Saints convincing winners against Drogheda
St Patrick’s Athletic produced the perfect response to last week’s heavy defeat to Derry City by claiming a 4-0 victory over Drogheda United at Head In The Game Park last night.
Having lost out to SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Derry by the same margin seven days earlier at Richmond Park, the Saints were determined to make a return to winning ways.
After falling to fifth as a consequence of that reversal to the Candystripes, the Inchicore men have now moved up to third in the top-flight table.
This was an emotional return to Drogheda for manager Tim Clancy, who managed the Co. Louth side 128 times over a four-year period (2017 to 2021).
Mark Doyle was also back in Drogheda after joining Clancy at Pat’s in the off-season, though he was forced to be content with a spot amongst the substitutes at the start of this game.
Eager to hit the ground running, there was just four minutes gone on the clock when the visitors edged in front.
Following good approach work from Firhouse native Eoin Doyle and Billy King, Republic of Ireland U21 international Darragh Burns headed home in fine style.
It seemed like only a matter of time before Pat’s increased their advantage and while they were forced to be patient, a second goal eventually arrived in the 35th-minute.
Latching onto Ben McCormack’s through-ball, Eoin Doyle displayed great composure in shooting past the helpless Sam Long.
2-0 in front at the break, the Saints were well on course for their seventh triumph of the campaign.
The most extraordinary of circumstances disrupted the game in the third-quarter, with referee John McLoughlin calling halt to play on a couple of occasions due to a drone hovering over the pitch.
Once the dust had settled on one of the more bizarre incidents in League of Ireland history, Pat’s reinforced their authority.
Having provided the final delivery for Burns’ goal at the beginning of the tie, King got in on the scoring act himself with a confident finish from the edge of the penalty area.
To round off a perfect evening in Drogheda for St Pat’s, league debutant Kyle Robinson scored a stoppage-time goal with his first touch of the ball after replacing McCormack.