St Pat’s look convincing in win over Finn Harps

LOI round-up: Michael Duffy on target as Dundalk get better of Drogheda

St. Patrick’s Athletic’s fans celebrate at the final whistle. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

St. Patrick’s Athletic’s fans celebrate at the final whistle. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho


St Patrick’s Athletic 4 Finn Harps 1

St Patrick’s Athletic recorded an emphatic triumph over Finn Harps at Richmond Park to move ahead of champions Shamrock Rovers on goals scored at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table.

Following a relatively even opening, Ronan Coughlan’s powerful shot on the turn broke the deadlock in the 38th-minute. This was the Limerick native’s third goal in as many games and crucially offered Pat’s a 1-0 interval cushion.

The Saints were expected to push on in the second half and Benson’s composed finish just past the hour mark doubled their advantage. While this provided the south Dubliners with considerable breathing space, a Coughlan tap-in on 67 minutes eliminated any prospect of a dramatic turnaround from Harps.

The Ballybofey visitors did breach the Pat’s defence inside the final-quarter through Adam Foley, but Pat’s had the final say when Alfie Lewis delicately lobbed Mark Anthony McGinley with four minutes remaining.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Jaros; Mountney, Desmond, Barrett, Bermingham; Lewis, Forrester, Benson (McCormack, 83 mins); King (Burns, 61 mins), Coughlan, Smith (McClelland, 78 mins).

Finn Harps: McGinley; Seymore, McEleney, Sidiki (Bradley-Walsh, 79 mins), Boyle; Coyle, Rainey; Foley (Reddin, 87 mins), Barry (T McNamee, 67 mins), B McNamee (Logue, 79 mins); Owolabi (Boyd, 67 mins).

Referee: R Harvey (Dublin).

Drogheda United 0 Dundalk 1

Dundalk stalwart Michael Duffy delivered the first-half goal at Head in the Game Park to seal Vinny Perth’s first win since returning to the club as manager.

While Drogheda United have enjoyed a better season than their Louth rivals, they went down to their second defeat in a row on a whimper, failing to test Alessio Abibi throughout.

Duffy, a key member of Perth’s 2019 title winning season, displayed a rare bit of class in a scrappy match when bagging the winner on 35 minutes.

When his fellow Derry native brushed off Killian Phillips on the right wing to whip in a cross, Duffy’s header forced David Odumosu to dive full-stretch.

He got up to keep out the rebound from Pat Hoban too but the loose ball was smashed home by Duffy through the legs of Danny O’Reilly on the line.

Drogs defender Dane Massey headed over approaching the break while Darragh Markey fired straight at Abibi after it.

But they were half-chances and the most that Tim Clancy’s side could muster on a frustrating night. When the unconvincing Abibi flapped at a few crosses in the second, nobody from the home side were there waiting to pounce.

Indeed, it was Dundalk who might have scored again before the end. McEleney blasted over the crossbar with 20 minutes left and Odumosu darted across his goal to bat away a stinging free-kick by Duffy.

After Friday’s homecoming ended in a 1-1 draw against bottom side Longford Town, Perth’s second game was more rewarding. Their third win in nine moves them up a place to seventh.

Drogheda United: D Odumosu; J Brown, D O’Reilly, D Massey, C Kane; L Heeney (J Clarke 83), G Deegan, K Phillips; D Markey (J Adeyemo 64), C Lyons, M Doyle (R Murray 65).

Dundalk: A Abibi; R Jurkovskis, A Boyle, S Nattestad, D Leahy (C Dummigan 59); P McEleney (S Stanton 87), C Shields, G Sloggett; D Kelly (S Murray 59), P Hoban (D McMillan 73), M Duffy.

Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).

Longford Town 1 Waterford 2

Eric Molloy scored for the second match running as Waterford won this basement battle at Bishopsgate to move four points clear of bottom side Longford who finished with 10 men.

Waterford’s bright opening brought its reward with a 14th minute lead.

Winger Molloy skipped by a couple of tackles on the right to feed Adam O’Reilly whose cross was met by John Martin with a diving header which home goalkeeper Lee Steacy will be annoyed he didn’t keep out.

Longford responded well to punish a Waterford mistake to level within two minutes.

Waterford right-back Darragh Power’s loose diagonal ball went straight to Town’s Aaron McNally who nipped by Jack Stafford and Kyle Ferguson before confidently finding the bottom corner.

A minute later, McNally was inches from putting Longford ahead when his shot came back off the crossbar.

Having shaded the first half Waterford regained the lead three minutes into the second; Molloy arriving to sweep home a half volley from Jamie Mascoll free kick which proved the winner.

The game was up for Longford on 84 minutes when central defender Mick McDonnell was shown a straight red card for appearing to stamp on O’Reilly.

Longford Town: Steacy; Chambers, McDonnell, O’Driscoll, Kirk; Dervin, Zambra (Dobbs, 73); McNally, Grimes, Byrne (Davis, 54); R. Manley (McCabe, 80).

Waterford: Murphy; Power, Ferguson, Stafford, Mascoll; Molloy, Griffin, O’Keeffe, O’Reilly (Stringer, 90+2); Martin; Mutswunguma (Kavanagh, 89).

Referee: Ray Matthew.

Derry City 1 Sligo Rovers 1

Derry City extended their unbeaten run to eight matches at the Brandywell when getting the rub of the green against Sligo Rovers five minutes from the end.

And it was a deserved draw, both sides contributing to what was a thrilling affair after the break.

Derry threatened the Sligo goal in the 35th minute when Danny Lafferty did well to out-muscle Lewis Banks on the left and his teasing delivery was met by David Parkhouse, the striker directing the cross high over the crossbar from 12 yards.

Sligo responded six minutes later when taking advantage of Derry’s failure to clear their lines.

Having gained possession, the ball was fed into the path of young Sligo hitman Johnny Kenny but his powerful shot was parried wide by home goalkeeper Nathan Gartside at the expense of a corner.

Following the change of ends, the action intensified with Derry’s Will Patching curling a superb shot just wide of the upright in the 54th minute.

And from the resultant kick-out, Sligo broke the deadlock.

Goalkeeper Edward McGinty opted for the route one approach and his high ball found the alert Jordan Gibson who burst clear of the Derry backline before gleefully guiding the ball beyond the reach of the advancing Gartside.

Jack Malone was denied by McGinty in the 62nd minute, his low shot from the edge of the area was superbly gathered by the visiting goalkeeper.

Greg Bolger played the perfect pass to Kenny in the 75th minute and with Gartside advancing from his line the Sligo striker failed to execute the lob to find the net to kill the game off.

Five minutes from the end Derry netted their equaliser when Ronan Boyce’s cross appeared to be deflected to the net off the leg of Sligo defender Shane Blaney.

Derry City: Gartside; Boyce, Toal (Lupano, 45), McJannet, Lafferty; Harkin, Malone; Fitzgerald, Patching, Akintunde: Parkhouse (Walsh, 63, Ferry, 80).

Sligo Rovers: McGinty; Banks, Blaney, Mahon, Donnelon; Bolger, Morahan; Byrne (Cawley, 77), Gibson, De Vries (Figueira, 77); Kenny (Parkes, 77)

Referee: D. Tomney (Dublin).

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