- Saturday May 29th, 2021 @ 11:07
Report: Saints 0-2 Dundalk (28/05/21)
St Patrick's Athletic suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Dundalk at Richmond on Friday evening in their final game before the mid-season break.
An unlucky Sam Bone own-goal and a David McMillan second-half strike helped Dundalk to victory in a disappointing night for The Saints.
There were three changes to the side which drew 2-2 against Derry City on Monday, with Jamie Lennon returning from suspension and Matty Smith and Ian Bermingham also returning to the side replacing Alfie Lewis, Ronan Coughlan and Shane Griffin.
It was a quiet opening 10 minutes, with Vitezslav Jaros dealing well with a few high balls which were floated on top of the Czech Republic native.
The Saints were first to hit the target when Ian Bermingham's cross found the head of Matty Smith. However, Smith was unable to generate much power behind the header from distance and Alessio Abibi saved comfortably.
Moments later, John Mountney found himself free on the edge of the area, but he shot wide across Abibi's goal.
On the 13th minute, Dundalk almost opened the scoring. Patrick McEleney's free kick looked as if it had snuck into the bottom right corner, but Jaros did excellently to get down and push the effort away.
The Saints grew into the game and controlled most of the possession in the opening half hour. With 25 minutes played, Matty Smith whipped a beautiful ball into the danger area which found Billy King at the back post. King took it down well on his chest, but the touch created too tight of an angle as he skied his shot over the bar.
Shortly after King's shot and at the opposite end of the field, Patrick Hoban's neat touch fell kindly to Michael Duffy on the edge of the six-yard box, but Sam Bone threw himself in front of the shot to block it superbly.
Three minutes later and with 32 minutes played, the visitors took the lead. Dundalk broke at pace and set Duffy free down the left side. He cut in, finding Patrick McEleney who in turn laid it off to ex Saint David McMillan. McMillan's shot, which looked to be going wide, deflected off an unfortunate Sam Bone, giving Jaros no chance in the St Pat's goal.
John Mountney and Robbie Benson delivered some very dangerous corners just before Neil Doyle's half time whistle, which tested the Dundalk defence but to no avail as the visitors took a one goal lead into the break.
Six minutes into the second half, Dundalk doubled their lead. Patrick Hoban found space on the right-hand side and his ball right across the danger zone found McMillan who poked the ball home from close range.
St Pat's responded well to the goal and up the other end, Paddy Barrett looked as if he had pulled one back when he headed a Robbie Benson corner goal bound, only for McMillan to head the ball off the line in what looked like a certain goal.
Matty Smith went close soon after with a driven shot which sailed right across the goal, as The Saints desperately looked for a way back into the game.
St Patrick's were really troubling the Dundalk defence, applying constant pressure attempting to prise an opening for themselves.
Substitute Ronan Coughlan slipped a beautiful ball through to fellow substitute Alfie Lewis but Lewis' shot was somehow blocked and kept out by Andy Boyle.
Matty Smith and Ian Bermingham both had chances in the final third. Smith did terrifically to turn inside from the right and create space for a shot, with his shot blocked by Chris Shields, as shouts of 'handball' rang through the stadium.
Two minutes later, Bermingham raced ono a loose ball and unleashed a shot with his left boot but failed to connect properly with it as he sliced it well wide.
Despite having the majority of the possession for the second half, The Saints were unable to find a way past an exceptional Dundalk defence as they held on to claim all three points.
St Patrick's Athletic: Jaros; Mountney (Melvin-Lambert, 73), Bone, Barrett (Lewis, 55), Desmond, Bermingham (McCormack, 83); Lennon (Coughlan, 55), Forrester, Benson; Smith, King.
Dundalk: Alessio Abibi; Raivis Jurkovskis, Chris Shields, Andy Boyle, Val Adeokun, Patrick McEleney, Sam Stanton (Wilfried Zahibo, 83), Greg Sloggett, Michael McDuffy; Patrick Hoban (SeÃ¡n Murray, 66), David McMillan (Daniel Kelly, 75).
Referee: Neil Doyle
Match report by Eoin Rosney, photo credit Inpho Sports>