Rovers climb above St Pat’s thanks to Twigg

SHAMROCK ROVERS moved back to the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division table when a brilliant 52nd-minute goal from Gary Twigg gave them a narrow victory over previous leaders St Patrick’s Athletic at Tallaght Stadium yesterday.

The Hoops are now one point ahead of St Pat’s with Sligo Rovers a further point behind in one of the closest races for the race in years.

In a tense opening, the St Patrick’s pair of Stephen Bradley and David Mulcahy and Rovers’ Stephen Rice and Enda Stevens were booked in six minutes.

The Inchicore men had the first real chance of breaking the deadlock when a Daryl Kavanagh cross set up Derek Doyle but he shot straight at Alan Mannus.

Defender Enda Stevens kept up the pressure on the visitors’ defence when he shot into the side-netting after the chance had been created by Ken Oman.

Twigg started a revival with a header straight at Rogers and they deservedly took the lead on 52 minutes with the initial work being done by McCabe and Ronan Finn. Then Twigg played a clever one-two with Ciaran Kilduff before the Scot swept the ball left-footed into the corner of the net from 16 yards.

Hoops boss Michael O’Neill was ordered from the dug-out three minutes later for arguing with a linesman when a controversial decision went against Rovers and moved to sit high in the press box, with Andy Meyler taking charge on the line.

Late on St Pat’s had a chance of an equaliser when a Derek Doyle corner on the right was headed just over the top by substitute Shane McFaul.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus; Sullivan, Sives, Oman, Stevens; McCabe (P Kavanagh 86), Rice, Finn, Dennehy; Twigg (McComack 80), Kilduff (Kelly 70).

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Rogers; Pender, E McMillan, Shortall, Bermingham; Murphy (D McMillan 73), Bradley (McFaul 60), Mulcahy (Daly 80), Doyle; D Kavanagh, North.

Referee: David McKeon (Dublin).

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