Sherlock sent off at Belfield


A YEAR of high achievement by Jason Sherlock ended on a very sour note at Belfield Park on Sunday, when the UCD striker was sent off as St Patrick's Athletic strengthened their position at the top, of the Premiership.

In front of one their biggest crowds of the season, the Students could count themselves a shade unlucky to have lost by two clear goals after creating the better of the second half chances. The turning point for UCD was Sherlock's dismissal for an off-the-ball challenge on Paul Campbell. In mitigation, Sherlock had been subjected to some heavy challenges himself in the minutes leading up to the sending-off incident.

The talented forward was hardly given a sniff of the ball all afternoon with co-conspirators, Dave and Paul Campbell, combining to successfully quash any threat.

Theo Dunne will have no complaints though. By the end of the ninety minutes, the pines off his so called `Christmas Tree' formation had all but gone, thanks mainly to the St Pat's midfield which was magnificently spearheaded once again by Eddie Gormley.

"I thought we played some nice football, but lost our shape a bit after Jason's dismissal. Pat's were a lot stronger, physically, but was disappointed about the way we conceded those two goals," said the UCD manager.

Brian Kerr was understandably the happier of the two: "It's always, going, to be hard against a side like UCD, so I was especially pleased about the result. The second goal changed the game and I thought our two wide players, particularly Brian Morrisroe, got in behind them very well. All in all, December has been very kind to us."

It was mid-way through the first half when the Inchicore team drew first blood. Paul Campbell curled in a teasing ball from just inside the touchline, three UCD heads rose for the ball, but it was Ricky O'Flaherty who claimed to, have applied a slight touch as the ball ended up in the corner of the net.

Sherlock then had a shot parried by Gareth Byrne in one of UCD rare attacks, but it was St Patrick's who continued to press, with Martin Reilly nearly deceiving Kelly with a delicate chip that just curled over the crossbar.

The half ended with UCD surviving a mad goalmouth scramble, but just a minute after the restart, a deflected Martin Reilly strike effectively killed off their challenge.