League Report: St Patrick's Athletic 2 - 1 Shamrock Rovers

Richmond's rapture! St Patrick’s Athletic beat Shamrock Rovers by two goals to one as Dublin 8 see’s Kenny’s Kingdom come.

In front of a 4,965 strong crowd, a Brandon Kavanagh bullet deep in stoppage time clinched three points for The Saints in a feisty contest that drizzled drama.

With two calls for a penalty at either end of the pitch in the opening ten, it was clear that the Dublin Derby was not about to disappoint.

Straight out the gate, St Pat’s looked up for the contest - Jake Mulraney rocketing past Josh Honohan on the left wing before delivering a sweeping cross to Mason Melia who was undercut by an alert Lee Steacy.

Calls for a penalty in the Patrons Stand were dismissed by referee Damien MacGraith, who moments later would wave away protests from the men in green and white when Neil Farrugia took a tumble in the Pats box.

Showing that Shamrock swag that seems to exude from the pores of every Dublin 24 attacker, the number 23 darted beyond three Pats defenders and looked to have been wrestled to the turf by Luke Turner before missile launch. 

For Pats, their stand out player by a country mile was Chris Forrestor, the 31 year old gliding across the turf like a gazelle and winning challenge after challenge.

In the 16th the central midfielder would play a leading pass to Mulraney who would shimmer beyond Farrugia and swing a cross into the box.

Melia would beat Lee Grace to the ball but the momentum of his run would leave the sixteen-year old with no option but to shoot in reverse - his shot rolling inches past the visitors right-hand post.

In the 20th Pats had another close encounter with The Hoops goal minder when Jamie Lennon took advantage of a quick restart in play to pick out Kian Leavy on the right channel.

The twenty-two-year old dazzled for the home side and showed excellent ball control with the outside of his left boot on the right lane.

In front of the Black Lion sideboard posting, Leavy would roar past Markus Poom - the number ten’s step over paralysing the number nineteen as the hunter became the hunted. 

It looked as if Pat’s were dead certs to take the lead as Romal Palmer pulled the trigger meters from goal yet by sheer luck, Honohan and Steacy kept the ball out of the back of the net.

Rovers however looked frightening on the counter and time slowed down for the Richmond revellers when Axel Sjoberg lost the ball in his own half and Graham Burke buzzed towards goal - Daniel Rogers doing well to drop and parry his powerful strike.

The Hoops just edged Pats in the class department in the opening forty-five and were rewarded in the 32nd when Farrugia danced past Lennon, Turner and Tom Grivosti on the right and swung a cross inside the D - Kenny nipping the ball from Poom’s feet and converting with a deft swivel and turn into the bottom right-hand corner.

In the second half the contest was physical as Rovers sought to kill the game with a second and Pats pressed high, committing bodies up front in their determination to secure the equaliser.

Both teams looked vulnerable whenever either countered yet both Mulraney and Burke would sky the ball over the crossbar for their respective sides - that final quality touch for both sides MIA.

Ruairí Keating would come off the bench to replace Palmer in the 61st, his height a strength Kenny would look to exploit in set pieces.

True to form, in the 68th Mulraney, who marched for the full ninety on the left, found Keating at the back post with an inviting cross.

As the Westport native hit the deck between Roberto Lopes and Grace, Richmond demanded the ball be placed on spot - yet to their ire, the official would dismiss the third penalty call of the night.

Keating would balloon the Rovers net shortly thereafter -  his first goal adjudicated as offside in the 75th.

Yet the fan favourite would send inchicore insane less than 60 seconds later when pressure from Melia would force the Rovers goal minder into making a hasty clearance - Keating doing well first time to dink the ball to his stronger right foot and show composure in front of the visitors shifting guard, Lopes.

Whipping the ball around the Cape Verde native’s frame, The Hoops away contingent could only look on as the ball sailed into the top right bin and Dublin 8 erupted.

In the final ten, The Hoops threw the kitchen sink at Pats, Stephen Bradley’s eleven determined to stay within reach of Damien Duff’s Reds.

Richie Towell would find himself in acres of space on the right lane and within touching distance of the Carmac Terrace supporters who instructed their eleven as if they were wearing an earpiece issued from their gaffer.

When Towell’s effort sailed over the crossbar in the minutes that followed the home fans began to sing in full voice, sensing that they would leave Richmond Road with something to show for their Thursday night efforts.

As the ball pinged from end to end, you sensed that either side could snatch the three points, and they did just that when super sub Kavanagh, one minute out from the final whistle, charged into the box like a bat out of hell and skulled the ball into the back of the Rovers net, sending Richmond wild.


St. Patrick's Athletic: Daniel Rogers; Tom Grivosti, Joseph Redmond, Carl Sjöberg, Luke Turner; Kian Leavy, Jamie Lennon, Mason Melia, Jake Mulraney, Romal Palmer; Christopher Forrester.

Subs not used: Marcelo Pitaluga, Conor Keeley, Jason McClelland, Aaron Bolger, Arran Pettifer, Brandon Kavanagh, Ruairí Keating, Alex Nolan, Cian Kavanagh.

Booked: Tom Grivosti (17).


Shamrock Rovers: Lee Steacy; Lee Grace, Joshua Honohan, Pico; Neil Farrugia, Darragh Nugent, Markus Poom, Dylan Watts; Graham Burke, Aaron Greene, Johnny Kenny.

Subs not used: Toms Leitis, Cory O'Sullivan, Ademide Solanke, Cian Barrett, Jack Byrne, John O'Sullivan, Richard Towell, Conan Noonan, Cian Dillon.


Referee: Damien MacGraith.

Attendance: 4,965.

extratime.com Player of the Match: Axel Sjoberg (St Patrick's Athletic).