Match Report

Match Info

Date: 01/10/2000
Competition: League
Venue: Tolka Park

Home Team

Horgan; Smith, Palmer, Cronin, Dunne; Kenny (Vaudequin, 84 mins), Tracey, Colwell, Woods; Grant (Cousins, 84 mins), Byrne (Francis, 84 mins).

Away Team

Kelly; Croly, S McGuinness, Maguire, Burke; Byrne, R McGuinness, Foley, Griffin (G Doyle, half-time); Kelly, McCarthy.

Officials

Referee: A O'Regan (Cork).

Goal Scorers

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Shamrock Rovers 1 - St Patrick's Athletic 2

The reaction of Pat Dolan as he skipped towards the dressingroom with a smile plastered across his face pretty much said it all. His team's defeat of their old Dublin rivals wasn't pretty - the match was decidedly scrappy and all the goals came from set pieces - but when you're where St Patrick's Athletic are it hardly matters.

After this, their first win of the league campaign, they are no longer bottom and the character shown by the team to win a game that might easily have been lost during the second period suggested that they might finally be finding their feet again. Not so Rovers.

Manager Damien Richardson presumably kept his post-match team talk fairly brief because his players have pretty much heard it all before from him over the past few weeks.

Disappointed once again with the efforts of his players, who he said had "had plenty of the ball without doing much with it".

Richardson suggested that a change in personnel might now be the only answer and hinted that a player swap involving one of his midfielders departing was something he was eyeing up.

Midfield certainly wasn't the home side's best area yesterday although it was one of those afternoons when you were left wondering which had been.

Marc Kenny always posed a threat from set pieces. Over the course of the game Kenny and his team-mates must have had at least one crack at every free-kick routine they'd ever rehearsed. A couple came close to paying off, most notably a quick second-half exchange involving Billy Woods and Brian Byrne but on that occasion Seamus Kelly was a little too quick to counter the danger.

The former UCD goalkeeper was helpless, though, in the 27th minute when Kenny took the more direct approach. From 25 yards he curled the ball into the net for a goal that cancelled out a rather similar effort from Paul Byrne for St Patrick's four minutes earlier.

Byrne's strike was directed perfectly and clipped the underside of the crossbar on the way in but its lack of power really might have allowed Robbie Horgan to do better than get a fingertip touch as it went in.

On the stroke of half-time Brian Byrne forced a fine reaction stop from the St Patrick's goalkeeper, and then Gavin Doyle, on from the break for the subdued Robbie Griffin, obliged Horgan to make a couple of good ones also.

The winner didn't arrive until the 80th minute when Liam Kelly, making his first league start of the season, got in behind the Rovers defence to head home another Byrne free-kick. Richardson's reaction was to make three changes and one, Seán Francis, should have equalised within seconds of arriving.

The finish was poor, though, and afterwards it was downhill all the way for the home side with Tommy Dunne dismissed for a professional foul and Ger McCarthy going very close to scoring number three for St Patrick's, Horgan producing a fine save.