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Pats make case with high five

ST Patrick's Athletic sounded a warning to the rest of the Airtricity League by demolishing the champions 5-1 thanks to a scintillating performance at Richmond Park.

Chris Forrester (pictured above) and Christy Fagan both bagged braces of goals and a John Russell strike gave the Saints a much deserved win with Ken Oman scoring the only goal in reply.

The Saints supremacy was largely down to a high-octane midfield performance led by man-of-the-match James Chambers, who was delighted his side could build on last week's draw with Bohemians. "No one was thinking 5-1 starting out, we just wanted to produce a performance," he said.

"After last week we just set ourselves a benchmark and we wanted to reach that again and I think tonight we did, we surpassed it and we're delighted.

"Rovers are obviously still a very good side but we're delighted with the win."

St Pats came into the game scoring five goals in five games, the same number that Rovers striker Gary Twigg has managed on his own this season, but they took the lead after just four minutes.

Chambers found Forrester in space on the right-hand side and the winger cut inside on his left before producing a beautiful curling effort to beat Oscar Jansson.



Ovation

Forrester turned provider 20 minutes later when he again cut in and his shot was deflected into the path of Russell, who converted from eight yards.

Forrester was replaced midway through the second half to a standing ovation because of a hip injury to be replaced by former Hoop Dean Kelly.

It was the fourth time Rovers had gone behind this season but this time they couldn't claw their way back.

Forrester made it three with a simply sublime finish. Fagan backheeled to his winger, who sauntered into the area before lifting the ball Lionel Messi-style over the hapless Jansson.

Rovers gave themselves a glimmer of hope just before the half-time interval when Oman headed home a corner.

Rovers were forced to spring former Pats favourite Daryl Kavanagh as they tried desperately to haul back their Dublin rivals, but the game was put beyond Sean Kenny's side on 68 minutes when Russell's brilliant through-ball found Fagan who calmly rounded Jansson and slotted home a goal that had Richmond rocking.

With five minutes remaining Pats put the final nail in the coffin, as Jake Kelly raced onto a through ball and Jansson was caught in no man's land. Kelly looped a cross into the box and the wily Fagan headed home with ease.

Rovers had a chance for a consolation from a Billy Dennehy free but he could only cannon the ball into the Saints wall. The result means Pats close to within a point of Rovers and they look like serious title contenders.