Date: 7:45 p.m. May 4, 2018
Venue: Richmond Park
Att: 2,918

Graham Burke 56' -
OG: 56'

Killian Brennan 88' -
Peno Scored: 88'

Red: 40'
- Joey O'Brien 40'

League Report: St Patrick's Athletic 2 - 0 Shamrock Rovers

Fri, May 04 2018

On the back of a sterling display at the start of the week, Shamrock Rovers couldn't keep up the momentum as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of South Dublin rivals St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park on Friday night.

Joey's O'Brien's red card late in the first half put the away side under the cosh, and the Inchicore club took a deserved lead after Kevin Toner's 56th minute header.

A late penalty was converted by Killian Brennan to bring the Saints level on points with the Tallaght side, who have now won just twice in ten games.

Pat's started out welcoming Ryan Brennan back into the side for James Doona, as both Christy Fagan and Owen Garvan continue to make their way back from injuries. Rovers, meanwhile, began with the same setup as the 3-0 win against Cork on Monday with one alteration, as Dan Carr retook his spot in the starting team ahead of Gary Shaw.

The home side set the tempo early on, with Kevin Toner starting bright, sending in Jake Keegan for the game's first real chance after three minutes.

A Conan Byrne corner was just missed at the back post by Toner while good work by Keegan brought an identical situation within the opening quarter, as Pat's set the early pace of the game.

Quick combinations would catch Rovers' rear-guard out, however, like the double-backheeled exchange between Darragh Markey and Simon Madden that left Grace for dead.

Rovers aim was to move forwards quickly, either through Dan Carr or Graham Burke, and the number nine caused some chaos for Toner and Lennon leading to a Rovers free kick after twenty minutes, which Barry Murphy impressively got away after Burke's strike.

Rovers looked to get at Jamie Lennon, Player of the Month nominee for April, to prevent Pat's switching the ball, and it worked to a point, but they remained weak out wide where Bermingham won a close-range free kick from Ronan Finn that Byrne curled over after 28 minutes.

Pat's switched up their pressing, pushing Markey and Brennan up further to get after Grace and O'Brien, and dropping Byrne and Clarke much deeper than usual, where they were able to track and generally quieten Ethan Boyle and Sean Kavanagh out wide.

The game would change in the 41st minute after a Saints long-ball was en route to finding Ryan Brennan, before he was mowed down by O'Brien, coming in at knee-height in full view of the main stand.

Referee Graham Kelly came over with a yellow card in hand but, after a scuffle involving O'Brien, Greg Bolger, Boyle, Dean Clarke, and James Doona, not to mention the management teams, Kelly's yellow became red, and O'Brien was walking.

To O'Brien's credit, it looked a misjudgement more than anything malicious, and he accepted the red graciously as Bolger struggled to keep head, later flooring Clarke in a challenge in the middle of the park.

Pat's had two corners consecutively after the sending off, the second of which off Byrne's boot found Brennan at the back post and beyond Kevin Horgan – how he conspired to put it wide was a mystery to all inside Richmond Park as the half ended scoreless.

The second half began with Rovers swapping around Aaron Bolger and Finn, bringing the captain deeper into midfield, but he could do little to prevent a magnificent solo run from Clarke that found Brennan with a shot, which sailed over.

The goal finally came in the 56th minute, off a Byrne corner which was headed back into the melee by Toner, and somehow squirmed in amidst a flurry of red and hooped socks swinging.

A scrappy goal, but a goal nonetheless deserved for Pat's, who nearly repeated the feat six minutes later with the same Byrne-Toner combination, but the header drifted wide this time.

Rovers did create a chance when the two Bolger's combined during a rare lapse in the starring Lennon's concentration, while Brennan had another go from range with 20 minutes to go.

Stephen Bradley brought on Brandon Miele to inject a little life but the main chances came from dead balls, which were cleared well by the Pat's rear-guard.

A decent cross from Kavanagh on the left wing found the head of Gary Shaw, but his effort was comfortably stopped by Murphy, before the left wing-back turned villain by fouling Thomas Byrne in the 88th minute for a Pat's penalty.

Killian Brennan struck the spot kick home, rolling it low to the left of Kevin Horgan, and Pat's would hold on to the points as the Hoops effort petered out in the four minutes of added time.

ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Ryan Brennan (Graham Kelly 88), Jamie Lennon, Darragh Markey (Killian Brennan 83); Conan Byrne, Jake Keegan (Thomas Byrne 85), Dean Clarke.

Subs Not Used: Tyson Farago, Michael Leahy, Michael Barker, James Doona..

Booked: Keegan (79).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Kevin Horgan; Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Joey O'Brien; Ethan Boyle, Greg Bolger, Aaron Bolger (Brandon Miele 75), Ronan Finn, Sean Kavanagh; Graham Burke, Dan Carr (Gary Shaw 70).

Subs Not Used: Tomer Chencinski, Ally Gilchrist, Luke Byrne, Sam Bone, David McAllister.

Booked: None.

Sent off: O'Brien (41).

Referee: Graham Kelly.

Attendance: 2,918. Man of the Match: Jamie Lennon (St Patrick’s Athletic).

St. Patrick's Athletic
Barry Murphy
Ian Bermingham
Lee Desmond
Simon Madden
Kevin Toner
Ryan Brennan
87Subbed Off: 87'
Conan Byrne
Jamie Lennon
Darragh Markey
81Subbed Off: 81'
Dean Clarke
Jake Keegan
79Booked: 79'
85Subbed Off: 85'

Michael Barker
Killian Brennan
81Subbed On: 81'
88Peno: 88'
Thomas Byrne
85Subbed On: 85'
88Booked: 88'
James Doona
Tyson Farago
Graham Kelly
87Subbed On: 87'
Mick Leahy
Shamrock Rovers
Kevin Horgan
Ethan Boyle
Lee Grace
Roberto Lopes
Aaron Bolger
Midfielder 75'
75Subbed Off: 75'
Greg Bolger
Ronan Finn
Sean Kavanagh
Joey O'Brien
40Sent off: 40'
Graham Burke
56OG: 56'
Daniel Carr
Forward 69'
69Subbed Off: 69'

Sam Bone
Luke Byrne
Tomer Chencinski
Ally Gilchrist
David McAllister
Brandon Miele
75Subbed On: 75'
Gary Shaw
69Subbed On: 69'