• General

  • Wednesday July 12th, 2023 @ 22:52

Result: Diddeleng 2 - Saints 1

A late Mark Doyle goal sent the Inchicore faithful who were out in Luxembourg wild and gave the travelling Saints fans something to take into next week's second leg fixture in Richmond Park.

The game started off evenly in the first fifteen minutes, with Dudelange consistently trying the long ball in behind the St Pat's defence. As the game began to settle, the Saints got a foothold in the game and started spraying the ball around with confidence.

However, a goal against the run of play then ensued as Oege-Sietse Van Lingen found the bottom corner from inside the box in the 24th minute of play.

St Pat's tried to find a way back into the game without much luck and headed into the dressing room at half-time 1-0 down after a frustrating first half.

Goalkeeper Dean Lyness performed exceptionally to keep the score at 1-0 as he made several saves either side of half-time, including a stunning reaction save from Dudelange's dangerman Samir Hadji in the 59th minute.

However, Dudelange then doubled their lead just after the hour mark as Yahcuroo Roemer struck low and hard to put his side two goals up. At this stage, the Saints had been playing some good passing football but had still struggled to create any clear-cut chances.

With twenty minutes to play, manager Jon Daly decided to shake things up as he brought on Noah Lewis and Tommy Lonergan for Harry Brockbank and Ben McCormack, as Lewis tucked into centre-back and Sam Curtis moved from centre-back out to the right.

Over the next few minutes, the Saints had settled back into the game since conceding, however they were still yet to have an obvious goalscoring opportunity. A Jake Mulraney free-kick from a narrow angle went just wide of the Dudelange post in the 79th minute as St Pat's looked to carve out that all-important chance to get the margin back to just one goal.

In the 81st minute, another attacking throw of the dice was to come as Jon Daly made his second double substitution of the night. Adam Murphy and Conor Carty, who had put in a valiant shift for their teammates, were replaced by Jason McClelland and Mark Doyle.

After multiple efforts to get the ball into the box had proved unsuccessful over the course of the last ten minutes of normal time, the assistant referee showed his board, revealing four added minutes were to be played.

In the 93rd minute of the game, with merely seconds left on the clock, Sam Curtis took a throw from down the right-hand side towards Tommy Lonergan in the box.

Lonergan took the ball into his path as he turned and shot but the ball was blocked by Dudelange centre-back Vincent Decker.

As Decker took a touch, failing to clear the ball, Mark Doyle capitalised and snatched the ball from him on the edge of the six-yard box before side-footing the ball past the keeper.

As Doyle coolly finished his 6th goal of the season and his first ever European goal, the red and white army in attendance in the stands went wild in celebration.

The goal was an example of the perseverance of not just Doyle, but of the whole team who fought hard for one another on a night in which the warm temperatures of a Luxembourg summer evening no doubt played a part.

After the late goal, Saints manager Jon Daly was full of praise for the travelling support and stated the significance of now having the ability to study tonight's opponents in-depth ahead of next week's clash:

"We now know what to expect. We need to be better in possession. I think Dean (Lyness) was fantastic and he made some good saves when we turned the ball over and also, I'm delighted for Mark Doyle to pop up with the goal late on.

"I'm delighted for the fans to have something to cheer. They came over in great numbers and they had to get behind the players and drive them on for large spells. I don't think the players lacked any effort and their application was excellent.

The tie is very close - it's still in the balance - so we'll bring them back to Richmond and we're very much out of the dark now on how they approach the game. We've got plenty of time now to study the game back and see the areas that we can exploit.

We're quietly confident going back to Richmond that the fans will get behind us and drive us forward to get a positive result."

The second leg takes place next Thursday, July 20th in Richmond Park with tickets completely sold out. Streaming details are to be announced in the coming days.

As always, updates can be found on the Official St Pat's FC App and across all the club's social media channels.

Next Fixture

Waterford / March 4th @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: RSC
Team Pld Pts
Derry City37
Galway United FC36
Waterford FC34
Bohemian FC24
St Patrick's Athletic33
Sligo Rovers32
Shamrock Rovers21
Drogheda United20

St Patrick's Athletic FC

Founded in 1929 the 'Saints' are the current FAI Cup holders and play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League at Richmond Park, in Inchicore Dublin 8, Ireland.

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