St. Patrick's Athletic climbed back to the top of the Airtricity
Premier Division with a 1-0 win over Dundalk at Richmond Park on
The Saints brushed aside Ian Foster's Dundalk side thanks to a goal
from Paul Byrne in the first-half. Pat's fully deserved their win and
played most of the game with just ten men after David McAllister's
dismissal in the 34th minute.
The home side got off to the perfect start when they took the lead in just the
fourth minute with a well worked goal, and after that they never looked
A cross from McAllister on the left-wing was headed down by Ryan Guy
at the back post. The ball then fell to Derek Doyle and when his shot
was blocked, Paul Byrne was on hand to fire home the rebound.
After losing their previous two league games against Shamrock Rovers
and UCD, it was just the start the Saints desperately needed.
The Pat's defence played an instrumental part in their win, they faced an
onslaught for the best part of 90 minutes and dealt admirably with everything
that was thrown at them to force their ninth clean sheet of the campaign.
Pete Mahon will feel his team should have had a penalty in the 25th
minute when a handball from Liam Burns went unnoticed by referee
Declan Hanney. Unsurprisingly, Hanney wasn't the most popular man in
Pat's were reduced to 10 men in the 34th minute, when midfielder McAllister was shown
a straight red card for an off the ball altercation with Dundalk's
Stephen Maher. The decision looked a bit harsh and infuriated Pete
Mahon in the Pat's dugout.
Dundalk seemed to lack creativity in the first-half and never really
troubled Gary Rogers in the Pat's goal. Their only really chance of
the half came in the 38th minute but Wayne Hatswell drilled his effort
straight at Rogers.
Dundalk hadn't scored a goal against St Pat's since 1998 and judging
by their first-half performance it was easy to see why. The
Lillywhites looked a shadow of the team that defeated Shamrock Rovers
the week before.
However, Dundalk started the second half brightly and nearly pulled a
goal back just two minutes after the restart. Shaun Kelly played a
long ball down the left-wing towards Ross Gaynor, but his shot went just
wide of Rogers' left-hand post.
The second-half lacked clear-cut chances. The ten men of Pat's clearly
set up to protect what they had, but still managed chances themselves.
David Mulcahy and Byrne had the best of their efforts.
Dundalk had their chances too and should have equalized again in the
79th minute when Maher found himself with a free header inside the
box, but Rogers comfortably saved.
Dundalk failed to ever really get going and the Saints were fully
worth of the three points, a haul which see them reclaim their
place at the summit of the table on goal difference.
Pete Mahon's men take on Bray Wanderers on Monday night in the EA
Sports Cup, probably not the ideal game to go into after a win like
tonights. Momentum could very well turn out to be the key for the
St. Patrick's Athletic: Rogers; Lynch (Pender 34), Bermingham, Kenna,
Guthrie; McAllister, S. Byrne, Faherty (Mulcahy 42), P. Byrne, Doyle
(Coughlan 67), Guy. Unused Substitutes: Connor, Williams.