St Pat’s scrape through Europa League tie on away goals
Inchicore side overcame Jeunesse Esch thanks to a crucial Darren Dennehy goal
Darren Dennehy heads home the equaliser for St Patrick’s Athletic in their Europa League qualifying encounter with Jeunesse Esch. Photo: Fernand Konnen/Inpho
Jeunesse Esch 2 St Patrick’s Athletic 1 (aggregate: 2-2, St Pat's advance on away goals)
Darren Dennehy’s first ever goal for St Patrick’s Athletic was enough to see them past Jeunesse Esch and into the second qualifying round of the Europa League, despite losing 2-1 on the night.
After beating the Luxembourg outfit 1-0 in Richmond Park last week, Liam Buckley’s side saw their advantage cancelled out when Patrick Stumpf opened the scoring on Tuesday evening.
With the Saints on the front foot for much of the second half but unable to net the crucial equaliser, Dennehy finally popped up with just 17 minutes to go to head a Keith Treacy corner into the top right corner and put his side back in the lead on aggregate.
Stumpf ensured it wouldn’t be completely comfortable when netted his second with just three minutes to go but Adrien Portier’s red card a few minutes later saw Pat’s home.
“It is a relief,” said Pat’s manager Liam Buckley after the game.
“We obviously knew that if we drew we were through and in the first half we played like that.
“Once we scored I thought we were relatively comfortable because it meant that they had to score three on the night.
“We probably sat back a bit but I thought we were seeing the tie through relatively comfortably.
“Then, they got a second goal late on which put us under a bit of pressure but we saw it through. Overall, I thought we just about deserved it although there really wasn’t a lot between the teams, we each had as many chances as the other.”
The Inchicore side will now face either FK Spartaks or Dinamo Minsk in the second round.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Darren Dennehy, Sean Hoare, Ian Bermingham; Conan Byrne, David Cawley, Keith Treacy (Sam Verdon, 82), Billy Dennehy; Mark Timlin (Graham Kelly, 79), Christy Fagan.