St Pat’s end goal drought and win first game in seven

Stephen O’Donnell’s Saints hadn’t scored in over 600 minutes before Shelbourne visit

St Patrick’s Athletic 2 Shelbourne 0

An outstanding strike from Chris Forrester signalled the end of St Patrick's Athletic's goal drought as they beat Dublin rivals Shelbourne at Richmond Park to record their first win in seven games.

Stephen O’Donnell’s Saints hadn’t scored in over 600 minutes of football prior to this fully deserved victory, leapfrogging Shelbourne into fifth place in the Premier Division table.

Without a win themselves now in seven games, third from bottom Shelbourne remain four points ahead of Finn Harps who host bottom side Cork City on Sunday afternoon.

In a lively opening Shelbourne threatened first after five minutes, Gary Deegan nicking the ball off Forrester to send midfield partner Sean Quinn surging forward. Quinn found Denzil Fernandes on the right before meeting his cross with a downward header that Brendan Clarke acrobatically saved.

St Pat’s responded well, building pressure from a series of corners before scoring a cracking lead goal on 17 minutes. Jason McClelland took a quick throw to Forrester who controlled the ball with one touch before unleashing a stunning left-foot drive to the far top corner of Colin McCabe’s net.

St Pat's deservedly doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half. Robbie Benson's deflected shot won a corner which he whipped in to the near post for Rory Feely to out-jump Dan Byrne and power a header to the net.

A mistake by Oscar Brennan almost led to a third St Pat's goal, with McCabe having to save well from Kelly.

St Patrick's Athletic: Clarke; Feely, McNally, Desmond, Griffin; McClelland (Burns, 65), Forrester, Markey (McCormack, 76), Gibson; Benson; G Kelly (Rennie, 76,).

Shelbourne: McCabe; Poynton, D Byrne, O Brennan, O'Hanlon; Quinn, Deegan; Fernandes (Kabia, h-t), M Byrne, Rooney (Farrell, 65); Dobbs (Kilduff, 65).

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Clare).