League Preview: St Patrick’s Athletic -v- Shelbourne

Shelbourne's Mark Coyle and Saint Chris Forrester in action in last February's 1-0 win for Pat's at Richmond Park

Shelbourne's Mark Coyle and Saint Chris Forrester in action in last February's 1-0 win for Pat's at Richmond Park Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)


The Saints picked up a valuable three points in their match against Dundalk last weekend and they will be aiming to add to their points total when they host Shelbourne at Richmond Park this Friday night (kick off 7.45 pm).

There was a level of anxiety around Inchicore before the Dundalk game as they had lost three games on the trot, so the slender 1-0 win against the Lilywhites eased the nerves somewhat in advance of the arrival of table toppers Shelbourne.

Pats came under a fair degree of pressure from a struggling Dundalk side in that game, particularly in the latter stages, and they were grateful to former-Cork City striker Ruairi Keating whose 30th minute goal separated the two sides.

After their goalkeeping woes in earlier matches, they were also grateful to have kept a clean sheet thanks to a solid performance from Danny Rogers between the sticks.

Manager Jon Daly was pleased with Rogers’ performance, commenting after the game: “It’s not like I’m putting in a goalkeeper who’s not tried and trusted. He’s a top-class goalkeeper. I said to Danny that I’m really pleased to have him to step in and take that chance.”

Centre Back Luke Turner was on media duty with Pats this week and he said: “We were happy with the three points on Friday against Dundalk. It was all about getting a clean sheet as we know the threat that we have up top and Keats got us the winner.

“The fans are going to be right up against the pitch and they are going to make it a great atmosphere and make it hard for Shels. We need our supporters to help us win the game.

“We'll be looking to nullify Shels' threats and focus on our strong points, football is about results and we want to go and win the game.”

The game is a sell out and there will be around 5,000 fans crammed into Richmond Park on Friday night.


Shels’ excellent start to the new season continued last weekend when they had a deserved 2-0 win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

That loss by Bohs signalled the end of Declan Devine’s reign as manager as he became the first managerial casualty of the new season after only five games.

There is no danger to Damian Duff’s position at Tolka Park however as his side sit confidently at the top of the table on 13 points, still unbeaten after five series of games.

The performance against Bohemians may not have been of the highest standard and they left it late before scoring twice in the 80th and 85th minute to secure the three points.

Their strong bench certainly was a factor as a substitute Sean Boyd earned the penalty that Will Jarvis converted and another sub Matty Smith drew the foul which led to Tyreke Wilson’s free kick being headed home by Gavin Molloy for the insurance second goal.

Mark Coyle, speaking to his club’s media team, said: “It’ll be a tough encounter, they’ll be right up for it, Pats had a good win against Dundalk. Every game they’ve played hasn’t been many goals.

"They looked dogged and organised definitely, over the games we’ve played against them since I’ve been here, set pieces have played a massive part. We need to be on it. Try to impose ourselves on them, bring what we have to the table.

“We’ve had a decent start but it’s too early in the season to think we’ve done something. Pats are a very dangerous side. Lots of quality and if we’re any way off it we know we won’t get a result. We’ve had a good start yeah, but at 7:45pm tomorrow that won’t mean much.”

He added: “We’ll stay grounded, that comes from the manager and the staff, the gaffer has always got a great message. Every story he tells us has a point to it, himself and Joey’s meetings always have a meaning that resonates with the players. It could be a movie clip or a quote or reference and it just hits you, ‘I get it’, what they mean.

“The message is if you get too far ahead of yourself you get caught out. They are geniuses on the motivational side. They know what we have to do and so do we. We have to be at it and be relentless if we want to have a successful season.”    

Referee: Robert Harvey


This fixture will be the 147th league meeting between St Patrick’s Athletic and Shelbourne. St Pat's have won 55, there have been 25 draws and Shelbourne have won 56 times.

There was a very clear pattern between these two sides in the first three games of the 2023 season with Pats winning all three by a single goal.

They picked up all nine points from three 1-0 victories but came unstuck in the fourth and final match at Tolka Park when they lost 2-1.

Pats led through a Joe Redmond 20th minute goal in that match but Shels, as they did against Bohs last weekend, finished very strongly and scored twice late on to snatch all three points.

The since departed Portuguese player Euclides Cabral scored in the 80th minute and stalwart centre back Paddy Barrett scored the winner with a 90th minute header.


St Patricks Athletic 6/4; Draw 2/1; Shelbourne 9/5


St Patrick’s Athletic 1 - 2 Shelbourne

St Patricks Athletic

Injured:  Tom Grivosti, Romal Palmer, Ryan Mclaughlin

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None


Injured: Shane Griffin

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None