OG: 90'
- Nahum Melvin-Lambert 90' + 2'

League Report: St Patrick's Athletic 0-1 Shamrock Rovers

Sat, Sep 25 2021

The Saints suffered a late loss to Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers on Friday night at Richmond Park. Credit: Timmy Keane

Sean O’Connor reports from Richmond Park

Shamrock Rovers placed one hand on the Premier Division title, as they overcame St Patrick’s Athletic 1-0 on Friday evening.

A Nahum Melvin-Lambert own goal in the dying minutes handed the champions all three points in a tense and feisty Dublin Derby. Danny Mandroiu missed a huge chance to put the visitors ahead in the first half, before Darragh Burns had a penalty appeal waved away.

The Saints began the second half much brighter, and Chris Forrester possibly could have had a brace on another day, missing two big chances to put the Saints ahead. It was Melvin-Lambert’s own goal that decided the contest, as Rovers take a nine-point lead at the top of the league.

Richmond Park hosted 2,500 home supporters for this top of the table clash, its largest crowd since February 2020.

The Saints came into the game in second place, six points behind Rovers with one more game played. Although recent losses to Finn Harps and Sligo Rovers have stuttered their title challenge, St Pat’s recent home record has been excellent, with eight wins in their last eight at Richmond Park. That said the hosts have not beaten the league leaders so far this season, with a 1-1 opening night draw followed by two Rovers victories.

John Mountney remained out with a knee issue while the Dublin Derby came too early for Lee Desmond and Robbie Benson to return.

Shamrock Rovers arrived at Richmond Park in superb form, with seven wins from their last eight league games, after last weekend’s 1-0 over Sligo Rovers.

Although the recent exits from the Europa Conference League and FAI Cup were disappointing for Stephen Bradley’s side, their full focus will be on retaining the Premier Division, with nine games remaining.

Ronan Finn returned to the starting eleven as captain, while Aaron Greene was named on the bench. Sean Hoare and Sean Kavanagh remain out injured.

Both sides enjoyed early periods of possession in the opening quarter of an hour. 17-year-old James Abankwah did very well to clear two through balls and was roared on by the packed Shed End.

The Saints had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee on twenty minutes, Burns was challenged in the box and went down but any appeals were waved away by Rob Hennessy.

Rovers’ first chance of the evening came midway through the first half. Jaros saved well but the ball found Mandroiu, who sent his effort high over the bar, amid jeers from the Saints faithful.

The visitors finished the half the stronger, with the Saints losing possession multiple times and giving needless fouls away. On the stroke of half-time Matty Smith took down Dylan Watts and gave a free kick away in a dangerous position. Stephen O’Donnell picked up a booking for his protests. Vitezslav Jaros cleared well, and Rob Hennessy blew for half-time.

The Saints began the second half superbly. Sam Bone’s terrific cross found Forrester whose header was just wide. Minutes later, Burns sent a superb ball into Forrester who miskicked his effort before Lopes cleared to safety.

After a bright ten-minute spell from the hosts, the League champions began to gain a foot on the game with Mandroiu and Towell threatening.

St Pat’s best chance of the second half came through Bone’s effort on 70 minutes. King broke down the left wing to cross before the ball fell to Bone, who’s driving effort was brilliantly saved by Mannus.

Burns sent another fantastic cross into the Rovers box, but Coughlan failed to convert. Immediately afterwards, Greene was played through on goal and his effort was saved from point blank range from Jaros to keep St Pat’s in the contest.

Jaros made an incredible double save late on after efforts by Towell and Watts to keep the Saints title hopes alive.

Despite Jaros’ heroics, it was to be heartbreak for the home side, as Melvin Lambert’s 92nd minute own goal handed Rovers all three points.

The league champions now go nine points clear at the top of the league with a game at hand.

St. Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; Sam Bone, Ian Bermingham (C), Paddy Barrett, James Abankwah (Shane Griffin 59); Chris Forrester (Billy King 58), Darragh Burns, Jamie Lennon, Alfie Lewis; Ronan Coughlan (Nahum Melvin Lambert 83), Matty Smith

Subs not used: Barry Murphy, Jak Hickman, Jason McClelland, Ben McCormack, Kyrian Nwoko.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Sean Gannon, Ronan Finn (C), Barry Cotter (Chris McCann 76); Dylan Watts, Richie Towell, Gary O’Neill, Daniel Mandroiu (Neil Farrugia 76); Rory Gaffney (Aaron Greene 65).

Subs not used: Leon Pohls; Adan Wells, Conan Noonan, Max Murphy, Dean McMenamy, Aidomo Emakhu

Referee: Rob Hennessy

Attendance: 2500

Extratime.com player of the match: Barry Cotter (Shamrock Rovers)

St. Pats
LSept. 10, 2021
Sligo 2 - 0 St. Pats
WSept. 17, 2021
St. Pats 3 - 0 Wexford
LSept. 24, 2021
St. Pats 0 - 1 Shamrock R
WOct. 1, 2021
Drogheda 0 - 1 St. Pats
LOct. 15, 2021
Derry 1 - 0 St. Pats
Vitezslav Jaros 1
Sam Bone 4
© Ian Bermingham 3
Paddy Barrett 29
James Abankwah
59Subbed On: 59'
Chris Forrester 8
58Subbed Off: Billy King 58'
Darragh Burns 17
Jamie Lennon 6
Alfie Lewis
Rónán Coughlan 10
83Subbed Off: Nahum Melvin-Lambert 83'
Matty Smith 12

Billy King 15
58Subbed On: Chris Forrester 58'
Jak Hickman
Shane Griffin 20
59Subbed Off: James Abankwah 59'
Kian Corbally 31
Jason McClelland 16
Ben McCormack 18
Nahum Melvin-Lambert 9
83Subbed On: Rónán Coughlan 83'
OG: 90'
Barry Murphy 21
Kyrian Nwoko
Shamrock R
WSept. 24, 2021
St. Pats 0 - 1 Shamrock R
WOct. 1, 2021
Shamrock R 2 - 1 Derry
LOct. 8, 2021
Dundalk 1 - 0 Shamrock R
WOct. 15, 2021
Shamrock R 2 - 0 Sligo
DOct. 18, 2021
Shamrock R 1 - 1 Bohs
1 Alan Mannus
4 Roberto Lopes
5 Lee Grace
2 Sean Gannon
8 Ronan Finn
Barry Cotter
Defender 76'
76Subbed Off: Neil Farrugia 76'
7 Dylan Watts
17 Richie Towell
16 Gary O'Neill
14 Daniel Mandroiu
Midfielder 79'
79Subbed Off: Chris McCann 79'
20 Rory Gaffney
Forward 65'
65Subbed Off: Aaron Greene 65'

21 Adam Wells
25 Leon Pohls
Conan Noonan
24 Max Murphy
Dean McMenamy
26 Chris McCann
Midfield 79'
79Subbed On: Daniel Mandroiu 79'
9 Aaron Greene
Forward 65'
65Subbed On: Rory Gaffney 65'
23 Neil Farrugia
Midfield 76'
76Subbed On: Barry Cotter 76'
Aidomo Emakhu


Competition: 2021 League of Ireland Premier Division

Date: 7:45 p.m. Sept. 24, 2021

Venue: Richmond Park

Referee: Unknown

Attendance: Unknown