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A hard fought stalemate was the outcome on Monday night as the second Dublin derby of the season between St. Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers ended 0-0 at Richmond Park.
The game began in a lull of anticlimactic inactivity for both sides as the even-sided manner of both teams became evident from the first whistle.
It took twenty minutes for the game to register its first shot as an ambitious Killian Brennan long-range strike found itself high and over Craig Hyland's crossbar.
Midfielder Keith Fahey found the opening half an hour tough to make an impact upon as the tight marking and lack of space provided by Greg Bolger, Killian Brennan and Chris Forrester in midfield forced the former Pats playmaker to take a back seat role.
The game awoke suddenly on the half hour mark as a neat move involving Brandon Miele and Gavin Brennan instigated by Pat Cregg in midfield would see the ball return to Cregg on the edge on the Pats penalty area, with the midfielder releasing a shot that deflected into the arms of Conor O'Malley.
That being the first threat on goal provided by Rovers saw the atmosphere rise in Richmond Park as the players of both sides reacted on the pitch to force a string of close chances to open the scoring.
A cross from James Chambers found Killian Brennan unmarked in the Rovers box however his header was too high and went looping over.
That was followed by a surging run from Conan Byrne at the Shamrock Rovers defence before appearing to be brought down just outside the Rovers penalty area, however referee David McKeon ignoring the pleas of Byrne and waved play on.
The game burst into life as both sides sensed the opportunity to take the lead as a Chris Forrester cross was knocked down instinctively by Ciaran Kilduff for Conan Byrne to release an outside-of-the foot volley that rattled just over Craig Hyland in the Shamrock Rovers goal.
Rovers almost took the lead after thirty-five minutes after a poor Conor O'Malley kick out found the feet of Stephen McPhail who capitalised on the mistake to let in Michael Drennan who completed a one-two with team-mate Gavin Brennan to find Drennan with a free shot directly at Conor O'Malley but the effort was driven high and over in the closest opportunity of the opening forty-five minutes.
Pats began the second half with more intent as an inspired Greg Bolger performance on the night would motivate his team-mates to push Pat Felon's side to the limit.
However James Chambers would stand to fill his team-mate's leading role as Bolger limped off after 43 minutes, with Conor McCormack entering the fray as his replacement.
Chambers set Chris Forrester running down the right channel via a curling ball over the Rovers midfield before the winger almost set up Ciaran Kilduff for a tap-in before a Conor Kenna interception cleared the danger.
Conan Byrne joined in on the Pats onslaught of chances as a wonderful Aaron Greene dribble and pass combination played Byrne in as he cut in on the right-wing, before releasing a left-footed attempt at Craig Hyland that was straight at the keeper in one of the best moves of the game.
A stinging Brandon Miele shot from twenty-five yards that swung just wide would bring Pat Felon's side back into the game momentarily before a Keith Fahey free, initially looking threatening, was dealt with by Conor O'Malley in the Pats goal.
The game lost much of the intensity and aggression that had opened the second half as Rovers fended off Pats' advances with both sides knowing a draw result was not of much benefit to either side.
Ryan Brennan felt he deserved a penalty after a Simon Madden cross ended in the substitute on the ground surrounded by St. Patrick's Athletic defenders but again referee David McKeon waved the game play on with ten minutes to go.
Rovers pushed forward in search of the winner following the introduction of Danny North as the forward who scored the winner in this fixture three months ago almost played in Michael Drennan following a loss of possession from the Pats midfield, however the safe hands of Conor O'Malley would deny another Rovers opportunity.
Rovers thought they had won the game in the final minutes as an 88th minute Keith Fahey free was headed into the side-netting of the Pats goal by Luke Byrne in what looked like a certain goal for the visitors.
But the game was to end as it began at 0-0 as a late Rovers punt into the box was easily caught by the ever-present safe hands of Conor O'Malley, ending this tight affair in which no inches were given and no goals were scored.
St. Patrick's Athletic: Conor O'Malley; James Chambers, Sean Hoare, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Conan Byrne, Killian Brennan, Greg Bolger (Conor McCormack 55), Chris Forrester (Sam Verdon 79), Aaron Greene; Ciaran Kilduff.
Subs Not Used: Brendan Clarke (gk), Jason McGuninness, Kenny Browne, Morgan Langley, Jamie McGrath.
Bookings: Bolger (47), K. Brennan (87), Verdon (90+3).
Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland; Simon Madden, Conor Kenna, Maxime Blanchard, Luke Byrne; Patrick Cregg, Stephen McPhail (Ryan Brennan 49), Keith Fahey, Brandon Miele (Danny North 78), Gavin Brennan (Kieran Marty Waters 66); Michael Drennan.
Subs Not Used: Barry Murphy (gk), Tim Clancy, David O'Connor, Sean O'Connor.
Bookings: Miele (36), Kenna (51).
Referee: David McKeon.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: James Chambers (St Patrick's Athletic).