arsehole of the country on a little island’.
“We get very little respect even though the club [nearly went] out of business and the lads are still after winning a Munster Cup, they’re challenging all the way for a league play-off and they’re after getting themselves into a quarter-final — that’s Cobh Ramblers. They’re amateur players and I just wanted them to give a good reflection of themselves. They didn’t in the first half, but they did in the second.”
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: B Clarke; G O’Brien (c) (R Feely 67), S Hoare, M Barker, I Bermingham; C Byrne, G Kelly, L Desmond, B Dennehy; J McGrath (J Lunney 40); C Fagan.
COBH RAMBLERS: P Hunt; C Fleming, K Mulcahy (c), C McCarthy, B Riordan, I Mylod; S Christopher (G Comerford HT), S O’Connor, E McGreevey (K McNamara 78); J Creamer (C Ellis HT), R Lehane.
Referee: Seán Grant.
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