Dolan's men held


National League Premier Division: Cork City - 0 St Patricks Ath - 0 St Patrick's Athletic coped impressively with the task of introducing four new signings and dealing with the vigorous challenge of a Cork side galvanised by the desire to please new manager Pat Dolan at Turner's Cross on Saturday.

Dolan's long association with St Pat's added a tantalising edge to the contest and helped swell the attendance to more than 6,000. In the circumstances the result was satisfactory for all concerned. Sadly the quality did not match expectations; it was frantic and physical.

St Patrick's had the better scoring chances. Twice in the opening 20 minutes Charles Mbabazi Livingstone was almost in but Michael Devine raced out of his area to fly-kick to safety in the 14th minute and the unmarked centre-forward headed wide soon afterwards.

Cork had difficulty in matching Paul Osam and new signing Davy Byrne in midfield and had only one long-range effort, from centre-back Dan Murray, to show for all their efforts in the opening half.

They were, however, much more involved after the break. Conor O'Grady performed a man-marking job on Osam and with Greg O'Halloran also stepping up his game they won much more possession but ultimately failed to break down a big, powerful St Pat's defence.

St Patrick's manager Eamon Collins said: "Not many teams will come here and win a point so we will take encouragement from that."

Pat Dolan said: "I'm sorry we didn't give the fans the win they wanted but St Pat's were difficult opponents - they were huge. I asked the players for a big effort and they tried very, very hard but our play in the final third was poor."

CORK CITY: Devine; Horgan, Bennett, Murray, Cronin, Carey (Buckley 84), O'Grady, O'Halloran, Woods, Doyle (O'Brien 65), O'Flynn.

ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: Adamson; Prenderville, Foley, Maguire, Casey, McGuinness (Holt 75), Byrne, Osam, Karim El Khebir, Mbabazi (Freeman 65), Harris (George 77).

Referee: P McKeon (Dublin).