Bermingham and O’Conor lift Saints’ spirits and hopes
Liam Buckley’s side complete league double over Shamrock Rovers and move clear of relegation zone
St Patrick’s Athletic 2 Shamrock Rovers 0
Captain Ian Bermingham and Paul O’Conor provided the goals and palpable relief around Richmond Park to give St Patrick’s a major lift in every sense.
The much-needed victory, their second over Rovers this season, raises Liam Buckley’s side two places out of the relegation zone and two points clear of the bottom three.
Rovers began the better with Gary Shaw glancing a header from Ryan Connolly’s cross off the St Patrick’s crossbar 10 minutes in.
St Pat’s worked their way into the game and took the lead on 19 minutes from a set-piece move.
Roberto Lopes made a superb block to deny Christy Fagan a second St Pat’s goal on the half hour before the Inchicore side survived a right scare nine minutes later when Shaw skipped past Lee Desmond on the right to cross for King whose scrambled effort was cleared by Jordi Balk.
But it was St Pat’s who doubled their lead three minutes before half-time.
Byrne was again central to their attacking play, the energetic winger putting over a deep cross from the right for O’Conor arriving at the near post to score with a downward header.
Connolly should have pulled a goal back for Rovers in first-half stoppage time but Skowron parried away the shot.
James Doona, on for Rovers from the restart, worked Skowron on the hour with Shaw’s follow up deflected for a corner as the visitors chased the game.
Skowron then excelled a minute later, brilliantly tipping a header from Lopes from Simon Madden’s cross onto the bar and away.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Skowron; Kelly, Balk, Desmond, Bermingham; Brennan, Garvan; C. Byrne (Turner, 90 mins), O’Conor (Markey, 64 mins), Dennehy; Fagan (K Byrne, 85 mins).
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Chencinski; Madden, Lopes (Bone, 71 mins), Grace, Byrne; Webster (Doona, 57 mins); Miele, Finn, Connolly, King (Bolger, h/t); Shaw.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Donegal)