FAI Umbro Intermediate Cup - Round 2
Urged on by a big away following the team performed superbly on the night. Drumcondra had the better of the opening exchanges and looked the most likely to open the scoring. The best chance for the home side came when John Brophy was so close to reaching a brilliant McDonagh cross. Fee saved a McMillian header a few minutes later, though the Saints goalkeeper wasn't troubled and made a comfortable save. The Saints grew in confidence and started to play some beautiful football and when you present Glen Crowe with chances a miss is a rarity. His opening goal was vintage Crowe, a side foot into the back of the net. His second two minutes later was a gift although like all great strikers he anticipated a goalkeeping mistake and got the reward.
Nathan Brown and Craig Sheridan were outstanding in the heart of the Saints defence with Smith and Kelly getting forward at every opportunity. Brian McCarthy's side was tactically spot on with O' Neill and Lyons allowing the Somers brothers and Reilly the freedom to join Crowe and attack the Drumcondra defence. Fee made two top class saves in the space of a few minutes which denied the home side a goal before the break. Fee's second save was unbelievable, diving low into the corner to keep out Brophy's volley.
Craig Sheridan came close to making it 3-0 just after half time but his header couldn't find the back of the net. The Saints dominated the start of the second half with the Somers brothers and John Reilly causing Drumcondra all sorts of problems. Crowe went close to completing his hat trick with a header in the 56th minute. Martin O' Neill had one of his finest games in a Saints shirt and he and Jonathan Lyons won so many tackles in midfield. Drumcondra got a lifeline in the 84th minute when the excellent Brian Kelly made a rare mistake and when he took down Derek Swan the referee had no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Substitute Swan stepped up to score and set up a nervy last seven minutes. Drumcondra threw everything at the Saints but with some terrific defending and counter attacking football the Saints held on and deserved the win.
The Saints remain unbeaten and will fear nobody in the next round.
Team : Fee, Smith, C. Sheridan, Brown, Kelly, Lyons ( Deegan 70 ) O' Neill, K. Somers, D. Somers, Reilly ( Lancaster 74 ) Crowe ( Hilliard 83 )
Subs : Lancaster, Hilliard, Fitzpatrick, Deegan, M. Sheridan, Snowe.
Report : Derek Nulty.