Date: 7:45 p.m. March 22, 2010
Venue: Richmond Park
Scored: 15'- Paul Crowley 15'
Pats manager Pete Mahon has made no secret of the fact that he didn’t want to play this fixture and this was reflected in his team selection as he handed debuts to four players and fielded a very under strength side. Mathews on the other hand named a strong starting eleven, however this could be due to the fact he is working with a minimal squad.
Drogheda United dominated the opening exchanges as the pressed for an early opener. Robbie Martin had the opening chance on eleven minutes when Glen Fitzpatrick jinked his way into the Pats box and squared to the midfielder who took a touch rather than hit a shot and allowed Derek Pender to make the block.
Gareth Coughlan posed a threat to the Drogheda goal as he hung just in line with the back four hoping to beat the offside trap, he made a blistering run through the Drogheda defence but Jamie Harris managed to scramble back and block his shot.
When Pats made forward moves their players were isolated as there wasn’t much support running, Paul Byrne found himself in a great position but was quickly surrounded as he had no one to offload to.
Both sides were eventually restricted to long range efforts as the majority of the play took place in the centre of the park.
The visitors emerged in the second half with a renewed vigour and almost equalised within five minutes. Alex Williams burst down the right wing and squared the ball to Connor Sinnott who, in space, dragged his shot low forcing skinner to save with his feet.
The home side had the better chances but Drogheda looked to have sealed the win on 82 minutes, a flowing move started by Eric McGill, he passed out to Crowley who instantly then sent in a cross which was met by the head of Flood and from four yards out his downward header was brilliantly palmed wide by the diving Dan Connor.
Pats pressed for an equaliser late on but wasted chances with quick efforts and hitting long shots at Paul Skinner who was glad to watch them sail wide.
Pete Mahon won’t be too downhearted with this early exit as he has a trip to Dundalk to contend with while Drogheda travel to Morton Stadium on Friday to face the very much in form Sporting Fingal.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Dan Connor, Derek Pender, Eoin Powderly, Neil Harney (Graham Dowling 82), Noel Haverty (David Fagan 82), Brian Cash, Connor Sinnot, Derek Doyle, Gareth Coughlin, Alex Williams (Vinny Faherty 72), Paul Byrne.
Subs Not Used: Paul O’Brien, Paul Hunt, Sean Doyle
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner, Alan McNally, Eric McGill, Brendan McGill, Robbie Martinb (Ryan Brennan), Paul Crowley, Eoghan Osborne, Garreth O’Connor, Jamie Harris (Joe Kendrick 66), Brian King, Glen Fitzpatrick (John Flood 61).
Subs Not Used: Jamie Duffy, Michael Daly
Booked: Gareth O’Connor
Attendance: 200 estimate