St Pat’s record crucial derby victory over Shelbourne 

St Patrick’s Athletic have risen to fifth in the Airtricity Premier Division after a comfortable 2-0 defeat of Shelbourne at Richmond Park on Saturday last.  

A stunning strike from Chris Forrester got the Saints off the mark before centre-back Rory Feely drilled a header into the back of the net to secure all three points for the home side.  

Following Saturday’s win, St Pat’s are now within one point of fourth-placed Dundalk and are also four points away from Waterford United, who occupy third place and a spot in the Europa League qualifying stages.  

St Pat’s came into the game in ninth after a spell of poor form had seen them slip down the table as they hadn’t managed to score in their last six games. The last time they had done so was in late August with a win over Finn Harps.  

Shelbourne came into the Dublin Derby on a bad run of form as they had struggled to gain any wins as they sat in eighth position ahead of the game in Inchicore.   

Shelbourne were fastest out of the blocks as Sean Quinn’s header was clawed away by Saint’s keeper Brendan Clarke, just as it looked as if the ball was going to nestle in the bottom corner.  

The hosts began to gain a foothold in the game as good play from former UCD duo Jason McClelland and Georgie Kelly almost seen them take the lead. Kelly’s initial header was saved by Colin McCabe as McClelland fired the rebound over the bar.  

The first goal of the game came in the 17th minute as a rasping strike from Chris Forrester flew into the top corner. A quick throw-in by McClelland set up Forrester to arrow his shot into the top corner.  

Despite his best efforts, McCabe was unable to get enough of a hand on the ball to stop Forrester’s shot flying past him.   

Shels responded well to the early setback as they went in search of an equaliser before half-time. Saints’ defender Luke McNally was excelling in his role as he was on hand to thwart the Shelbourne attack.   

Having gone in ahead at the break, St Pat’s killed the game off in the 52nd minute as Feely headed home after Robbie Benson had delivered an excellent corner-kick into the box.  

It could have been 3-0 soon after only for McCabe to deny Kelly from scoring with his outstretched hand being enough to deny the striker.  

Shelbourne were unable to fathom any clear chances in the final half-hour as St Pat’s were resilient in defence and held out for a massive three points.  

Manager Stephen O’Donnell will have been pleased with his side’s performance and he will be hoping his side can push on and compete for the European places.  

St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Lee Desmond, Rory Feely, Jordan Gibson, Shane Griffin, Luke McNally; Chris Forrester, Robbie Benson, Darragh Markey, Jason McClelland; Georgie Kelly.  

Subs: Darragh Burns for McClelland (64 mins), Ben McCormack for Markey and Martin Rennie for Kelly (both 75 mins)  

Shelbourne: Colin McCabe; Oscar Brennan, Daniel Byrne, Alex O’Hanlon, George Poynton; Mark Byrne, Gary Deegan, Denzil Fernandes, Sean Quinn, Dayle Rooney; Aaron Dobbs.  

Subs: Jaze  Kabia for Fernandes (46 mins), Shane Farrell for Rooney and Ciarán Kilduff for Dobbs (both 65 mins)