Report: Rovers 1-1 St Patrick’s Athletic

Rovers hosted St Patrick’s Athletic on Saturday night in front of 2,213 supporters at The Showgrounds.

The Bit O’ Red came into the game on the back of a disappointing weekend last week with two defeats to Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers. On the other hand, the visitors came into the game having picked up four points from a possible six after beating Drogheda United and drawing in Derry.

Liam Buckley made a host of changes to the starting team with eight in total. Nando Pijnaker, Max Mata and Jordan Hamilton all picked up knocks in Monday’s Tallaght defeat and were replaced by Shane Blaney, Aidan Keena and Will Fitzgerald. David Cawley also returned following injury and Niall Morahan, Ed McGinty and Paddy Kirk also came into the team having missed out on Monday night.

Both sides played some good football in the opening period with neither side being able to create any major chances. Rovers did go close through Keena early on and Lewis Banks tested the St Pat’s goalkeeper. Joe Redmond went closest for the visitors with his shot needing to be tipped over by McGinty in Rovers’ goal.

On 37 minutes, Rovers took the lead. McGinty’s long ball was headed on by Karl O’ Sullivan into the path of David Cawley who saw Aidan Keena run in behind him. Cawley’s flick was inch perfect and Keena came onto the ball and curled a beautiful strike around Anang and into the far corner.

Eoin Doyle went close soon after as his headed went just wide from Adam O’ Reilly’s cross.

The second half started quickly and it wasn’t long before St Pats were level. Eoin Doyle ran onto a long ball down the left and he composed himself before finding Darragh Burns in the box and the winger cooly converted from close range. Rovers were unhappy with the goal as they felt Burns was in an offside position, but the goal stood.

From then on both sides went in search of a winner. The game ebbed and flowed and Rovers threatened through the likes of Cawley, O’ Sullivan, Fitzgerald and Keena on the counter attack. Greg Bolger and Niall Morahan were steady behind the front four and stopped some encouraging St Pats counters of their own.

Ben McCormack found Burns again in the area but McGinty was out quickly to deny him a second goal and soon after Garry Buckley almost scored from a close range header.

Cillian Heaney replaced Keena in Rovers’ only change and he worked hard up front for the final twenty minutes or so but couldn’t create any chances of note and the game ended all square.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to Dalymount Park on Friday night to take on Bohemians at 7.45pm before hosting Derry City three days later at The Showgrounds on Monday May 23rd.