St.Patrick’s Athletics had a night to remember in Tallaght Stadium, as they won 2-o after two set-pieces against Shamrock Rovers on tuesday night.
But it was the home side that had the best start to a very scrappy game. With a stiff wind at their backs, Rovers had a lot of pressure in the first half. And they could have taken the lead through Stephen Bradley, but he fired the shot straight at Gary Rogers in the Saints goal after just two minutes.
Rovers continued to have the play, and had another clear cut chance on 14 minutes when Graham Barrett and James Chambers combined to send Chambers in on goal, but he blasted his shot wide of the target.
The visitors tried to slow down play after this and had a few problems in the wind. They could not held the ball up and it was not a good game at this point. Shamrock’s defender Craig Sives had a great header after a corner on 30 minutes, but Rogers made a flying save. Rogers had a lot of problems getting his kicks over the halfway-line, because the wind was very stiff. St.Patricks had no chances themselves in the first half. And had their first corner after 35 minutes.
The homeside opened best in the start of the second half as well. Both Chambers and Bradley had shots wide off the visitors goal in the first ten minutes. And they where to regret that. A freekick after 56 minutes on the edge of the Rovers penalty area, was driven in by the former Rovers player Ian Bermingham. And the left-back’s inswinging delivery just went through everyone and ended up in the far corner of the net. This seemed to take the sting out of the homeside. Because just three minutes later on 59 minutes the Saints got a new freekick. And captain Damien Lynch cross was perfectly met by Vincent Faherty who headed it in to the far corner, without a chance for Shamrock-keeper Alan Mannus. Strong start to the second half by St.Patrick’s!
Apart from a pitch-invasion by an angry Rover’s fan who had a fight with goalkeeper Rogers, before being taken away by stewards, it rarely happened more in this game. The Saints was just happy to ran down the clock and took their second victory out of two and goes top in the Airtricity League.
St.Patrick’s manager Pete Mahon was a satisfied man after the game. ‘We are very happy, it was an important win for us in a great atmosphere here tonight. Two set-pieces and two goals is very good. It is something we have worked on in training, so I’m very happy it paid off for us. The second goal was truly a great header. We look solide in defence and even if we are no world beaters, we are a difficult side to beat’.
Rovers manager Michael O’Neill was not that happy after the game. ‘I am very dissapointed. We deserved nothing from the game and we have let everyone down here who came to see us tonight. I cant see any good points at all. We just have to get a good respons in training thursday, and in the next game’.