Click here to view Viv van der Holst's selection of photos from the game
St Patrick's Athletic take pole position in the Airtricity Premier Division after a clinical win over Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium. A blustery wind in Dublin 24 made the chance to play smooth free flowing football very slim. Goal kicks and clearances into the car park end barely made it 15 yards outside the box such were the poor conditions.
Two goals in three second half minutes secured the win for Pete Mahon’s side who claim bragging rights in South Dublin. Ian Bermingham opened the scoring just before the hour mark. James Chambers brought down Dave Mulcahy and the former Rovers full back sent in a curling cross that alluded the Rovers defence and crept in at the far post past Alan Mannus.
The visitors doubled their lead via a free kick from an almost identical position. Damien Lynch crossed and Vincent Faherty was on hand with a free header from close range.
The strong swirling wind helped the home side in the first half as they dominated the opening exchanges. Chambers should have opened the scoring after fifteen minutes but with just Rogers between him and goal he blasted wide.
Moments later a long throw from Stephen Rice caused panic in the Pats defence as Gary Rogers left his line to collect but got nowhere near the ball. A Pats head flicked it over the former Galway keeper and Lynch was required to clear it from under his own cross bar. From the resulting corner Rogers redeemed himself somewhat with a flying save from Craig Sives powerful header.
Rovers 4-3-3 formation was working a treat as they dominated possession and controlled the flow of play, but their wasteful finishing meant they went in at the break on level terms.
Stephen Bradley tried to spark the home side to life early in the second half. Bradley evaded a couple of challenges and had a go with a long range effort, but it was always rising and ended up high and wide.
Rovers have now taken just one point from a possible six. They may have dominated for extended periods, but their current lack of forward options leaves them toothless in front of goal. Pats have maximum points from their opening two games and appear a more galvanised unit than they ever did last season.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Pat Flynn, Craig Sives, Dan Murray, Danny Murphy; Stephen Rice (Robert Bayly 68), Stephen Bradley (Ollie Cahill 63), James Chambers, Paddy Kavanagh, (Sean O’Connor 75), Billy Dennehy; Graham Barrett.
Subs not used: Enda Stevens, Robert Hughes
Booked: James Chambers 79
St Pats: Gary Rogers; Damien Lynch, Ian Bermingham, Connor Kenna, Shane Guthrie; David Mulcahy, Stuart Byrne, David McAllister, Ryan Guy; Vincent Faherty, Alex Williams (Paul Byrne 90)
Subs not used: Daniel Connor, Derek Pender, Connor Synott, Garett Coughlan
P.J. generally covers Drogheda games at HD Park and can generally be found at any Dublin ground when of a loose end on a Friday night.