St. Patrick's Athletic 0 - 0 Sporting Fingal
Published: April 02, 2010
Saint Patrick’s Athletic and Sporting Fingal shared the spoils as they drew 0-0 at Richmond Park to help Pete Mahon's side move top of the Airtricity Premier Division by a single point.
The home side, who have the best defensive record in the league, having now not conceded a goal in 450 minutes of league action, came up against the league's top goal scorers in Sporting Fingal, and held firm.
Both teams started with one up front and this made for a scrappy start to the game with the ball just being kicked from one end to the field to the other. Neither side could keep hold of the ball and gave possession away cheaply.
The first chance of the game fell to former Saints' striker Gary O' Neill, who shot over from just inside the box after another one of the home side's old boys, Alan Kirby, teed him up perfectly.
In the 13th minute Alex Williams fell over on the edge on the edge of the box and referee Anthony Buttimer correctly brandished the first card of the game to the striker for diving. A minute later David McAllister shot over St Pat’s first real chance of the game.
The home side were reduced to playing long balls which the Sporting Fingal defenders easily dealt with. When they did play the ball on the ground they troubled the Fingal back four and Ryan Guy’s good run and delivery deserved more but Sporting Fingal cleared their lines.
Sporting Fingal started to pass ball around well but failed to break down a strong Saints defence. Ryan Guy got booked in the 34th minute and was clearly not happy with the decision, but luckily for him another poor delivery into the box hampered Fingal from the resultant free kick.
The second half started with St. Pat’s picking up the tempo and playing the ball on the deck instead of playing the long ball game they had been using to this point and David McAllister should have done better when he shot wide in the 48th minute.
The visitor started to get back in the game but seemed content with passing the ball around in midfield with Shaun Williams dictating the play, spraying the ball around the pitch and in the 60th minute put in a dangerous ball from the left that missed everybody including Conan Byrne by inches at the far post.
Five minutes later Sporting Fingal created the best chance of the game. Eamon Zayed showed great feet and vision when he lobbed the ball to O'Neill just outside the six yard box, but the usually clinical striker failed to shoot past the on-rushing Rogers who produced a great save.
This seemed to wake up The Saints and they created a few half chances, with Guy hooting wide from just outside the box.
Neither side created any more clear-cut chances until the 86th minute when Gary Rogers unconvincingly punched a Sporting Final corner off the back of his own player, but luckily for him it went out for another corner.
The resulting corner that was taken short to Sporting Fingal substitute Keith Quinn who ran at the Saints defence. It ended up with Quinn falling to the floor very easily, but the referee wasn't fooled. However, to the disappointment of the crowd, Buttimer failed to give a yellow card for the dive as he had to Williams.
With both sides looking happy to take a draw, the tempo of the game died down and a long range effort from Kirby was easily saved by Rogers to ensure it stayed goalless and kept Saints unbeaten run intact.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Ian Bermingham, Connor Kenna, Shane Guthrie; David McAllister (Brian Cash 58), Stuart Byrne, David Mulcahy, Ryan Guy; Alex Williams (Derek Doyle 90), Vinny Faherty (Paul Byrne 78).
Subs Not Used: Noel Haverty, Dan Connor.
Sporting Fingal: Brendan Clarke, Ger O' Brien, John Frost, Shaun Williams, Shaun Maher, Kenny Browne, Conan Byrne (Keith Quinn 73), Alan Kirby, Gary O' Neill (Glen Crowe 80), Shane McFaul, Eamon Zayed.
Subs Not Used: Stephen Paisley, Darren Quigley, Colm James.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer
extratime Man of the Match: Shaun Williams.