O'Donnell and St Pat's left frustrated as UCD leave Richmond Park with battling point
St Patrick's Athletic 0 UCD 0
UCD frustrated St Patrick’s Athletic on new manager Stephen O’Donnel'sl first home game in charge to breath life into their own survival hopes with a big point at Richmond Park.
A chance was thus lost by the Inchicore side to overtake Derry City up into fourth place in the table as they failed to avenge their FAI Cup defeat at the UCD Bowl last month.
UCD ended a run of six straight league defeats, in which they had conceded 30 goals, to move to within five points of second-bottom Finn Harps.
Dean Clarke shooting narrowly wide five minutes in proved a false dawn for St Pat’s who, despite dominating the ball, struggled to create much else in the first half.
O’Donnell brought on Chris Forrester just past the hour mark to try to spark St Pat's to life.
They thought he’d done just that minutes later, when threading Glen McAuley in on goal, but the flag went up for offside before he shot home.
UCD keeper Conor Kearns saved at his left-hand post from Lee Desmond before making the stop of the night on 72 minutes.
This time McAuley was onside from Clarke’s through ball, but Kearns was out early to get down to save the low drive that lacked conviction.
UCD remained in the game with Jason McClelland’s surging run and shot deflected out for a corner four minutes later.
Yoyo Mahdy was then not too far off target with a drive from distance that whizzed past Barry Murphy’s right-hand post.
St Pat’s had one last chance on 81 minutes but substitute Gary Shaw’s header was saved on the line by Kearns.
And it was UCD who almost snatched victory at the death with substitute Sam Byrne rifling over the bar in stoppage time.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Murphy; Madden (Shaw, 74), Webster, Toner, Bermingham; McCabe, Desmond (Walker, 86); D. Clarke, Markey, McAuley; Hale (Forrester, 63).
UCD: Kearns; Tobin, McEvoy, Scales, Farrell; McClelland, Keane, Doyle (Behan, 79), Dignam; O’Farrell; Mahdy (Byrne, 90+3).
Referee: Damien MacGraith (Mayo).