A dramatic winner from Dave Mulcahy in the 89th minute has given Pete Mahon’s side all three points, as St. Patrick’s Athletic beat Dundalk 3-2 on Friday last. A brilliant first half display from Dundalk had them ahead at the break, but goals from the McMillan brothers along with the winner from Mulcahy, on his 100th appearance for the club, secure victory for the home side.
Within the opening three minutes, Dundalk could have been front, when Mark Quigley returned to his old hunting ground. It was his delightful flick that introduced Daniel Kearns to the game, and the midfielder cleverly played a pass to Ross Gaynor. With Gary Rogers rushing out to meet him, Gaynor couldn’t find a way past the keeper with his low effort.
The away side continued to pile on the pressure, and went ahead after 17 minutes. Kearns received the ball in the St. Pat’s box and unintentionally teed up Quigley who had the relatively simple task of finishing from eight yards out. The Lilywhites were very much in control, closing down very sharply.
St. Pat’s were offering very little in terms of attacking options, although both Daniel North and David McMillan were working hard in the Dundalk half. Dundalk were very comfortable however, and the opening 25 minutes were dominated by Ian Foster’s side.
Just after the half hour mark and McMillan somehow managed to miss a sitter to get his side back on level terms. Anto Murphy’s exceptional ball glided across the goal mouth, with McMillan failing to get a touch as the ball dribbled out for a corner. This was a sign of the Saint’s intent, managing to work their way into the tie.
As half time approached, however, it was Dundalk who managed to hang on to their slender lead. The home fans were growing frustrated at their team’s lack of creativity in the final third, whilst the long ball tactic employed by Pete Mahon was clearly not working. Dundalk entered the break the happier of the two side’s, ahead by that single goal.
Just as the fans had returned from their half time refreshments and Quigley stunned the home crowd once again, with a finish of the very highest standard. When Simon Madden send a ball in to the box, Quigley, with his back to goal, looked as if he could do no more than control the ball. But instead, the crafty striker rose to connect with an over head strike that left Rogers with no chance. It was a truly exquisite strike from a man in top form.
A remarkable double from the McMillan’s within the space of three minutes brought the home side straight back in to the tie. Firstly, David McMillan capitalised on some lacklustre defending to pounce inside the box. Finishing neatly to the bottom left hand corner, the momentum was growing in the favour of St. Pat’s.
Three minutes later, and the game was level. A corner from Stephen Bradley found David Mulcahy, who managed to return the ball with his head. Up popped the towering Evan McMillan to send the ball past Cherrie in the Dundalk goal. It was very much all St. Pat’s at this point, with 25 minutes remaining.
The game was suddenly turned on its head, and it was now St. Pat’s turn to dominate. Derek Doyle had two good efforts sail wide, and the Lilywhites were offering very little in the way of a response. With five minutes remaining, McMillan had a guilt edged chance to finish off the tie for the Saints, however choosing not to hit if first time, the striker lost possession.
As if written in the script, up stepped Mulcahy to score the last gasp winner from a goal mouth scramble. The Dundalk defence couldn’t clear the ball, and up stepped the defender to smash it home, sending the crowd into joyous screams. Ian Foster will certainly walk away disappointed from the encounter, as he watched his side give up a two goal cushion. But for the Saints, it is a much needed morale boost, as they walk away with the spoils.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Evan McMillan, Dave Mulcahy, Ian Bermingham; Anthony Murphy, Shane McFaul (Paul Crowley, 46), Stephen Bradley, Derek Doyle; Daniel North, David McMillan (John Flood 94).
Subs Not Used: Chris Bennion (gk), Brian Shorthall, Neil Harney, Jordan Keegan, James O’Brien.
Booked: McFaul (35), Bradley (6).
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Simon Madden, Colin Hawkins, Michael Hector, Nathan Murphy; Daniel Kearns, Greg Bolger, Keith Ward (Stephen Maher, 63), Ross Gaynor; Mark Quigley, Jason Byrne.
Subs not used: Paul Murphy, Stephen McDonnell, Mark Griffin, Johnny Breen.
Booked: Kearns (41), Maher (71), N Murphy (76), Gaynor (85).
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Dave Mulcahy (St Pats Ath).