Rovers see off Saints for huge derby win
SHAMROCK Rovers enjoyed an emphatic 3-1 win over St Patrick’s Athletic in their massive Airtricity League Dublin derby in Tallaght Stadium tonight, by Eoghan Gardiner
The result puts the Hoops ahead of the Saints by three points at the top of the table.
Rovers struck first in the 30th minute, after Joey O’Brien, Richie Towell, Gary O’Neil and Dylan Watts played some good football, before putting Danny Mandroiu through to coolly slot the ball past Saints keeper Vitezlav Javos from the edge of the box.
Pats found an equaliser just before the break, as John Mountney placed the ball into the bottom left, just beyond the reach of Rovers goalkeeper Alan Mannus, from a free-kick well outside the box.
Rovers dominated the first half, though missed a number of chances, including a header from Mandroiu from no more than ten yards out, with the ball just sailing wide of the top right corner.
As they continued to dominate in the second half, the Hoops edged back in front courtesy of Roberto Lopes, who found the top corner with his header from a well-placed corner.
And Mandroiu scored his second in the 71st minute, after he latched on to a through ball before chipping it over Javos.
Rovers kept it tight at the back throughout the game, playing the ball out and breaking on the counter late into the second half.
The Saints regularly found themselves looking for cover at the back leaving their goalkeeper Javos with no option but to come off of his line on a number of occasions to either smother or clear the ball.
After a delivery over the top from Rory Gaffney to Watts just outside the Saints’ box, calls for handball from the crowd convinced a hesitant referee who awarded a free-kick in a threatening position to Rovers, though ultimately it came to nothing.
Ronan Coughlan made his return for the Saints following an injury spell, coming on in place of Paddy Barret in the 58th minute, but despite having a number of opportunities, he could not improve the situation for his side.
Maltese international Kyrian Nwoko made his debut for the Saints, coming on in the 87th minute, while Nahum Melvin-Lambert, made a return to the side.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: A. Mannus, R. Lopes, L. Grace, D. Watts, R. Finn, D. Mandroiu, L. Scales, G. O’Neil, R. Towell, R. Gaffney, J. O’Brien
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: V. Javos, J. Mountney, S. Bone, L. Desmond, R. Benson, C. Forrester, J. McClelland, B. King, A. Lewis, D. Burns, P. Barrett