McFaul capitalises on St Patrick's dominance
Shane McFaul of Pats celebrates scoring against Drogheda United. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
St Patrick's Athletic 1 Drogheda Utd 0: Shane McFaul came off the bench to give St Patrick’s Athletic the perfect start to the campaign at a soggy Richmond Park last night.
McFaul’s goal on 65 minutes gave the home side three points from a game that had been in doubt until 45 minutes before kick-off following heavy rain. The St Patrick’s ground staff worked hard to clear the water off the surface before referee Alan Kelly gave the all-clear at 7pm.
St Patrick’s had the better of the early chances with Chris Forrester going close with a header on five minutes before Drogheda goalkeeper Gabriel Sava made two good saves from Killian Brennan. The first was a low drive from the edge of the area on 12 minutes and the second a fine block from a Brennan free-kick on 23 minutes, from about 25 yards out.
Brennan went close again on 31 minutes with a powerful left-footed drive that had Sava beaten but cleared the bar.
St Patrick’s thought they had the lead on 38 minutes when Forrester’s strike flew wide but the ball struck Kenny Browne and flashed beyond Sava and into the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Drogheda had been poor enough in the first half but upped their game in the second period and could have taken the lead on 54 minutes when Gary O’Neill sent a pass into the box from the left wing but Greg Bolger intercepted the ball just as Eric Foley was ready to pounce.
St Patrick’s were still the more dominant of the two sides and the win was secured on 65 minutes when McFaul fired through the packed goalmouth following a scramble which came after Drogheda failed to clear a corner from the right.
ST PATRICKS ATHLETIC: Clarke; Bermingham, Kenna, Browne (Carroll 90+3), OBrien; Forrester, K Brennan, Russell, Bolger (McFaul 59), C Byrne; Fagan.
DROGHEDA UNITED: Sava; Daly (Gannon 70), A Byrne, Prendergast, Grimes (Hynes 81); OBrien (Rusk 70), OConor, R Brennan, Foley, G Brennan; ONeill. Referee: A Kelly (Cork).