Flynn pounces in last minute to earn a point
Shamrock Rovers 1 St Patrick’s Ath 1:PAT FLYNN salvaged an undeserved point for St Patrick’s with a last minute equaliser as Shamrock Rovers’ dominant display failed to lift the pall of gloom hanging over Tallaght Stadium.
Craig Sives’ second half lead goal looked set to give Rovers the much needed lift of a victory to get the champions back on track in the title race. The central defender’s 71st minute flick header from a Billy Dennehy free-kick, that found the net off the underside of the crossbar, was more than Rovers deserved from a match they dominated for good spells.
But ex-Rovers’ right-back Flynn poped up in the 90th minute to chest down a John Russell cross at the back post and drill a shot to the net. Chants of “We want Kenny out, we want Kenny out” reverberated from the far stand at the final whistle. “I’ve no comment to make on that,” said Rovers manager Stephen Kenny on the fans reaction, instead justifiably pointing to what was a very encouraging performance by his team, if bemoaning their late lapse.
“I felt we played well, we defended well overall,” said Kenny. “We had the majority of the chances in the game, majority of the play, so we were disappointed to concede a last minute goal again here. We paid the price for that.
“We deserved to win the game, we had enough chances. I thought we’d get a second goal when Gary (Twigg) was through; Craig Sives could have had a hat-trick, in fact. He deserved his goal. But we shouldn’t be conceding the goal we did.
“We made mistakes last week (against Bohemians) and got punished. But there is no questioning the players commitment. The players give 100 per cent.”
There was early bite, as expected in a Dublin derby, with the sides swapping free-kicks at either end, though neither tested the respective keepers. Rovers’ Oscar Jansson was the first netminder to be worked on 13 minutes, though. Dean Kelly’s one-two on the right with namesake Jake got him to the end line to whip over a delightful cross.
Jansson, guilty of errors against Bohemians, redeemed himself with a brilliant one-handed save at full stretch to bat Anto Flood’s header round a post.
Rovers remained much the better side and Twigg should have doubled their lead on 87 minutes. In one-on-one with Clarke, the keeper, excellent throughout, made his third crucial save of the game. All the more vital given what came three minutes later.
St Patrick’s boss Liam Buckley agreed it was a point gained. “They had the better chances. But the lads stuck at and it was a great finish by Pat Flynn.”
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Jansson; McCormack, Sives, Oman, Powell; McCabe (O’Neill, 90 mins), Rice, Finn (Turner, 82 mins), Brennan; Twigg, Greene (Dennehy, 22 mins).
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; Flynn, Kenna, Browne, Carroll; Russell, Chambers, Bolger; J Kelly (Meenan, 64 mins.), Flood, D Kelly (O’Connor, 64 mins).
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).