Liam Buckley declared himself gutted with the first loss of St. Patrick’s Athletic’s season on Monday night. St. Pat’s took the lead in the first half through Chris Forrester but two second half Mark Griffin goals handed Dundalk the three points, with a last minute Griffin free-kick the difference.
“Where do you start?”, Buckley said. “We are gutted with the result, bearing in mind we were unbeaten all season and one nil up, with them down to ten we were attacking looking for a second, maybe a bit of naivety on our part.”
The former Sporting Fingal boss also bemoaned the gifts of two goal scoring opportunities to their opponents. “We gifted them opportunities on the counter where we were throwing everyone forward when we didn’t need to. For the second goal we were 2v2 at the back.”
The first loss of the campaign will hurt the Saints, but when put into perspective, Sligo Rovers also lost out and Shamrock Rovers could only muster a goalless draw in Gortakeegan against Monaghan United.
Buckley was particularly annoyed with Dundalk’s first goal and how it came about for them, slack play by his side. “We allowed him (Mark Griffin) to run fully 60-yards from well inside his half after Greg (Bolger) lost the ball, and then gave away a stupid free kick.”
Their side-to-side style of play play was something that the St Pat’s team pursued and got at many of the fans, and Buckley also gave his opinion on the style his side persisted with throughout the game. “We were slow in transition and in moving the ball around at times, we just need to sharpen that up to the way we were earlier in the season, we want to be more direct.”
Buckley did feel that St Pat’s had played well however, but just didn’t do enough. He also pointed out the irony of the result. “They played not to lose the game, we played to win it, and ironically they ended up winning it and we ended up losing.”
Damien Byrne joined the Extratime.ie team for the 2012 season. He is a Dublin based freelance reporter who is partial to a Friday in Richmond Park, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @damienbyrne92