- Friday March 4th, 2022 @ 22:00
Report: Saints 1 - 0 Rovers
Chris Forrester's header nine minutes into the second half was enough to secure all three points over Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers on Friday night in Inchicore. The Saints were in top form as they held off the Rovers challenge to ensure all three points stayed in Inchicore.
It was a sell out at Richmond on Friday evening and it was a magical atmosphere with both sides contributing to an entertaining and open game of football.
St Pats started the brighter of the two sides and they had two early opportunities inside the opening five minutes. Mark Doyle went close three minutes in, but he was unable to hit the target as he dragged the ball wide of Alan Mannus' near post.
Eoin Doyle went close just one minute later when Darragh Burns delivered a beautiful ball into the area, but Doyle's glancing header at the front post sailed just over the crossbar.
The visitors grew into the game and they had their best chance of the half inside the opening 20 minutes also. Ronan Finn broke down the right hand side, but his touch made the angle too tight and Saints keeper Joseph Anang got down well to save with his feet.
Shamrock Rovers were creating the better chances and Jack Byrne and Rory Gaffney both had strikes saved by Anang who was kept very busy throughout the half.
St Pats struggled to create any clear cut opportunities in the first half, but they did have a penalty shout two minutes before the break when Eoin Doyle went down in the area after a tackle from Roberto Lopes. Despite strong shouts from Doyle and the Saints fans behind the goal, Rob Harvey waved the decision away as the ball trickled out for a goal kick.
The penalty shout proved to be the last action of the half as the sides went in level at Harvey's half time whistle.
Nine minutes into the second half, The Saints found the breakthrough. Darragh Burns delivered a delicious corner and it landed right on top of Chris Forrester's head who rose highest amongst a number of bodies to give St Pats a priceless lead.
Darragh Burns was causing all sorts of problems down the right wing for the Saints and he was his lively self, particularly in the second half as he settled into the game.
However, it was Burns' marker, Andy Lyons who went closest to equalising midway through the half. Graham Burke did excellent with some neat skill and the ball fell kindly to Lyons who fired from distance, forcing Anang to make a tricky save as the ball bounced in front of the St Pats goalkeeper.
St Pats pressed for a second goal and Chris Forrester did go close to doubling the lead 76 minutes in. His swerving, dipping shot had Mannus in trouble in the Rovers goal and he fumbled, almost dropping the ball into his own net but recovered well to gather the ball.
Rovers searched for an equaliser but they were unable to break down a Saints defeat. They launched the ball into the area, but the Saints stood tall, held strong and claimed all three points.
St Patricks Athletic: Joseph Anang; Jack Scott, Tom Grivosti, Joe Redmond, Anto Breslin; Adam O'Reilly, Chris Forrester; Mark Doyle , Billy King (Tunde Owolabi, 73) Darragh Burns (Ian Bermingham, 80); Eoin Doyle.
Subs not used: Josh Keeley, Sam Curtis, Ronan Coughlan, Jay McClelland, Ben McCormack, James Abankwah, Adam Murphy.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Ronan Finn (Sean Gannon, 75), Sean Hoare, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Andy Lyons (Barry Cotter, 75); Gary O'Neill, Dylan Watts (Aidomo Emakhu, 82); Danny Mandriou, (Graham Burke, 58) Rory Gaffney (Aaron Greene, 75), Jack Byrne.
Subs not used: Leon Pohls, Toms Leitis, Richie Towell, Sean Casey.
Referee: Rob Harvey.