Sunday 24 September 2017

Belhout breaks duck to grab draw for UCD as Pat's falter

UCD 1 St Pat's Athletic 1

Lee Lynch, St Patrick's Athletic, in action against Colin Crowe, UCD
Lee Lynch, St Patrick's Athletic, in action against Colin Crowe, UCD
Conor O'Donnell, UCD goalkeeper and Gareth Matthews, in action against Ian Bermingham, St Patrick's Athletic
Hugh Douglas, UCD, in action against Christy Fagan, St Patrick's Athletic

Samir Belhout's first goal of the season tipped Pat's off the top of the table on a night of frustration for the champions.

It ought to have been so different for Liam Buckley's in-form side as they ran the game from the start.

Some Chris Forrester magic first opened UCD up within three minutes. Christy Fagan's header from the cross was straight at 'keeper Conor O'Donnell, though, before the rebound struck Conan Byrne's arm, meaning Fagan's follow-up finish was disallowed.

UCD were left chasing shadows seven minutes later when St Pat's took the lead. A delightful passing move started by James Chambers linked in Byrne and Forrester who played Fagan through to drill under the legs of O'Donnell.

Pat's, however, gifted UCD their equaliser on 28 minutes.

A slack touch by skipper Ger O'Brien was latched onto by Thomas O'Halloran, who put Belhout in to finish confidently.

O'Donnell made his second top stop of the night three minutes later to bat away Byrne's instinctive close-range toe-poke to prevent St Pat's restoring their lead.

As with the first half, it was effectively all one-way traffic on the resumption. But Pat's, while getting plenty of balls into the College box, struggled in front of goal.

Fagan headed tamely wide from a Conor McCormack cross before the striker's shot from distance arrowed over the crossbar. His replacement Daryl Kavanagh scarcely mustered much, shooting weakly at O'Donnell on the turn on 76 minutes.

Substitute Killian Brennan having an 82nd-minute goal disallowed for offside, prior to dipping a free-kick inches over the top, just about summed up St Pat's night.

UCD – O'Donnell; Matthews, Douglas, Kavanagh, Langtry; Mulhall, Creevy, Crowe (Burke, 51), O'Halloran (Barker, 73); Benson; Belhout.

St Patrick's Athletic – Clarke; McCormack, O'Brien, Browne, Bermingham; Fahey; Byrne (Brennan, 65), Lynch (Quigley, 82), Chambers, Forrester; Fagan (Kavanagh, 71).

Ref – G Kelly (Cork).

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