League of Ireland recap: St Pat’s defeat champions as Damien Duff suffers home defeat


Chris Forrester scored a rare header winner to give St Patrick’s Athletic a first league win over Shamrock Rovers in nearly four years to delight their vociferous support at a bouncing Richmond Park.

It was just the pick-me-up Tim Clancy’s side needed after back-to-back defeats, while Stephen Bradley’s champions have now lost twice in four games in what is shaping up to be an intriguing championship start this weekend from Derry City after their win at Shelbourne is cited.

In front of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny in front of a packed house of almost 5,000, including 1,100 Rovers fans, St Pat’s got the first look at goal in a frenetic opening.

The tenacious Adam O’Reilly won the ball deep and pushed forward to find Mark Doyle, who sliced ​​inside to miss the rifle.

A minute later, Doyle headed in from a Darragh Burns cross not far from goal.

A bold pass from Danny Mandroiu brought Rover’s first danger. Rory Gaffney was late in calling off his strike to allow Joseph Anang to assemble comfortably.

Likewise, a Jack Byrne shot was right at Anang before the keeper made a good save with his feet as Ronan Finn galloped in behind Dylan Watt’s ball as the Rovers got their passing game underway.

A superbly weighted pass from Byrne then found the run of Mandroiu, whose shot went wide.

Saints worked hard, always played well and worried Rovers whenever they came forward. The visitors were relieved to see a penalty waived two minutes from half-time when Eoin Doyle went down under a tackle from Lee Grace.

However, Anang remained the more energetic keeper, springing back into action four minutes into the second half, saving from close range after Andy Lyons fired into the box following a precise diagonal pass from Sean Hoare.

But on the other side there remained a great danger, which turned out to be decisive in the 55th minute.

Powerful Billy King won the home side’s first corner in the second half.

Burns’ hard-hitting delivery went to the back post, where skipper Forrester got up to head the ball into the net.

With the Rovers now chasing the game, St Pat’s had to defend; Anang saved, albeit somewhat unorthodoxly, a shot from Lyons around a post in the 68th minute.

A minute later, Gaffney flicked just over the top of Lyon’s cross.

After having very little to do, Rovers goalkeeper Alan Mannus nearly gifted a second goal for St Pat’s in the 78th minute by fumbling Forrester’s long-range shot before recovering the ball before he could cross the line.

St Patricks Athletic: Anang; Scott, Redmond, Grivosti, Breslin; O’Reilly, Forrester; Burns (Bermingham, 80), King (Owolabi, 73), M. Doyle; E Doyle.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Hoare, Lopes, grace; Finn (Gannon, 75), O’Neill, Watts (Emakhu, 83), Lyons (Cotter, 75); Byrne, Mandriou (Burke, 59); Gaffney (Greene, 75).

Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin).

Shelbourne 0 Derry City 1

He has scored far better goals in his career but Derry City fans will only care about the importance and not the quality of a Patrick McEleney goal as one touch from Derry’s prodigal son was enough to take all three points away against Shelbourne to win and lift his team to the top of the table.

A rough game lacking in quality and entertainment seemed headed for a 0-0 draw, two sides struggling to find pace or creativity as McEleney emerged to stab home from close range just in front of the traveling City fans after 17 minutes before the end, and when City was in front, Shels had no answer.

As Shamrock Rovers dropped points again, the win propelled Derry to the top of the table and reinforces the theory they can pull off a challenge this season.

Damien Duff greeted managerial rival Ruaidhri Higgins with a warm hug at Tolka Park just before kick-off, a reunion for two men who were among Stephen Kenny’s staff at the FAI 18 months ago but it was Higgins who won the battle. Duff has long been a frustrated figure on the touchline and the fact his side failed to force a save from keeper Brian Maher for a frustrating 90 minutes will worry the former Ireland international.

The sides had drawn 0-0 in their last game and that was perhaps a hint of what was to come when both sides struggled to create.

At the end of the first half, Derry had just one shot on target to show his effort, an unconvincing performance while Shels City keeper Brian Maher had not troubled save for a couple of corner kicks and a high challenge for Maher Sean Boyd, who sent the Shels received a yellow card forward.

The home side were a little nervous early on, a moment of hesitation and then a poor clearance from goalkeeper Lewis Webb which prompted manager Duff to emerge from the dugout and call Webb to let him know better things were in store.

Shels had been quiet in the early stages, their only real attack coming in the 21st minute after a cross from the left by Conor Kane, which Boyd answered with a header but went wide.

Two minutes later, Jamie McGonigle missed his chance in front of goal, a snapping finish from the in-form striker. Shels forced a corner in the 36th minute, but while Maher couldn’t get a clean catch, City’s defense was able to clear.

Sean Boyd teased the Reds fans with a shot deflected to a corner in the 58th minute, but the resulting set piece was useless for the home side.

Derry looked to Will Patching for inspiration when Cameron Dummigan operated in midfield, but it was Sub Matty Smith who created the opening he had hoped for. Smith’s free-kick was headed by Ronan Boyce, Maher saved but McEleney stabbed home, his first goal of his second spell at the club.

Shels, who was denied Jack Moylan due to a first-half substitution through injury, lacked ideas and better is required against Dundalk and Bohemians.

SHELBOURNE—Webb; Byrne, Ledwidge, O’Driscoll; Coyle (Anaebonam 61), Dervin; Kane, McManus, Moylan (McEneff 43); Boyd (Farrell 75).

DERRY—Maher; Boyce (S McEleney 86), Toal, McJannet, Lafferty; Patch, Thomson (Smith 61), Dummigan; Kavanagh, McGonigle, P. McEleney (Akintunde 75).

REF – R Matthew

Drogheda United 4 UCD 2

At 34 and with ten clubs in Ireland, England and Scotland on his CV, Gary Deegan has seen more than most professional footballers. The veteran taught UCD youngsters a lesson as he inspired Drogheda United to the opening points of the campaign.

Deegan had not scored in 34 games for Drogheda prior to the arrival of Andy Meyler’s students, but he opened his account and then became the provider when Drogheda put the students to the sword in the first 45 minutes.

Deegan scored a memorable first goal in the Red-Blues, beating Lorcan Healy with a shot that hit the inside of the side netting. He soon became a provider and met Chris Lyons, who scored the best goal of the game. His left-footed shot from 18 yards flew past the goalkeeper.

Lyon’s second was an easier affair. He caught Georgie Poynton’s cross at the back post, where he touched an unmarked. UCD didn’t respond until Sam Todd found the net on a corner. However, Dean Williams shot in to restore the three-goal cushion. It was a pleasant and necessary night for Drogheda.

Liam Kerrigan’s lob ended up in an empty net late on when Colin McCabe rushed unsuccessfully from his goal to claw a cross.

DROGHEDA—McAbe; Roughan (Cowan, 74), Hughes, Massey; Poynton, Deegan, Clarke (Nugent, 63), Weir; Markey (Rooney, 76); Williams, Lyons.

UCD – Healthy; Osam Yoro, Todd Ryan; Keaney, Verdon (Norris, 46); Kerrigan, Caffrey (Lennon, 76), Duffy (Higgins, 46); whelan.

REF-K O’Sullivan

Finn harps 1 Bohemians 1

Ryan Connolly scored a smashing equalizer to give Finn Harps a valuable home point against Bohemians.

Promise Omochere had put Bohs ahead after 51 minutes but Connolly equalized 13 minutes later.

Connolly let go with his left foot and James Talbot didn’t stand a chance. A stunning punch found its way straight into the top corner.

Harps supporters made their way to Finn Park two weeks later than originally expected as their scheduled opening game against Drogheda United was postponed.

New faces Élie Gael N’zeyi Kibonge and Yoyo Mahdy had chances for Ollie Horgan’s harps in the first half.

Kibonge had blocked a sharp shot while Mahdy’s header went just wide.

Mark Anthony McGinley was the busier keeper in the home goal.

Just five minutes later, Ards man Max Murphy saved. Bohs looked poised to take the lead when Kris Twardek tumbled to follow up, but his shot came back from teammate Ali Coote.

Later in the half, Jordan Flores forced McGinley to make another stop, with the Harps keeper getting a good ground to save at his near post.

Harps put in an admirable performance in the early stages but Boh’s goalkeeper Talbot was in the ground like most – a spectator.

While Georgie Kelly, their top scorer in 2021, has left Dalymount Park and recently signed for Rotherham United, the Gypsies had a useful opener to the new season by beating St Pat’s and drawing with Dundalk.

Omochere fell six minutes into the second half after Ryan Rainey’s attempt at a clear from Ethan Boyle failed.

Harps should have leveled, but Filip Mihaljević took a touch too many and Talbot saved.

After Connolly shot gold, Bastian Héry headed just wide while Omochere’s lob was blocked by Rainey.

Late in the night Omochere was sent off for a second bookable offense and the spoils felt like the right conclusion.

Finn harps: McGinley; Boyle, Carillo (Slevin 42), Webster; Rainey, N’zeyi Kibonge, Hery (Rudden 86), Connolly, McNamee; Mahdy (McWoods 75), Mihaljevic.

Bohemia: Talbot; Feely, Finnerty (Kelly 41), Horton, Murphy; Doherty, Devoy; Coote (Mallon 78), Flores, Twardek; Omochère. League of Ireland recap: St Pat’s defeat champions as Damien Duff suffers home defeat

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