UCD nick point from weary Pat’s

St. Patrick’s Athletic had to be satisfied with a point against bottom club UCD in yesterday’s entertaining Premier Division clash at the Belfield Bowl.

That is just two points from their last three league games for a St. Pat’s team who looked travel-weary after their Europa League heroics in Iceland and Bosnia in the past fortnight.

College had an early chance when Paul Corry’s left-footed effort from 20 yards was narrowly wide of the target.

Then only a timely interception by defender Ger O’Brien on Robbie Benson prevented the Students taking the lead.

St. Pat’s, who had Jake Carroll at centre-back for the suspended Conor Kenna, first tested the home defence when winger Sean O’Connor fired over from 20 yards.

Then defender Ian Bermingham found O’Connor, who laid the ball on for Christy Fagan only for the striker to scuff his shot just wide.

The Inchicore men should really have taken the lead on 34 minutes when, from a cross by James Chambers, the unmarked Chris Forrester headed over from close range.

But the same two players combined to set up the Pat’s opener on the stroke of half-time. Chambers put Forrester in the clear and he fired home through the legs of advancing keeper Mark McGinley.

After Carroll was shown the yellow card on 52 minutes by Dublin referee Rob Rogers for a foul on Chris Lyons, and the resulting free-kick by Daniel Ledwith from 22 yards was brilliantly pushed onto the bar by Pat’s keeper Brendan Clarke.

The visitors went close to stretching their lead on 68 minutes when substitute Anto Flood laid the ball back for Greg Bolger to send in a dipping shot from 40 yards that was brilliantly saved by the retreating McGinley.

The Saints were to regret that miss, with College equalising on 70 minutes when substitute Samir Belhout played the ball into the path of Robbie Benson to shoot home from close range.

Forrester again went close on 76 minutes when Bolger laid the ball back for the winger to fire in an effort from 35 yards that was brilliantly saved by McGinley.

Flood wasted a glorious chance to secure the three points on 86 minutes when, after skipping past two College defenders, he blazed the ball over the bar from ten yards.

UCD: McGinley; Douglas (Kavanagh 86), D. O’Connor, Leahy, Ledwith; McMillan, O’Conor, Corry, Clarke (McNelis 45); Benson, Lyons (Belhout 59).

ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: — Clarke; O’Brien, Browne, Carroll, Bermingham; Russell, Chambers, Bolger; Forrester, Fagan (Flood 64), S.O’Connor (Kelly 86).

Referee: Rob Rogers (Dublin).

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