Saints back to winning ways against Longford
By Daire Walsh
St Patrick’s Athletic revitalised their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign with a 3-1 victory over Longford Town at Bishopsgate last night.
Following a run of one win in six games since getting the better of Longford at Inchicore on April 30, the Saints found themselves falling behind both Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers in the top-tier table.
Matty Smith scored a goal for St Pats at Bishopsgate last night
While Stephen O’Donnell’s side remain third in the league standings, they are now just three points off first place after their main title challengers both dropped points this weekend.
Fifteen days on from their latest competitive fixture - a 2-0 defeat to Dundalk on home soil - Pat’s were forced to be patient in their search for an opening goal.
It eventually arrived in the 41st-minute when Robbie Benson nodded a John Mountney corner from the left side past Longford netminder Lee Steacy.
A former underage star at Cherry Orchard in Ballyfermot, Daire Doyle is currently at the helm of Longford. They may find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table, but the Midlanders have been quite competitive in a lot of their matches to date.
Within three minutes of the restart on their home patch, Aaron Dobbs dispatched a penalty beyond the reach of Vitezslav Jaros to bring the sides back on level terms.
Although this was undoubtedly a set-back for Pat’s, they regained the lead just past the hour mark with a close-range finish from Matty Smith.
The nine-time champions were expected to push on from this point and they finally put the game to bed inside the closing 10 minutes.
Via a Darragh Burns cross on the right-flank, Ronan Coughlan headed home to create clear daylight between the teams.
The Saints will now look to carry this momentum into next Friday’s home clash with Sligo Rovers, who relinquished top spot to Shamrock Rovers on score difference as a result of their 2-1 loss to Drogheda on Saturday.