League Report: UCD 1 – 3 St. Patrick’s Athletic

Luke Jordan reports from the UCD Bowl

Three corners, three goals were enough for St. Pats to see of the Students 3-1 on Friday night.

A brace from Noah Lewis and a goal from Conor Carty makes it three wins in a row for Jon Daly’s men. However, for Andy Myler, a sixth defeat for UCD in a row leaves them rooted to the foot of the table – they are now a dozen points from Drogheda United directly above them.

The Athletic made five changes from their win against Dundalk last weekend. Jake Mulraney who was harshly dismissed last Friday missed out along with centre back Tom Grivosti who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

Match winner Conor Carty along with Jay McGrath, Jason McClelland, Ben McCormack, Harry Brockbank all came in for Jon Daly’s side. Brockbank was making his first start of the season for the super saints. The Pats bench was one of youth with James Byrne, 17-year-old Darius Lipsuic, and Mason Melia who recently scored for Ireland in the U17 European Championship all named as substitutes.

The Saints started the brighter, grabbing an early foothold on proceedings and putting the Students under early pressure. After a succession of early corner kicks from Ben McCormack, the third one provided a dividend as UCD keeper Lorcan Healy didn’t deal with the cross and Carty headed home for his second in two games, his third under Jon Daly.

It should have been two shortly after when McCormack, who started very brightly, hit a delicious cross field ball over the UCD defence and McClelland hit a first-time volley, but his effort was saved by Healy to keep it 1-0 to the Athletic.

UCD struggled to deal with the Pats intensity in the first half but did have sporadic moments. A mistake by Anto Breslin allowed UCD in. A decent cross from the right caused a scramble in the penalty area, eventually finding the feet of Students striker Jake Doyle but his snapshot was dealt with by the vocal Dean Lyness.

Saints’ top scorer Chris Forrester had a chance to add to his eight league goals when McGrath clipped one ball over the top to find the Smithfield man unmarked, but he dragged his effort wide by the post. McClelland and Ciaran Behan both had speculative efforts for their sides but both efforts were saved.

Late in the first half, Pats were forced into an early change when McGrath went down off the ball and Noah Lewis came on. A disaster for St. Pats who are already without central defenders Joe Redmond and Grivosti long term.

However, moments later from a corner kick, another McCormack delivery found the head of Lewis back post who nodded home to made it 2-0 to the visitors. Andy Myler will be disappointed with his team defensively, in goalkeeper for the set up to defend. 

UCD made a couple changes at the interval and that sparked a decent start to the second half for the home side. A couple crosses into the penalty area but nothing troubled the Pats defence. Some groans of frustration were coming from the visiting fans who believed they should have had one or two free kicks which were ignored by the officials.

First real opening of the second half came when Brockbank’s deep cross almost found the on-rushing Forrester, but UCD managed to clear their lines.

In the 62nd minute, good work by substitute Thomas Lonergan down the left-hand side saw Pats win another corner, and again, the routine worked. McCormack’s deep corner found Lewis unmarked at the back post who powered his header by the helpless Healy in the goal to make it 3-0 to the Athletic. 

A miss of the season contender happened next in Belfield when Carty beat his man to find McCormack alone in the penalty area with an open goal to get himself on the score sheet. Incredibly, from yards out, his effort hit the post and rebounded away. The look of astonishment rested on his face.

Both managers made further changes to their respective sides throughout the half, one of them was Mason Melia, who showed flashes of his talent after coming on.

Late in the second half, St. Pats switched off at the back which allowed Kinsella Bishop an opportunity which he took with his aplomb, burying his effort by Lyness.

In additional time, Pats won another corner after good work by Melia down the left almost found Lonergan in the penalty area, but a Student defender got a block. The Pats fans urged Lewis up for the corner to get his hat trick. It almost happened; his header hit the bar but referee Gavin Colfer blew his whistle so it wouldn’t have counted.

Three wins on the bounce for Jon Daly and St. Pats who goes into Monday’s clash with Derry City full of confidence. UCD on the on the other hand are struggling with a lot of questions needing answering for Myler and the management team. They face a trip up the M1 to Dundalk on Monday.

UCD: Lorcan Healy; Daniel Babb (Harry O'Connor 73), Colin Bolton (Michael Gallagher 46), Harvey O'Brien (Luke O'Regan 46), Evan Osam, Adam Wells; Brendan Barr, Ciaran Behan, Dara Keane, Daniel Norris (Alex Nolan 74); Jake Doyle (Danu Kinsella Bishop 59).
Subs not used: Kian Moore, Ryan Bowden, Matthew Alonge. 
Booked: Daniel Norris (35)

St. Patrick's Athletic: Dean Lyness; Anto Breslin, Harry Brockbank (Thijs Timmermans 61), Sam Curtis, Jay McGrath (Noah Lewis 39); Chris Forrester, Jamie Lennon (Serge Atakayi 72), Jason McClelland (Thomas Lonergan 61), Ben McCormack, Adam Murphy (Mason Melia 72); Conor Carty.
Subs not used: David Odumosu, Darius Lipsiuc, James Byrne, Eoin Doyle. 
Booked: None. 

Referee: Gavin Colfer
Attendance: 1,200 (estimate)
extratime.com Player of the Match: Conor Carty (St. Patrick’s Athletic)