Season review: St Pats

With the League of Ireland (LOI) season wrapped up, Saint Patrick’s Athletic (St Pats) who had ambitions of taking a spot in the top four, finished in sixth place.  

Missing European football has become a regular occurrence for St Pats over the last few seasons. 

St Pats finished this season with 21 points after only 18 games, which included five wins, six draws and seven losses.  

The season was cut in half due to the Covid pandemic, which struck at the start of the LOI season. This caused a big disruption for all the teams, but all the clubs handled it well. 

One of the main reasons why St Pats did not qualify for Europe was due to their lack of goals scored during the season. St Pats only managed 14 goals, which is the second worst in the division. 

The Pats frontline only managed to score four goals out of 14 of goals this season. The top goal scorer for St Pats was Georgie Kelly with three goals, and two of them came in one match. The lack of goals by Kelly resulted in the team having to rely on other areas for goals. 

This was manager Stephen O’Donnell first full season in charge of St Pats, after he took over from Harry Kenny during the earlier season.  

Over his first year and a half in charge, O’Donnell has shown against the big teams that he can get results, but against teams at the lower end of the table he struggles. This includes getting two draws against the undefeated champions Shamrock Rovers, who won 15 of their 18 matches.  

Losses to both Shelbourne and Finn Harps were disappointing, as both teams were fighting for survival on the final day of the league. 

For most of the season St Pats were looking over the shoulder at the relegation spots and they were close in the end to going down to the first division, being only two points from the relegation playoff.  

The most positive note of the season for St Pats was that they only conceded 17 goals. This is the third best defensive record in the league. This includes eight clean sheets kept by St Pats goalkeeper, Brendan Clarke.  

A sixth-place finish for St Pats was very disappointing for the club, and if the club wants to progress to the European spots or furthermore even winning the league, the investment of a striker will be essential.