Date: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 9, 2009
Venue: Oriel Park
Att: 1,700 (est)
Dundalk started brightly and were busy in midfield and looked especially dangerous down their right with Shaun Kelly, Kevin McKinlay and Chris Turner showing up well. Dundalk had fired in range finders from Michael McGowan and Turner at Brendan Clarke's goal, but with no real threat of breaching it.
That nearly changed in the ninth minute as a cross broke to the far post where McGowan lay in wait. Everyone expected him to pull the ball back into the middle, instead he launched a fierce left foot volley from an acute angle that Clarke beat away.
After riding out the initial storm St. Pat's came much more into the game and had home hearts fluttering in the 28th minute as a short back pass from McKinlay nearly allowed Mark Quigley to chase it down before Peter Cherrie got to it.
The first half meandered to a close with neither team able to cause the other too much hardship.
Tiernan Mulvenna was introduced at half time in place of Michael Collins and slotted in as centre forward. Sean Connor obviously hoping that his low centre of gravity would be able to cause the loftier Pat's centre back partnership trouble on the artificial surface.
In the fifth minute of the second half McGowan played a lovely ball across the Pat's six yard box where the on rushing Darren Mansaram narrowly failed to make contact.
Turner could count himself lucky to stay on the park in the 61st minute as he went straight through Stuart Byrne midway through the Dundalk half. The booking that he earned could well have been an early bath if his opponent made a meal of the challenge as we so often see these days. St. Pat's kicked on from this point and nearly took the lead from the resulting free kick. The ball in was headed on by Gary Dempsey to Quigley, whose volley from 18 yards fell just the wrong side of Cherrie's right hand post.
Dempsey was the next to try his luck from a central position 22 yards out but his shot drifted wide of the left hand upright.
A couple of moments of controversy nearly breathed life into affairs as first Pat's had a goal disallowed for offside, correctly by the view from the stand. Then Mulvenna made a nuisance of himself on the edge of the Pat's box, Jason Gavin went to ground and could have conceded a penalty as he appeared to handle the ball whilst prone. Referee Kelly saw nothing untoward and let play go on.
So spoils shared and Sean Connor will be hoping that next Friday's fixture against Sligo Rovers, again in Oriel, will bring a much better performance. Pete Mahon on the other hand must fancy his chances of registering a win against Bray Wanderers and if they perform like they did in the second half here you would be a brave man to bet against it.
Dundalk:Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Thomas Heary, Liam Burns, Simon Kelly (Michael McGinlay, 62); Kevin McKinlay, Michael Collins (Tiernan Mulvenna, 46), Chris Turner, Michael McGowan; Darren Mansaram (Michael Coburn, 92), Ger Rowe.
St. Patrick's Athetic: Brendan Clarke; Stephen Maher, Jason Gavin, Damian Lynch, Enda Stevens; Stuart Byrne, Gareth O’Connor, Gary Dempsey, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Guy; Mark Quigley.
Referee: A. Kelly.
Extratime.ie man of the match: On a night where no individual stamped their authority on the game it is only fair to share the award. McGowan showed all night for the ball and with a deadlier front man his supply might have been rewarded. Quigley played on his own up front for Pats and did a more than adequate job of holding the ball up and bringing his support runners into play. They can half it.