St Patrick’s Athletic’s title hopes dented as they drop two vital points

Dogged Drogheda earn a draw at Inchicore

St. Patrick’s Athletic’s Anto Flood appeals for a free-kick against Drogheda United at Richmond Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

St. Patrick’s Athletic’s Anto Flood appeals for a free-kick against Drogheda United at Richmond Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho


St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Drogheda United 0: St Pat’s title hopes suffered a set-back at Richmond Park as two vital points were dropped following this scoreless draw with Drogheda United.

Pat’s had started well but couldn’t find a way past a good Drogheda side who began slowly but improved as the match went on and had chances of their own to snatch all three points.

The home side had a slight upper hand in the opening minutes and forced a quick series of corner kicks around the ten-minute mark that were easily dealt with by the Drogheda defence.

Pat’s went close to taking the lead on 14 minutes when a low, sweeping, drive from Killian Brennan flashed through the Drogheda defence. The ball deflected into the path of Anto Flood on the edge of the box, who then hooked his effort wide of the target.

There were then strong Pat’s claims for a penalty on 22 minutes when John Russell was taken down in the box by Derek Prendergast but their pleas were waived away by referee Derek Tomney.

Drogheda threatened two minutes later when Graham Rusk’s excellent cross from the left fell perfectly for David Cassidy who took a low shot from a tight angle on the right but Pat’s keeper Brendan Clarke saved with his legs. Michael Schlingermann in the visitor’s goal then made a similar save at the other end on 28 minutes from Flood. Conan Byrne followed up but couldn’t find the target.

Schlingermann did well to deal with everything that St Pat’s sent in his direction and was alert again in first half injury time to get to a long ball ahead of Flood just outside the penalty area.

After Greg Bolger fired over the top for Pat’s on 50 minutes, Drogheda enjoyed a good spell of possession and pressure and began to dictate proceedings with Rusk twice causing concern in the Pat’s goalmouth. The former UCD man headed just over the top on 61 minutes before shooting low on 65 minutes with Clarke getting down well to block.

Despite the best efforts of the home side, Drogheda continued the good work and Ryan Brennan hammered in a fierce shot on 68 minutes that was well saved by Clarke.

When five minutes of added time was announced fans of both sides in the crowd of 1,343 cheered as they felt their own side could snatch a late winner but it wasn’t to be.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; O’Brien, Price, Browne, Bermingham; Byrne (Kavanagh 90 mins), Russell, Brennan, Bolger, Forrester (Kelly 80 mins); Flood (Fagan 70 mins).

Drogheda United: Schlingermann; Daly, McNally, Prendergast, Grimes; Rusk, Cassidy (O’Brien 74 mins), Byrne, R Brennan, G Brennan; Hynes (O’Neill 61 mins).

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).

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