Friday 28 July 2017

O'Hanlon's winner gives relieved Pat's a massive lift

St Patrick's Athletic 2 Shamrock Rovers 1

Sean Heaney of Shamrock Rovers reacts after fouling Conan Byrne of St. Patricks Athletic, leading to his second yellow card. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Sean Heaney of Shamrock Rovers reacts after fouling Conan Byrne of St. Patricks Athletic, leading to his second yellow card. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Told by manager Liam Buckley when he was about to be sprung from the bench that this would be a good time to score his first goal for the team, Josh O'Hanlon duly obliged with a winner to lift the Saints off the foot of the table.

Rovers started well, and were deserving of a 13th-minute lead courtesy of Gary Shaw.

Sean Heaney of Shamrock Rovers reacts after being shown a red card by referee Paul McLaughlin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Sean Heaney of Shamrock Rovers reacts after being shown a red card by referee Paul McLaughlin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

But the dynamic of the game changed on 34 minutes when Hoops left-back Sean Heaney was sent off for a second yellow.

St Pat's took control and their pressure told on 59 minutes when substitute Kurtis Byrne hooked home JJ Lunney's diagonal pass to equalise.

O'Hanlon then won it for St Pat's on 76 minutes, heading in a Conan Byrne corner with his first touch of the ball to give Saints their first victory of the campaign.

Finger

"I think it was always going to come," said 21-year-old O'Hanlon. "No one could quite put their finger on (the poor start). We come in and train hard every day."

Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers, left, after teammate Gary Shaw, right, scored their side's first goal. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers, left, after teammate Gary Shaw, right, scored their side's first goal. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

A relieved Buckley said: "They're all working extremely hard and it's just that we haven't been gelling."

St Pat's are now just two points behind Rovers who slumped to a fourth defeat in six games.

"The sending-off just killed it for us," said despondent Hoops boss Stephen Bradley, who was frustrated by unsuccessful attempts to have the game called off because Trevor Clarke and Michael O'Connor were on duty with the Irish U-19 side.

Bradley has threatened to pull players out of future squads - there is no provision in the rules for call-ups below U-21 level.

Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers in action against Jonathan Lunney of St. Patricks Athletic. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers in action against Jonathan Lunney of St. Patricks Athletic. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

St Patrick's Athletic - O'Malley; Barker, Peers, Desmond, Bermingham; Kelly (K Byrne, 56), Cregg, Lunney (Markey, 71); C Byrne, Fagan (J O'Hanlon, 75), A O'Hanlon.

Shamrock Rovers - Chencinski; Madden, Webster, Devine, Heaney; Lopes; Meenan (Bone, h-t), Finn, Burke, Doona (McAllister, 38); Shaw (Boyd, 67). Ref - P McLaughlin (Donegal).

 

Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers in action against Graham Kelly of St. Patricks Athletic. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers in action against Graham Kelly of St. Patricks Athletic. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

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