- Friday April 15th, 2022 @ 22:15
Report: Shamrock Rovers 1- 0 Saints
Rory Gaffney's header just after half time proved to be decisive as Shamrock Rovers held on to claim all three points in the Dublin derby on Friday night in Tallaght.
Rovers defence stood strong as St Pats struggled to create any clear cut chances with Billy King going closest before half time. However, it wasn't to be for Tim Clancy's men as Gaffney's header was enough for the defending league champions to ensure all three points stayed in Tallaght.
It was a magical atmosphere with the sun shining down on the 1,000 Saints fans who made the short trip to Tallaght and both sets of fans created plenty of noise in the lead up to kick off.
The opening 30 minutes were cagey, with very few chances created from either side. Rovers enjoyed a lot of possession, but a stubborn St Pats defence were proving very difficult to break down.
On the 30 minute mark, The Saints came to life. Eoin Doyle found Billy King wide on the left with a beautiful pass and King pulled the trigger early, forcing Rovers keeper' Alan Mannus into making a good save. The rebound fell to Eoin Doyle at the back post but the angle was too tight for the striker and he blazed his effort wide of the target.
Doyle's physicality was a handful for the Rovers defence at times and he did well five minutes from the break to hold over Roberto Lopes before switching the play to Darragh Burns. Burns ran at Sean Hoare and as he made his way into the box, he unleashed a left footed shot, but Lopes recovered well to block the shot with the resultant corner eventually being cleared away from danger.
Burns' chance proved to be the final one of the half as Paul McLouhglin's half time whistle brought the curtain down on a cagey first half with both sides struggling to any clear cut chances.
Rovers started the second half the better and six minutes in, they broke the deadlock. Danny Mandroiu floated a beautiful ball in towards the back post and Rory Gaffney was on hand to head the ball home to give Rovers the advantage.
10 minutes later, Jack Byrne forced Joseph Anang into making a decent save as he got down well to palm the ball away from the danger zone.
The Saints threw everything at the game in search of an equaliser and they emptied the bench with Tunde Owolabi and Ronan Coughlan both brought on in search of a goal, but it wasn't to be as Rovers held on for all three points.
St Pats are on the road again on Monday when they travel to UCD to take on the students with kick off scheduled for the earlier time of 5pm.
St Patricks Athletic: Joseph Anang; James Abankwah, Joe Redmond, Tom Grivosti, Anto Breslin (Mark Doyle, 72); Chris Forrester, Adam O'Reilly (Ben McCormack, 81) Jay McClelland (Ronan Coughlan, 72); Darragh Burns, Eoin Doyle (Jack Scott, 84) Billy King (Tunde Owolabi, 72).
Subs not used: David Odumosu, Ian Bermingham, Sam Curtis, Kian Corbally.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Ronan Finn (Sean Gannon, 88), Sean Hoare, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Sean Kavanagh (Neil Farrugia, 72); Gary O'Neill, Richie Towell (Dylan Watts, 72);Jack Byrne (Chris McCann, 88), Danny Mandriou; Rory Gaffney (Aaron Greene, 67).
Subs not used: Leon Pohls, Barry Cotter, Sean Carey, Aidomo Emakhu.
Referee: Paul McLoughlin.