Last night last seasons Airtricity League winners St Patrick's Athletic took on UCD (University college Dublin) in the Inchicore sides first game at home this season. Pats who drew last week away to Cork City will be looking to get there first win of the Airtiricity League season to a UCD side that last week lost and currently lie bottom of the league.
Its Ger O'Brien who captained the home side as they headed into last nights game. The match started of with pats two times losing possession but regaining it and putting UCD under pressure in the early minutes of the game. Pats first chance of the game came early on when a nice pass from Conan Byrne to Christy Fagan left the UCD defence in a standstill with Fagan beating most of the UCD defenders in the box only to fire a shot right at the keeper.
UCD's first chance on the other hand happened when the visitors had a free kick outside the box which was in turn fired over the bar not troubling the pats keeper Brendan Clarke.
The first ten minutes were very much dominated by the home side with the visitors failing to make much of an impact and scuffing the one or two chances that they had to go ahead at Richmond Park.
The atmosphere at the game was a lot quieter then usual at Richmond Park although the stadium was quite full, the usual loud Pats fans seemed quieter then usual with little sound coming from the home stand it seems as though the Pats fans where expecting a win early on.
Nothing really had changed in first 20 mins of the match with the home side putting a lot of pressure on UCD and proving that with three shots from Keith Fahey including one free kick that just scraped the cross bar, if there was one man that could score a free kick from just outside the box it would be the former Birmingham City player Fahey.
Pats pressure paid off when in the 25th minute new signing Conan Byrne put the home side ahead after Greg Bolger put the ball over the UCD defence which landed at Byrne's feet leading to Byrne getting one on one with the UCD keeper and slotting it into the bottom right of the goal putting last years league winners 1-0 up.
UCD's defence seemed to have liquidated since the goal with another two goal chances coming from the saints and some nice attractive link up play between the pats attackers which is wrecking havoc on the UCD defence.
Surprisingly in the 38th minute UCD equalised when Chris Mulhall received the ball then put the ball into the bottom corner past pats keeper. Pats defence seemed to be asleep giving UCD far too much space inside the box to get the goal.
Not 3 minutes later it was first goalscorer Chris Mulhall scoring again and firing a sweet free kick from outside the box to put the visitors 2-1 up.
the first half finished with pats looking the far more dominant side up until the 35 minute mark when there defence got a little too confident and seemed to fall apart, UCD capitalised on the errors made by the pats defence and deservedly got a goal followed by a sweet free kick by Chris Mulhall. Liam Buckly will surely have had a few firm words with his Pats side in the dugout, half-time score 2-1.
The second half resumed with two St pats subs the first was Daryl Kavanagh for Lee Lynch and then Matthews replaced Langtry for UCD. Pats went into the second half looking to patch up some of the defensive errors from the last 10 minutes of the first half which cost them two goals.
The saints were very eager to get that equalising goal early on in the second half however with nearly all of the pats players in front of the half way line and pressing UCD's defence.
The saints looked very frustrated in the first 15 minutes of the game and we have seen many pats players fall over each other in an attempt to get the equalising goal.
20 minutes into the second half Chris Forrester was brought down by Robbie Creevy and Pats got a free kick outside the box which first goalscorer Conan Byrne fired into the same place Mulhall put the ball not 20 minutes ago, Deja Vu for the visitors it seems.
Pats seemed to look a lot more calm on the ball after that goal and it seemed that may have opened the floodgates for another goal.
as we entered the last 15 minutes of the game the home side seemed to have most of the possession on the ball although looking sloppy in some areas they really should of had what it takes to put this UCD side to bed.
Dean Clarke made a nice run into the box 32 minutes into the second half beating the pats defence with a nice bit of skill really uncovering the cracks in Pats defence, the cross into the box was headed over the bar.
Pats where put under a lot of pressure in additional time with UCD getting two corners and a free kick but drama erupted when Pats beat UCD on the counter attack and Christy Fagan scored a late late goal putting the home side up 3-2.
That is how the game finished 3-2 breaking the hearts of the travelling UCD supporters and players alike.
It was definitely deserved in my opinion with the home side pretty much dominant for the majority of the game apart from one or two short spells throughout the match. Liam Buckly will be pleased with the win but he will certainly need to patch up some defensive errors that haunted the saints in parts of the game.
But at the end of the day it was a positive result for last years league winners and UCD will be looking in agony as they threw away a 1-2 lead to ultimately lose the game.
UCD remain bottom of the table and will really need to improve in all areas of the field if they are looking to avoid relegation. Pats on the other hand finish the game fourth in the league behind rivals Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians.
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