Benson bags a point for battling Students
UCD 1 ST PATRICK'S ATHletic 1
ROBBIE BENSON'S 70th-minute strike earned a well-deserved point for UCD in an absorbing match at the Belfield Bowl yesterday.
St Pat's looked set for victory when Christopher Forrester gave them the lead on 45 minutes with a fine finish, but their Europa League exertions in Bosnia-Herzegovina last week caught up with them after the break.
Forrester should have done better with a free header from a James Chambers cross on 34 minutes, but the lively prospect made amends on the stroke of half-time when he broke the deadlock with a low strike through the legs of Mark McGinley after being put through by Greg Bolger's excellent pass.
That should have been the catalyst for Pat's to push on, but UCD were not prepared to give in and Brendan Clarke had to go full stretch seven minutes into the second half to tip a Daniel Ledwith free-kick onto the crossbar.
While UCD were doing their best to increase the tempo, Pat's were starting to look more comfortable and Bolger almost caught out McGinley with a speculative attempt from all of 40 yards.
That save proved all the more crucial when Benson fired home the equaliser on 70 minutes after good work by substitute Samir Belhout.
Pat's tried to respond and McGinley had to produce a superb save -- one of many he made during the course of the 90 minutes -- to deny Forrester what would have been a spectacular second six minutes later.
Recent recruit Anto Flood, who replaced Fagan in the final half-hour, had a brace of excellent chances, the second of which flew narrowly side, but UCD, for whom Paul Corry once again impressed at midfield, held on for a share of the spoils which is sure to boost their confidence.
UCD -- McGinley; Douglas (Kavanagh 86), Leahy, O'Connor, Ledwith; McMillan, O'Conor, Corry, Clarke (McNelis h-t); Benson; Lyons (Belhout 59).
ST PAT'S ATH -- Clarke; O'Brien, Browne, Carroll, Bermingham; Chambers, Bolger, Russell; O'Connor (Kelly 86), Fagan (Flood 64), Forrester.
REF -- R Rogers (Dublin).