St Pat's back on track after 'disappointing' Euro lesson
Athlone Town 0 St Patrick's Athletic 2
Following the final whistle, a contented Liam Buckley graciously saluted the St Patrick's Athletic supporters with equal measures of relief and joy.
Basement boys Athlone Town caused the visitors all sorts of problems, but, ultimately, Pat's left the midlands with the spoils, which was what truly mattered after the pain they endured when losing to Legia Warsaw last Wednesday.
"We just did enough to win," Buckley acknowledged.
"After the midweek result and performance, which was disappointing, it was important that we came down here and got the job done."
Chris Forrester's sixth-minute goal nudged the visitors ahead, but Athlone responded in positive fashion and Philly Gorman, James O'Brien, and substitutes Sean Brennan and Ian Sweeney all went close to landing an equaliser.
Despite Athlone's enthusiasm, Pat's struck again in the 72nd minute to wrap it up as Sean Hoare made a firm headed connection with a Conan Byrne corner.
The success ensured Pat's climbed above Shamrock Rovers into third position, leaving Buckley hopeful of realising their ambition of earning a European berth for 2015.
Injuries have plagued Pat's in recent weeks, so Buckley isn't ruling out making a July transfer window squad addition to boost their push.
"I will see, we might do one or two bits and pieces," Buckley said. "I'm happy with the group I have, it is just unfortunate that we have one or two injuries."
Athlone Town – Coulter; Dillon, Prendergast, Harney, Clancy; Mulroy (Sweeney, 65), Foley (Mulroney, 80), Hughes, O'Brien (Brennan, 37), Doyle; Gorman.
St Patrick's Athletic – Clarke; McCormack, Hoare, Foran, Bermingham (Fitzgerald, 86); Bolger (Lynch, 80), Chambers, Forrester; Byrne, Fagan (Kavanagh, 72), Quigley.
REF – A Buttimer (Cork).