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Saints Move To Within One Victory Of League Title Following UCD Win

Liam_Buckley

Four points is all that separates St Patrick’s Athletic from getting their hands on the league title after Liam Buckley’s men came from behind to beat UCD 3-1 at Belfield last night.

Goals from Chris Forrester, Anto Flood and Jake Kelly secured the win for the champions elect , meaning they could potentially wrap up the title when they host Sligo Rovers next Sunday at Richmond Park.

The Saints dominated the early stages, with John Russell agonisingly seeing his chipped effort sail over the bar.

Fifteen minutes into the first half and Liam Buckley’s men had done all but score as they were found lacking in the final third. Kelly, Flood, and Russell all had chances but failed to finish off their attempts on Mark McGinley’s goal, much to the relief of Martin Russell.

It hadn’t had been the firing Saints’ you would have expected. A poor start, really.

The Students did however create their own attacks, Robbie Creevy took a quick free kick which was cleared by Ger O’Brien who was under the pressure of Dean Clarke.

The pressure paid off within 23 minutes as the Students took the lead through midfielder Robert Benson after being played through by on-form Creevy. Creevy delivered a perfectly weighted ball which Benson controlled and finished easily past Brendan Clarke to open the scoring. The game needed a goal and the home side provided it.

What followed was a dramatic few minutes as the Saints soon found themselves in the lead. A howler from UCD goalkeeper McGinley let Forrester bag the easiest goal of his career as his shot was fired straight at the goalkeeper who fumbled the ball into the left hand corner of the goal to get the Saints back in the game.

They took the lead sixty seconds afterwords as Forrester turned provider as he played in Flood who calmly finished the ball into the right hand corner of the goal to give the away side the lead. Liam Buckley would have been delighted with the turnaround.

The Saints had chances to go even further ahead with Kelly a constant menace. A killer goal wasn’t far away for the Saints as the game was approaching half time.

Tricky winger Kelly fired the Saints further in front as he cut inside on the left hand side and fired his shot into the bottom right hand corner to make it 3-1. The game was won early and on and the domination paid off for the champions elect.

The Saints had chances throughout the whole twenty minutes that followed, but the crowd were more focused on finding former Saints player and League Of Ireland veteran Stuart Byrne. Byrne, famously, tipped Shamrock Rovers to win the league despite the Saints’ being top of the league at the time. Stuart, himself, was not in attendance. An odd moment in your ordinary League of Ireland game.

Saints put the foot back and held off UCD’s attacks while they looked to just see out a 3-1 win.

There was rarely noteworthy stuff within the second half as the Saints kept possession and saw out the win. A massive win for the Saints who are now within touching distance of the league title.

MOTM: Chris Forrester

UCD: McGinley, Kelly, Leahy, Douglas, O’Connor, McCabe, Creevy, Benson, Walsh, Clarke and Russell.
Subs: O’Donnell, Kavanagh, O’Halloran, Belhout, Crowe, Burke and Coyne.

Pats: Clarke, O’Brien, Bermingham, Kenna, Bolger, Byrne, Browne, Russell, Kelly, Flood and Forrester.
Subs: Gilmartin, Gannon, Fagan, Hughes, McFaul, Price and Fitzgerald.

Attendace: 1,248.

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