St Pat’s go down swinging in Longford but title dream is over

Matty Smith scores a hat-trick as Pat’s confirm a place in Europe for next season

Longford Town 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 4

Matty Smith scored a hat-trick as St Patrick’s Athletic made it three big wins in eight days.

A fourth victory of the campaign over relegated Longford, coupled to Derry not winning, means second-placed St Pat’s confirm their place in Europe for next season.

A frustrating first half for Longford saw Dean Williams twice work Vitzeslav Jaros in the visitors’ goal before St Pat’s took the lead out of nothing on 29 minutes.


Chris Forrester cleverly flicked a ball through a packed Longford area for Smith who took the dropping ball on the volley to blast to the net.

Referee Ray Matthews incensed Longford when dismissing their claims for a penalty when Paddy Barrett appeared to trip Rob Manley inside the area.

St Pat’s first real spell of pressure then saw them double their lead a minute before the break.

Longford skipper Dean Zambra initially cleared off the line from James Abankwah to concede a corner.

The marking was poor from Robbie Benson’s delivery as Smith got his head to it at the near post to force the ball home.

Williams got Longford back into the game six minutes into the second half.

Despite appearing offside, the flag wasn’t raised as the Shamrock Rovers loanee skipped clear onto Aodh Dervin’s pass to cut back inside Barrett and Abankwah before shooting past Jaros.

But St Pat’s sealed their win on 84 minutes.

Darragh Burns and Smith combined on the right to set up substitute Alfie Lewis who smashed the ball to the net off his left.

Smith then completed his hat-trick in the first minute of stoppage time when tapping home Burns’ cross following Jamie Lennon’s superb through ball.

Longford Town: Steacy; Chambers (Davis, 66), O'Driscoll, Kirk, Lynch; Zambra, Nugent (Grimes, 65); R. Manley (Warfield, 86), Dervin, Robinson; Williams (Dobbs, 86).

St Patrick's Athletic: Jaros; Bone, Barrett, Abankwah (Desmond, 61), Bermingham; Forrester (Lewis, 68), Benson (Nwoko, 77), Lennon; Burns, Smith, McClelland (King, 61).

Referee: Ray Matthews (Midlands).