St Pat's win over Waterford brings home comfort

The win moves Stephen O’Donnell’s side level on points with leaders Shamrock Rovers

St Patrick’s Nahum Melvin-Lambert celebrates scoring against Waterford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

St Patrick’s Nahum Melvin-Lambert celebrates scoring against Waterford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

St Patrick's Athletic 2 Waterford 1

Matty Smith and Nahum Melvin-Lambert found the net for the second week running to extend St Patrick’s home comforts.

The win moves Stephen O’Donnell’s side level on points with leaders Shamrock Rovers, though with two games more played.

The victory was soured, however, by an injury to defender Lee Desmond in stoppage time when he appeared to be knocked unconscious after colliding with his goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros.

A run of four straight league wins coming to an end means Waterford could find themselves back in the relegation play-off place.

St Pat’s won just three of their nine home games in last year’s shortened season, something head coach O’Donnell was anxious to greatly improve this year.

That the Inchicore side have certainly done, making Richmond Park their fortress with a 10th win from 12 games by the Camac in 2021.

St Pat’s took the game to the visitors, punishing slack defending to take a deserved lead on 23 minutes.

Billy King’s run opened up the Blues’ defence, his ball into the area deflecting into the path of Smith, who rifled home his eighth goal of the season, though he went off injured just two minutes later.

A mistake by Paddy Barrett should have seen Waterford level on 56 minutes, but Junior Quitirna wasted the chance when he blazed wide.

Two minutes later, further poor defending saw St Pat’s extend their lead.

King pulled the ball back from the end line for Ian Bermingham whose composed cross gave Melvin-Lambert a simple finish.

Waterford got back into the game when Junior slotted home a penalty after he had been tripped inside the area by Desmond.

St Pat’s remained the better side and but for a superb interception by Darragh Power on substitute Jay McClelland and they'd have extended their winning margin.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Jaros; Bone, Barrett, Desmond (Curtis, 90+14); King, McCormack (McClelland, 73), Lewis (Lennon, 60), Forrester, Bermingham; Smith (Burns, 26), Melvin-Lambert (Coughlan, 73).

WATERFORD: B. Murphy; Power, Evans (Ferguson, 67), Nolan, Stafford; O’Keeffe (Halford, 72); Patterson (Kavanagh, h-t), Junior, Griffin, J. Martin; Mutswunguma (Tshipamba, 73).

Referee: John McLoughlin (Roscommon).

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