Shamrock Rovers pay price for St Pats’ revival

Shamrock Rovers 0 St Patrick’s Athletic 2: Goals in either half from Billy Dennehy and Christy Fagan gave Pat’s all three points from this entertaining Dublin derby at Tallaght Stadium. Dennehy opened the scoring as the game entered first half injury time with Fagan scoring the second early in the second half.

Shamrock Rovers pay price for St Pats’ revival

Rovers will be disappointed not to have taken at least a point from this game because they dominated for long periods.

On ten minutes Brandon Miele curled in a corner kick for Rovers that was headed clear by Ian Bermingham. But the ball was collected by Simon Madden who ran to the goal line before crossing into the six-yard box but no Rovers man could react to Madden’s good play and Pat’s were able to clear.

Rovers continued their good play and Gary Shaw fired in a cracking low drive on 13 minutes that had Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke at full stretch at his right hand post.

Shaw had another chance to test Clarke, when he collected a pass about 25 yards out, on the half hour, but he lashed at it first time and crashed the ball high and wide.

Madden sent in another excellent cross on 33 minutes that was met by Danny North on the edge of the box but Pat’s captain Ger O’Brien managed to block former Pat’s man North’s shot.

Pat’s were coming more and more into the game as the half progressed with Dennehy and Darren Cawley, in particular, looking lively.

There was a limited supply to front man Christy Fagan and indeed, on occasion, he found himself out on either wing crossing the ball into the Rovers box with no team-mate in sight.

Pat’s kept on pressing though and their opener came out of the blue on 45 minutes when Graham Kelly’s corner took a touch before falling to Dennehy to nod past Barry Murphy in the Rovers goal.

Pat’s started the second half brightly, with Fagan chasing every half chance coming his way, and went further ahead on 52 minutes when the Pat’s hitman met Mark Timlin’s cross to head past Murphy from close range.

Rovers looked to have a chance to get back into the game on 57 minutes when Madden was brought down by Bermingham inside the Pat’s box.

Referee Tomás Connolly initially signalled for a penalty but changed his mind after consulting with his assistant – much to the annoyance and astonishment of the Rovers bench and fans.

Rovers continued the fightback and Miele took a free kick from 30 yards out on the right on the hour mark but Clarke saw it coming and saved well. The Pat’s defence then withstood a sustained last half-hour of strong pressure from Rovers, who just couldn’t find a way to break down their visitors.

It’s a first league defeat for Rovers but Pat’s revival, following their opening night home loss to Galway, continues.

Shamrock Rovers:

Murphy; Madden, Blanchard, O’Connor, G Brennan;

Drennan (T Clarke 78 mins), Cregg, McCabe, Miele; North (D Clarke 72 mins), Shaw.

St Patrick’s Athletic:

Clarke; O’Brien, McEleney, D Dennehy, Bermingham (Hoare 90+1); Treacy (Verdon 77 mins); Timlin (Byrne 75 mins), Cawley, Kelly, B Dennehy; Fagan Referee: Tomás Connolly (Dublin).

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