- Friday September 24th, 2021 @ 21:51
Report: Saints 0-1 Shamrock Rovers
St Patrick's Athletic suffered last minute heartbreak at the hands of Shamrock Rovers on Friday night.
An unfortunate 93rd minute own goal was the difference between the sides as Rovers snatched all three points right at the death for the second time in Richmond this season.
It was an even contest with the stakes massively high, but the opening exchanges were extremely cagey.
Jamie Lennon's long range snapshot was the best chance of a quiet first-half.
It was a typical derby with tackles flying in with both sides looking to assert their dominance on their opposition. With 2,500 people watching in a sold out Richmond Park, the fans really played their part in what was a brilliant atmosphere and affair.
When Darragh Burns raced onto a loose ball inside the opposition box, he went down after a tangle with Lee Grace, but referee Rob Hennessy waved away the huge claims from the St Pat's camp for a penalty.
Shamrocks Rovers did have some decent chances themselves and Barry Cotter did excellently when he raced onto a ball over the top and his touch took him goal bound but Danny Mandroiu was unable to direct his cross goal bound as the effort sailed well over the bar.
Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half, with the half time whistle bringing an fiesty, yet entertaining half to an end.
The Saints wanted a good start to the second-half and they almost got that perfect start three minutes in. Sam Bone whipped in a terrific ball, finding Chris Forrester at the back post but Forester's glancing, diving header sailed agonisingly wide of Alan Mannus' goal.
70 minutes in, St Pat's had a brilliant chance to take the lead. Sam Bone was first to react to a loose ball outisde the area. He unleashed a bullet which looked set for the roof of the net, but Mannus somehow pulled off a terrific save to deny the Saints defender.
The game burst into life in the final 15 minutes as both teams pushed for the winner. There was another penalty shout when Matty Smith's header back across the goal came off Richie Towell's body and immediately up the other end, Shamrock Rovers broke and Aaron Greene almost put his side in front, but for an excellent save from Jaros in The Saint's goal.
Jaros was called into action again in the 88th minute when he produced a fantastic double save. Firstly, he denied Riche Towell after Towell had done well to find space to manufacture a shot in the penalty area. He recovered quickly and the rebound fell to Dylan Watts, but Jaros was again on hand to deny Rovers as it looked as if the points would be shared in Richmond.
However, it was heartbreak right at the death for St Pat's. Dylan Watts delivered a dangerous ball into the danger area and in amongst a number of bodies, the ball flew past Jaros with Nahum Melvin Lambert getting the extremely unfortunate final touch as he deflected it into his own net.
St Pat's threw everything at the game in injury time, but it just wasn't to be as Shamrock Rovers held on to claim all three points and move nine points clear at the summit of the table.
Next up for The Saints is a trip to Drogheda on Friday with a kick off time of 7.45pm
St Patrick's Athletic: Jaros; Abankwah (Griffin, 62), Bone, Barrett, Bermingham; Lennon (McCormack, 82) , Forrester (King, 58), Lewis; Burns, Smith Coughlan (Melvin-Lambert, 83).
Subs not used: Murphy, Griffin, Hickman, Corbally, McClelland, McCormack, Nwoko.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Ronan Finn, Sean Gannon, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Barry Cotter (Neil Farrugia, 76); Gary O'Neill. Dylan Watts, Richie Towell, Danny Mandroiu (Chris McCann, 79); Rory Gaffney (Aaron Greene, 65).
Subs not used: Leon Pohls; Adam Wells, Max Murphy, Dean McMenamy, Conan Noonan, Aidomo Emakhu.
Referee: Rob Hennessy
Photo credit: Inpho Sports