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Monday 18 December 2017

Rovers face fan trouble

Hoops could face FAI censure after fan invades pitch and tangles with Pats 'keeper during defeat

SHAMROCK Rovers could find themselves in hot water with the FAI after St Patrick's Athletic goalkeeper Gary Rogers was confronted by a fan on the pitch during the Premier Division derby clash at Tallaght Stadium last night.

The incident happened during the second half, when a supporter managed to jump over the boundary fence and make his way towards the Pats goalkeeper.

A scuffle ensued as players from both sides wrestled the supporter to the ground, with security initially slow to act on the matter.

Order was eventually restored, however, and the Saints ran out convincing 2-0 winners.



CHANCES

The FAI are likely to examine the incident, and, like European governing body UEFA, take an extremely dim view of such events.

The incident, however, didn't overshadow a blistering second half display by the Saints as Pete Mahon's side made it two wins from two Premier Division games.

Rovers, however, are in desperate need of a return to last season's form as they have already fallen five points behind arch-rivals Bohemians.

Despite dominating the first half in front of a 5,500 crowd, Michael O'Neill's side failed to create any clear chances, as the absence of the injured Gary Twigg and Dessie Baker was sorely felt up front.

While Graham Barrett huffed and puffed up front on his own, he was fighting a losing battle and the quicker O'Neill finds an emergency striker the better.

Crowd congestion caused a 10-minute delay to the original kick-off, but it was congestion in the middle of the park which gave Rovers the edge in the opening half, as their five-man midfield gained the upper hand.

James Chambers was at the centre of everything good for the Hoops and he should have done better when presented with an opportunity 15 minutes in.

Chambers latched onto the loose ball and, via a lucky deflection off Shane Guthrie, he found himself with only keeper Gary Rogers to beat. However, the former Drogheda United man blazed wide.

St Pat's barely had the ball in the final third for the whole of the first half, but after the interval, with the wind behind them, the game changed.

They succeeded where Rovers failed on 57 minutes when former Hoops player Ian Bermingham whipped in a beautifully flighted free-kick.

Conor Kenna rose above the rest and, although he failed to make contact, he did wrong-foot Alan Mannus and the ball curled straight inside the Northern Irish international's far post.

The visitors doubled their lead just three minutes later from an almost identical position.

Damien Lynch belted an out-swinging free-kick into the box and Vinny Faherty ghosted in front of his man before powering a header past the helpless Mannus for the clincher.

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