Dundalk profit from goalkeeping error as St Patrick’s are denied late penalty appeal

Goals by John Dillon and Byrne see off Liam Buckley’s side

Greg Bolger of St Patrick’s Atheltic challenges   John O’Sullivan of Dundalk. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Greg Bolger of St Patrick’s Atheltic challenges John O’Sullivan of Dundalk. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Tue, Apr 2, 2013, 23:30

St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Dundalk 2: A goalkeeping mistake by Brendan Clarke gifted Dundalk victory at Richmond Park last night. But St Patrick’s felt they were robbed of the chance of a point by referee Alan Kelly for not giving them a late penalty for a handball in this game of two halves.

John Dillon’s third penalty of the season had Dundalk deservedly ahead at the break.

Conan Byrne levelled on the hour only for Clarke’s blunder to allow Kurtis Byrne restore Dundalk’s lead two minutes later.

St Patrick’s were then livid when Dundalk’s Dane Massey appeared to deflect Christy Fagan’s 85th-minute shot round a post with his arm.

Despite their good win in Limerick on Saturday, St Patrick’s manager Liam Buckley made four switches to his side - only one of which was enforced – completely changing his midfield three, leaving Killian Brennan, Saints best player this season, on the bench.

And it was Dundalk, with a good shape about them, who looked the more assured side from the start, passing better as they had the first real chance of the game on 18 minutes. The Dundalk defence was then caught square by Seán Gannon’s ball over the top as St Patrick’s wasted their only real chance of the first half.

While Christy Fagan’s first touch was good, his finish was best forgotten as he scuffed his shot across goal. Dundalk were the better side, pressurising St Patrick’s into mistakes as Clarke prevented the home side from falling behind with a brilliant save on 33 minutes.

Stephen Kenny’s side deservedly went in front on 41 minutes.

Richie Towell initially put Byrne in on goal to shoot with Clarke touching the ball onto a post. Ward sprinted onto the loose ball only to be taken down by Ger O’Brien. Dillon calmly sent Clarke the wrong way from the penalty spot.

St Patrick's were level on the hour when Byrne scored from close range.

But a shocking howler from Clarke gifted the lead back to Dundalk two minutes later. The keeper tried to dribbled a back pass from O'Brien past the in-rushing Kurtis Byrne who robbed him of the ball and rolled it to the empty net.