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Two early strikes give Pat's lift-off as they emerge from Bray with three points

Goals by Conan Byrne and Christy Fagan were enough to seal an impressive away win at the Carlisle Grounds.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Bray Wanderers 1

Saint Patrick’s Athletic 2

Dan Gorman reports from the Carlisle Grounds

TWO GOALS INSIDE the opening 14 minutes paved the way for Saint Patrick’s Athletic’s first victory of the season.

It looked at that stage like they might run away with the contest but Bray captain Gary McCabe got his side back into it on 20 minutes.

Saints’ defence, however, stood firm against an otherwise disappointing Bray attack to land Liam Buckley his first set of three points.

The deadlock lasted merely 70 seconds. Conan Byrne picked up Owen Garvan’s free from the right and while it appeared that the attacker was trying to dig out a cross, his chipped effort sailed over the head of Aaron Dillon and looped into the far corner.

Pat’s had a second in the bag by the 14th minute: Dean Clarke danced along the left flank and waltzed into the penalty area before squaring for Christy Fagan, with the lethal marksman doing what he does best to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

Pat’s were threatening to pull out of sight until Aaron Greene stepped in to drag the hosts back into contention. His lightning-quick feet served him well in the penalty area and he led the away defence on a merry dance before putting it on a plate for McCabe to smash home.

Liam Buckley’s men should have netted a third from a corner as both Desmond and Fagan saw their efforts superbly blocked.

Graham Kelly spurned the next chance as his glancing header wasn’t enough to divert a Byrne cross.

Kelly would turn provider next as he sprinted beyond the Bray defence. The angle wasn’t very inviting, though, so he held it for Fagan whose snapshot was parried by Dillon.

It could have been level on the stroke of the interval, too: Ronan Coughlan unleashed a vicious strike that Desmond blocked from six yards out.

The second period struggled to live up to its predecessor. A dangerous Lynch cross – which begged to be converted – was as close as Bray came to a leveller, while Conan Byrne had two decent opportunities to kill off the tie but couldn’t take them.

BRAY WANDERERS: Aaron Dillon; Dan McKenna, Hugh Douglas, Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan, Paul O’Conor (Daniel Kelly, 76); Ronan Coughlan, Gary McCabe, Cory Galvin (Jake Kelly, 62); Aaron Greene.

ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermigham; Ryan Brennan, Owen Garvan; Conan Byrne, Graham Kelly, Dean Clarke; Christy Fagan (Jake Keegan, 51).

About the author:

Dan Gorman

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