St. Pats Earn Draw in Eight Goal Thriller

St. Pats had to fight back from 4-2 down to earn a draw against an impressive Shelbourne side this week in Tolka Park.  

From the get-go, it was clear both teams were determined to make a game of this late season derby with tackles flying in from both sides early. 

It was Shells who were on top from the start, and it did not take long for them to capitalise on their early pressure when in the 13th minute Sean Boyd capitalised on a miss kick from Saints defender Brockbank and slotted the ball in the bottom right corner of the goal. 

Pats tried to settle into the game and were rewarded just eight minutes later when Joe Redmond played a superb cross field ball which was chased down by Shamrock Rovers ‘loanee’ Barry Cotter. Cotter shaped up for the cross before turning inside and arrowing a low shot into the corner past former Saint Brendan Clarke.  

The games pace never slowed and before the half-hour mark it was 2-1 to the home side as St. Pats top scorer from last season, Matty Smith smashed his effort from 25-yards by Danny Rodgers. A deserved goal for Shelbourne and for Smith who has had a tough year on the pitch. 

The first half still had more drama to offer however, when on the stroke of half time McClelland corner met the head of Eoin Doyle who flicked the ball onto the bar which was then accidentally put into the back of the net by Sean Boyd.  

The Pats equaliser came just minutes after they had a goal disallowed for a push in the back. 

In what was an already classic game after 45 minutes, the second half continued where they left off, in the 50th minute Brockbank controlled a low swinging ball into the box by JR Wilson, but had it nicked off him by Sean Boyd who was subsequently taken down, awarding the first penalty of the game. Boyd dispatched with ease making it 3-2. A second defensive error from Brockbank that lead to a Shells goal.  

St. Pats were missing key players with Anthony Breslin, Chris Forrester, and Tom Grivosti all unavailable, a big miss which Shells benefitted from. 

The madness continued just before the hour, Pats had a second goal ruled out when Eoin Doyle was sent in and scored, slotting it under Clarke. A tight call that may have gone his way on another day.  

Shells then had a goal disallowed of their own when Matty Smith blocked down a Joe Redmond clearance with his hand which then looped over Rodgers’ head and into the net.  

With just 65 minutes on the clock, we got our 6th goal of the game after more poor defending from the Inchicore side as Adam O’Reilly failed to clear a Wilson cross again letting the ball fall to JJ Lunney who curled his shot just inside the post to send Tolka Park into pandemonium. 

Just 90 seconds after making it 4-2 Shells gave the visitors a lifeline when Sam Curtis was pulled down in the box. Eoin Doyle placed the ball in the bottom right corner from the spot, setting up a tense 20 minutes. 

Tension spilled over from the pitch and into the dugout as Saints boss, Tim Clancy, exchanged words with Shells coach, Alan Quinn, leading to both men receiving a red card. 

Back on the pitch, St. Pats earned their second penalty of the game and the third of the match in the 78th minute when Shane Griffin dragged Eoin Doyle to the ground. Doyle made easy work slotting the ball in the same corner he had ten minutes earlier to make it 4-4 sending the sold out away end into a frenzy.  

With ten minutes to go, both teams refused to drop the pace, playing end to end football, and creating chances to get a winner. St. Pats came closest as Barry Cotter hit the post from the better part of 30-yards from a free kick. The ball was well on its way by Clarke. 

Matty Smith then had two chances to win the game for Shells, with his first chance going agonisingly by the post before he had a pop shot from range that Rodgers got down well for. 

To cap the game off, just as the final whistle was to blow Jamie Lennon, left a clumsy late challenge and was sent off for a second yellow card. 

The League standings following the 4-4 draw

A fantastic game, that St. Pats will be disappointed with. Following their loss to Derry City on Friday, a win for the Inchicore side would still have given them hope for a European finish, but now becomes a lot more difficult and will now be relying on a Derry City cup win to secure it. 

Shelbourne will be pleased with their performance and will look to build momentum to their FAI Cup semi-final against Waterford next Sunday. 

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