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Sloppy Saints fail to make most of dominance as UCD pick up first point of season

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Gary Shaw of St Pat’s in action against Mark Dignam

Gary Shaw of St Pat’s in action against Mark Dignam

SPORTSFILE

Gary Shaw of St Pat’s in action against Mark Dignam

A first trip to Belfield in five years ended in frustration for St Patrick's Athletic as they lost their clean sheet record - and two valuable points - against a dogged UCD side.

The Pat's fans, who made up the bulk of an attendance of 940 on a rainy Dublin night, hoped that Monday's draw at home to newly-promoted Finn Harps was a blip and they could profit from another game against a side new to the top flight.

Their mood received a huge lift when Mikey Drennan gave them a first-half lead, but it was largely frustration from then on.

An inability to make more from their first-half dominance, combined with slack defending for UCD's equaliser and some excellent work from UCD keeper Conor Kearns, gave College their first point of the season.

Pat's will have some thinking to do ahead of next Friday's derby at home to Shamrock Rovers.

Defeats

On a run of three straight defeats, UCD knew they'd need to frustrate the Saints to get something from this game, but despite some early possession from the away side it was UCD who came closest to opening the scoring on 21 minutes.

Right back Daniel Tobin did well to whip in a cross and forward Conor Davis was able to get a shot on target, keeper Brendan Clarke the saviour for the Saints.

But that was just a brief flurry from UCD as Pat's were in control of things, bossing the game from midfield.

By the 28th minute Pat's had their goal, that man Drennan again. It was a well-worked move, Rhys McCabe collecting the ball from a throw-in, working a one-two with Chris Forrester and when McCabe sent in his cross, Drennan was there to meet it with a sublime finish.

Despite their superiority in terms of possession, the away side were unable to add another goal and it was the Students who looked brighter in the second half, Neil Farrugia denied a goal on 51 minutes, while College captain Gary O'Neill grew into the game after a tame first half.

And in the 58th minute College had their goal. Liam Scales roamed out of his central defensive position, powered forward down the wing and sent in a cross which Davis finished off from close range, a first goal in the top flight for the ex-Reading player.

Things could have turned sloppy for UCD as they needed keeper Kearns on a couple of occasions. He saved at the feet of McCabe on 63 minutes and not long after he saved the blushes of team-mate Josh Collins, whose dreadful backpass gifted a chance to Drennan but Kearns was alert to the danger.

Pat's had a succession of corners as they sought the goal, and win, which would have put them joint top of the table with Bohemians, but they lacked the cutting edge needed to trouble Kearns.


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