Sucker punch floors Bray


AS HE stood in the doorway of his team's dressing room after the game, Pat Devlin wore the look of a man who had seen it all before. Having suffered a last minute defeat by Finn Harps, having had a 3-1 lead over Shamrock Rovers turned into a 4-3 defeat, and having allowed a loss to UCD because of 10 minutes of buffoonery, it was no surprise. Bray's slide back towards the first division has been a painful thing to watch.

Yesterday it was more of the same old story. His side's chances of winning diminished two minutes before the break when joint top scorer Richie Parsons was dismissed along with Keith Long after the pair had become entangled, but they still looked capable of taking a draw from the game right up until the fourth minute of added time when fate, this week taking the form of Martin Reilly, looked down on them before dishing out a good old kicking.

To be fair to St Patrick's, they had thrown everything at their disposal at John Walsh's goal through the closing stages of the match and only a combination of fine goalkeeping, sloppy finishing and bad luck kept them from making a breakthrough.

"With six minutes to go we pushed a third man forward and we ended up playing three two four at the end with Eddie Gormley joining the attack and we got something for it," said manager Pat Dolan.

As the pressure mounted, though, goalkeeper Walsh stood firm and saves from Paul Osam and Reilly appeared, briefly, to have earned his side a draw. Regulars at the Carlisle Grounds probably knew better. With the game dragging on through what must have seemed an endless amount of injury time, their pessimism was seen to be justified. Gormley only just kept the ball in play and his low cross from the left was poor, but Maurice Farrell allowed it to pass through his legs to Reilly. Once more Walsh raced forwards to smother the shot, but the striker held his nerve well to edge Wanderers just a little bit closer to the precipice.