• General

  • Friday November 10th, 2023 @ 14:30

FAI Cup Final Preview

The Saints will play in Irish football's most grand occasion this Sunday in the Sports Direct FAI Cup Final.

They'll face Bohemians in a repeat of the 2021 decider - a game the Saints won on penalties to clinch their fourth FAI Cup.

Kick-off is at 3pm at the Aviva Stadium.

Tickets for the game are on sale HERE

Supporters are encouraged to buy tickets now to avoid disappointment, with tickets in the St Pat's section only available in limited supply.

With over 40,000 tickets already sold, the attendance record for an FAI Cup Final is set to be broken.

For those who can't make it to The Aviva, the Final will be shown on RTE2 and the RTE Player with coverage beginning at 2pm, those outside Ireland can watch on LOITV.



OPPOSITION WATCH & RECENT MEETINGS

Bohemians finished in 6th place in the Premier Division, with 58 points from their 36 games played.

Their last outing was a 4-0 win at Dalymount Park against Cork City. Danny Grant, a Jonathan Afolabi double and a Sam Bailey own goal made up the scoring.

The Saints have won two, drawn one and lost one of their four league encounters against The Gypsies this season.

The last encounter of these sides was on October 20th, with St Pat's coming out 2-0 winners on a wet and windy night in Dalymount Park.

Despite the poor weather, Saints fans travelled in their numbers to watch an impressive performance, which they will be hoping can be emulated in Sunday's Cup Final. Second-half goals from Mark Doyle and Conor Carty secured the three points.

The precious meeting between the sides was at Richmond Park in August, with an exciting, hard-fought game ending 0-0.



The other occasion that the the Inchicore men visited Dalymount was a 3-2 win in April, with the goals coming from Chris Forrester, Jason McClelland and Mark Doyle in a Dublin derby thriller, all of the goals came in an 11-minute spell in the first-half.

The first clash of the campaign was at Richmond Park where Johnny Afolabi and Dean Williams were on target in a 2-0 victory for Bohs.

It's six wins to three in favour of St Pat's over the last 10 league meetings, while memories of that famous 2021 FAI Cup final, which St Patrick's Athletic won on penalties at The Aviva, will still be fresh in the minds of Saints' supporters.

In terms of FAI Cup games between these two famous clubs, St Pat's have won 7 of the 15 matches, with 5 draws, and Bohs have won 3. In these games, St Pat's have scored 21 goals to Bohs' 17.



JON DALY: "We'll be doing everything we can to make sure we come back to Inchicore with the Cup"

With an FAI Cup Final coming at the end of what has been a stellar season for Jon Daly and his players, the Dubliner is intent that he and his squad will be giving it everything come Sunday:

"In terms of how we prepare the players, it's trying to assure them that - yes, it's a big game, in a bigger stadium, with bigger crowd - but that's what as young kids, you strive for. You want to be a professional footballer, playing in front of tens of thousands of people.

It's going to be fantastic. As difficult as it is, you need to try and soak it all in and enjoy it as much as possible, we'll be doing everything we can to make sure we come back to Inchicore with the Cup."




JOE REDMOND: "It will feel very special to captain this club in such a big game"

Club captain Joe Redmond has been in sensational form this season, particularly after having slotted back into the defence after his long-term hamstring injury that kept him out for a number of months.

Having been in the crowd at The Aviva in 2021 as a St Pat's fan, Redmond knows how much it would mean to win the Cup on Sunday:

"It will feel very special to captain this club in such a big game. It's important that we're calm and present in the moment and not let it pass you by.

When you look around and both sets of fans are full of atmosphere, you want to feed off of that.

The reason we're in the final is because we've shown how good we can be and how we find ways to win and that's so important. We want to enjoy it and try to go there and win the game, it would mean everything to me to walk up those steps and lift the trophy."




ANTO BRESLIN: "We want to be a part of the club's history as Cup winners"

Blanchardstown native Anto Breslin is the only outfielder to have started every one of the 36 games in this season's Premier Division. The former Bohemians full-back has been a stalwart in Jon Daly's defence and knows the importance of having the confidence from the manager, particularly going into a Cup final:

"We've achieved European football and we're in a Cup final, so we want to go on and win it now. It gives me great confidence that the gaffer has picked me every game to start.

The Final means everything to us. We want to be a part of the club's history as Cup winners.

The fans have been exceptional with us all year. They've travelled up and down the country in massive numbers. They've drove us over the line in these Cup games and I'm sure they'll make massive noise on Sunday."




CHRIS FORRESTER: "The fans will be massive"

With 331 appearances, a league title and two FAI Cup medals, it's safe to say that Chris Forrester is already a St Pat's legend.

If he plays this Sunday, it will be his fourth FAI Cup Final appearance for the club. No one has played in 4 FAI Cup finals for St Patrick's Athletic and if The Saints come out on top, Chris will be the first ever player to win three FAI Cups with the club.

"We have a chance of silverware now on Sunday. It's been a good season. Jon has allowed me to express myself. I love playing here, I have a great affection for this club.

The fans will be massive. I remember in 2021 that the fans carried us through a lot of that game. I want to have a good game and enjoy the occasion. Like I've done all season, I step out onto the pitch and try put my best foot forward and I think we'll all be doing that as a team."




FAI CUP MEMORIES

The last time The Saints had success in the FAI Cup is still reflected on fondly by fans from Inchicore, with a penalty shootout victory over this Sunday's opponents, Bohemians, at the Aviva Stadium in November 2021.

This was the fourth FAI Cup trophy for the Dublin 8 side, after victories in 1959, 1961 and 2014.

The 2021 victory was the first in the Cup for the club in seven years, since the previous win in 2014. That day, Christy Fagan scored twice at the Aviva Stadium to end the club's 53-year wait for the trophy.

The club's run to the Final in 2021 was a special one for sure. The semi-final against Dundalk at Richmond Park was a game that will live long in the memory. A 3-1 victory with goals from Billy King, Matty Smith and Darragh Burns sent Inchicore wild at the prospect of a first FAI Cup victory since 2014.

The Final against The Gypsies was one to remember. With the game scoreless at full-time, it was a cagey affair with chances few and far between. With the game moving into extra-time, no one was prepared for the masterclass that Chris Forrester was about to produce.



Receiving the ball on the half-turn, his touch took him past one player before he drove towards goal from the halfway line. With his right foot he took a touch inside then cut the ball back outside the defender before firing into the bottom left-hand corner and, in doing so, scoring one of the most special goals ever seen in an FAI Cup Final.

However, just after the interval, Rory Feely levelled things up for Bohs with a header from a corner in the 107th minute which sent the grand occasion to a dreaded penalty shootout.



However, the Saints selected to take their chances from twelve yards held their nerve. Penalties scored by Ronan Coughlan, Billy King, Jason McClelland and Robbie Benson secured the win for the Saints to claim their fourth FAI Cup crown.

Chris Forrester, Jamie Lennon and Jason McClelland are the only remaining players from the 2021 matchday squad. Sam Curtis, Ben McCormack and Adam Murphy were part of the team in 2021 but not selected for the match day squad. Ben and Adam were injured.



ROAD TO THE FINAL

After trips to Longford, Derry, Donegal and Cork, it is definitely fair to say that Jon Daly's men have had to work their way through some difficult ties to secure their place at The Aviva in this Sunday's final.

Let's remind ourselves of the Saints' journey to the FAI Cup Final...

First Round: Longford Town 1-2 Saints

A solid result at Bishopsgate was secured with two goals from Adam Murphy and Chris Forrester earning the club a place in the second round of the Cup, as club captain Joe Redmond made his long-awaited return from injury, much to the delight of the away end who had made the journey from Inchicore.



Round of 16: Derry City 0-0 Saints* (Saints won on penalties)

A hard-fought game at the Ryan McBride Brandywell ended 0-0 at full-time, with both Brian Maher and Dean Lyness in their opposing goals having to make some stunning saves to keep their sides deadlocked. It was then up to spot-kicks to decide who got a place in the quarterfinals. The Saints won 4-3 on penalties, with Mason Melia, who was fifteen years-old at the time, stepping up to seal the victory for his side.



Quarter-Final: Finn Harps 1-2 Saints

Having gone 1-0 down in the first-half, a Chris Forrester penalty in the 48th minute levelled things up for the Saints. Despite having to battle their way back into the game as the Donegal side put in an impressive defensive display, Tommy Lonergan struck late on, rifling his effort into the roof of the net in the 85th minute to secure a semi-final date in Turner's Cross.



Semi-Final: Cork City 0-2 Saints

Having beaten Cork City 1-0 in Turner's Cross in the Premier Division just nine days earlier, the Inchicore side travelled down for the same fixture, this time facing Cork in the semi-final, with a place in The Aviva on the line.

A 12th minute strike from Mark Doyle opened the scoring before an 83rd minute volley powered home by Wicklow native Conor Carty secured his side's fate, with a Dublin derby against Bohemians standing in the way of St Pat's lifting the Cup for the fifth time in the club's history.



TEAM NEWS:

Tom Grivosti (knee), Axel Sjöberg (hamstring) and Harry Brockbank (quad) are all unavailable for the game.

TICKETS:

Tickets for the game are on sale HERE

TV

For those who can't make it to The Aviva, the Final will be shown on RTE2 and the RTE Player with coverage beginning at 2pm, those outside Ireland can watch on LOITV.

UPDATES:

As always, updates can be found on the Official St Pat's FC App - available now on both the App Store and Play Store.

Updates will also be available across all the club's social media channels.

Photo credit: Sportsfile

Next Fixture

Bohemians / February 23rd @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: Richmond Park
 
Team Pld Pts
Derry City13
St Patrick's Athletic13
Bohemian FC11
Sligo Rovers11
Dundalk11
Shamrock Rovers11
Shelbourne11
Waterford FC11
Drogheda United10
Galway United FC10

St Patrick's Athletic FC

Founded in 1929 the 'Saints' are the current FAI Cup holders and play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League at Richmond Park, in Inchicore Dublin 8, Ireland.

Latest Posts




Contact Us

125 Emmet Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, D08 E0Y7, Ireland

(+353) 1 454 6332
(+353) 1 454 6211