A controversial penalty was the difference between Shamrock Rovers and St. Patrick's Athletic as the Saints won out 1-0 on Friday night in the Airtricity Premier Division.
Brothers, Killian and Ryan, met for the first time this season in a war of the siblings.
It was older brother, Killian, who had the last laugh as his penalty was the difference in a tight and compelling tie in Richmond Park. His 45th minute penalty came after Shamrock Rovers young left back, Luke Byrne, was adjudged to have brought down Conan Byrne just on the verge of half time.
It was the visitors though who had the brighter start as Stephen McPhail impressed with a solid performance in midfield, aided by the slick passing of Ronan Finn, he proved a handful for the home side. Shamrock Rovers though were let down by their inability to finish off their chances as the home sides defence held them at bay.
The lynchpin of the home side’s midfield, Keith Fahey, led a revival as the Saints imposed their own style with them looking for a win to kick start their own season. It was Fahey’s young midfield partner, Chris Forrester, who combined with substitute James Chambers, on the 21st minute, to lay on a pass for him, to give them an early chance but the former Shamrock Rovers man couldn’t keep his shot down.
As the half wore on St. Patrick’s Athletic gained further control over possession and threatened the visitors goal for an opener when young full back Luke Byrne fouled Conan Byrne of St. Pats inside the box when he was about to shoot.
The goal, just before half time, gave the home side the psychological advantage going into the break as they looked for their 4th win of the season.
After the break the home side imposed their authority with noticeable dominance with Conan Byrne impressing and causing havoc for make shift left back, Sean O’Connor going close on the 68th minute but Shamrock Rovers keeper, Barry Murphy, was quick to get down and stop the shot.
St. Patrick’s Athletic now go within one point of their near rivals but still 4 points off the top as they look to kick start their season after a 4-1 loss last Friday night to league leaders Dundalk.
It will have been an unhappy return for away boss and captain, Trevor Croly and Connor Kenna, but they stay within touching distance of league leaders Dundalk.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Connor McCormack, Kenny Browne, Sean Hoare, Ian Bermingham; Conan Byrne, Greg Bolger (James Chambers 14), Keith Fahey (c), Killian Brennan (Lee Lynch 81), Christopher Forrester (Daryl Kavanagh 92); Christy Fagan.
Subs Not Used: Pat Jennings (gk), Mark Quigley, Derek Foran, Lorcan Fitzgerald.
Booked: McCormack (59), Fagan (74), Forrester (90+1).
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Connor Kenna (c), Jason McGuinness Luke Byrne; Gary McCabe (Shane Robinson 73), Ryan Brennan, Stephen McPhail, Ronan Finn (Kieran 'Marty' Waters 66), Sean O’Connor (Rob Cornwall 83); Ciaran Kilduff.
Subs Not Used: Craig Hyland (gk), Robert Bayly, Eamon Zayed, Karl Sheppard.
Booked: McPhail (13), Finn (30), Kilduff (45).
Sent Off: L Byrne (44).
Referee: David McKeon
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Killian Brennan (St Patrick's Ath)