St. Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers drew 0-0 in an eventful game in the Airtricity League Premier Division at Inchicore on Tuesday night.
In a first half in which there wasn't much to choose between the two sides Pats started the better. They had the first chance of the game inside the first five minutes. Christy Fagan crossed from the right and Chris Forrester found himself in space in the box. He didn’t get enough power in his shot though to trouble Barry Murphy.
As the half progressed the home side had most of the play but didn't create many clear cut chances. However, on the half hour mark, Killian Brennan got the better of Stephen Rice in a 50/50 challenge. Forrester gathered possession and played it to John Russell who then found Christy Fagan. Fagan made his way across the Rovers area before firing a right foot shot over the bar.
Shortly afterwards the visitors had their only chance of the half. Greg Bolger was booked for a foul on Rice. From the resultant free kick Sean O'Connor picked out Jason McGuinness and the Shamrock Rovers defender headed just wide.
Fourth official Thomas Connolly took over referring duties from Graham Kelly for the second half.
Once again there wasn't too much to choose between the sides after the break but the Saints should have taken the lead 13 minutes after the restart. After neat build up play Conan Byrne found himself in space on the right. Byrne picked out John Russell with a perfect cross. Russell had a free header 6 yards out but somehow he put his effort wide.
Pats also had a chance on the counter attack in the 67th minute. The busy Conan Byrne broke forward and picked out Christy Fagan. Fagan eventually found Russell who played it to his left to Forrester. Unfortunately for the home team their number 17 took a shot which went out of the stadium and a new match ball was required. A couple of minutes later a Killian Brennan free kick was just too high.
Rovers should have taken the lead in the 77th minute. Danny Ledwith took a fine shot from outside the area which Brendan Clarke could only parry to substitute Ciaran Kilduff. Kilduff had the goal at his mercy but somehow he shot wide of the post.
Shamrock Rovers, who had already used their three substitutes were reduced to 10 men shortly afterwards when Ledwith limped off with an injury.
Five minutes from the end of normal time Liam Buckley's side had the final chance of the game. Killian Brennan swung in a free kick from the right and picked out Kenny Browne. Browne headed goalwards but Murphy was there to palm away his effort for a corner.
The draw means that St. Patrick's Athletic are now three points behind leaders and champions Sligo Rovers in second place, while Shamrock Rovers are sixth.
St. Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Conor Kenna (c), Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Conan Byrne (Jake Kelly 79), John Russell, Greg Bolger, Killian Brennan, Christopher Forrester; Christy Fagan.
Subs not used: Dave Ryan, Aidan Price, Jake Carroll, Conor Murphy, Shane McFaul, Sean Gannon.
Booked: Bolger (35).
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Pat Sullivan (c) (Shane Robinson 51), Derek Foran, Jason McGuinness, Danny Ledwith; Sean O'Connor, Stephen Rice, James Chambers (Ciaran Kilduff 75), Ronan Finn, Billy Dennehy (Gary McCabe 58); Karl Sheppard.
Subs not used: Richard Brush, Conor McCormack, Thomas Stewart, David Elbert.
Booked: Rice (45), Sheppard (85), O'Connor (85), Foran (89).
Referee: Graham Kelly,
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Kenny Browne (St. Patrick's Athletic).