Two goals from striker Thomas Stewart gave Shamrock Rovers a deserved 2-1 win over St. Patrick’s Athletic in the South Dublin derby at Richmond Park on Friday night.
The first real effort on goal came in the tenth minute of the game when St. Pat’s midfielder David Mulcahy found space but his looping shot just missed the target.
Two minutes later the away side had a great chance to take the lead when Dan Murray rose the highest to head the ball off the post.
It became a scrappy affair with most of the game being played in the middle of the park. Both sides failed to get the ball down and pass it about; instead they continued to give possession to each with neither side doing anything creative with the ball.
The game then came to life when Shamrock Rovers were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute. Damian Lynch clearly pushed Paddy Kavanagh and the penalty was awarded. James Chambers stepped up to take the penalty but his strike came back off the post.
It didn’t take long for Shamrock Rovers to make finally break the deadlock. Thomas Stewart picked the ball up just outside the St. Pat's box and, after some nice footwork, he brilliantly finished with a fine strike from inside the box which sent the visiting fans into raptures.
The second half started off better than the first with St Pat’s midfielder Ryan Guy going close with a shot outside the box in the 46th minute.
Just when it looked like The Saints were getting back into the game Shamrock Rovers scored on the counter. A great ball from Robert Bayly to Stewart saw the Shamrock Rovers striker score his second of the game with a well placed finish past the helpless Gary Rogers.
It was all St Pat’s after that but they failed to test Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Alan Mannus.
Stewart should have grabbed a hat-trick but he tamely shot at Gary Rogers in the 69th minute.
St Pat’s goal didn’t arrive until the 90th minute as substitute Alex Williams hit the back of the net from a free-kick 25 yards out. The Saints pushed for an equalizer in the three added minutes but couldn’t find one and Shamrock Rovers deserved their win.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers, Derek Pender, Damian Lynch, Connor Kenna, Shane Guthrie, David McAllister, Stuart Byrne (Brian Cash 63) David Mulcahy, Vinny Faherty, Paul Byrne (Alex Williams 67), Ryan Guy (Derek Doyle 77)
Substitutes not used: Connor Sinnott, Ian Bermingham.
Yellow Cards: Vinny Faherty.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Pat Flynn, Aidan Price, Dan Murray, Danny Murphy, Paddy Kavanagh (Gary Twigg 66), Stephen Rice, James Chambers, Billy Dennehy (Ollie Cahill 75), Robert Bayly, Thomas Stewart (Dessie Baker 88).
Substitutes not used: Robert Duggan, Enda Stevens.
Extratime Man of the Match: Robert Bayly (Shamrock Rovers)