St Patrick's Take Their Chances

  • Fri, Mar 19, 2010 @ 0:20

SHAMROCK ROVERS’ failure to defend free-kicks was clinically punished as St Patrick’s scored twice inside three minutes to go top of the Premier Division table.

Scarcely in the match in a one-sided first half, St Patrick’s took their chances through Ian Bermingham and Vinny Faherty in the second half as title-hopefuls Rovers suffered an early home defeat which sees them already five points behind champions Bohemians.

As for St Patrick’s, a second successive 2-0 win has Pete Mahon’s rebuilt side sitting top of the table as they silenced the majority in a crowd of 5,500, whose slow arrival delayed kick-off at Tallaght Stadium for 10 minutes.

Short up front in the absence of the injured Gary Twigg and Dessie Baker, Michael O’Neill, the Rovers’ manager, again strung five across midfield.

But it looked effective against St Patrick’s midfield quartet as Rovers, with the strong wind at their backs, were first to every ball, exemplified early on when Stephen Bradley latched on to James Chambers’ poor corner to drill a shot straight at Gary Rogers.

Chambers ought then to have given Rovers’ bright start its reward on 15 minutes.

A heavy touch by lone striker Graham Barrett presented the ball to the midfielder, who, courtesy of a deflection off defender Shane Guthrie, found himself in on goal. But he wastefully blasted wide of Rogers’ right-hand post.

Rovers were very much in the ascendancy and a third corner from Chambers allowed Rogers redeem his mistake that conceded it with a flying save from Craig Sives’ header.

But it was a dominance they failed to carry into the second half with the stiff breeze in their faces.

Bradley tried to ignite the home fires with an encouraging run and shot that flew wide. But that would be as good as it got for Rovers as St Patrick’s took the lead on 57 minutes.

A foul by Chambers on Dave Mulcahy out on the right didn’t appear to present a serious threat. But Rovers failed to attack Bermingham’s inswinging delivery into their box and the left-back, who played with Rovers last year, saw the ball bounce past Alan Mannus with no-one getting a touch.

Static defending was again punished on the hour. This time visiting skipper Damian Lynch whipped in a free-kick towards the near post where Faherty arrived to head past Mannus.

Save for a pitch incursion by an irate Hoops fan, who confronted Rogers before being ushered away, Rovers struggled to seriously threaten the visitors’ goal in the whole of the second half as the St Patrick’s ran down the clock.

Next Fixture

Bohemians / March 25th @ 12:00pm
Competition: Under 17s
Venue: Oscar Traynor Centre
Team Pld Pts
Bohemian FC615
Derry City612
Sligo Rovers69
Drogheda United68
Cork City65
Shamrock Rovers65
St Patrick's Athletic65