Saints play out draw with Waterford in final league game
St Patrick's Chris Forrester

Saints play out draw with Waterford in final league game

Despite plenty of endeavour on the night, St Patrick’s Athletic played out a 0-0 stalemate with Waterford in their final game of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division at the RSC yesterday.

Already guaranteed second spot in the final standings, Pat’s secured their eighth draw of the 2021 season.

This leaves them 16 points adrift of top-flight winners Shamrock Rovers, but five in front of Sligo Rovers – managed by former Saints player and manager Liam Buckley.

Of course, Stephen O’Donnell and Alan Matthews (Pat’s head coach and manager respectively) had one eye on tomorrow week’s FAI Cup final with Bohemians and some players who weren’t included in the starting line-up may well return by the time that Aviva Stadium decider comes around.

Nevertheless, those who were selected for the visit to the Munster county weren’t just going through the motions.

With just nine minutes gone on the clock, Robbie Benson headed against the crossbar off a Chris Forrester delivery.

Lee Desmond had the ball in the Waterford net a couple of minutes later, but it was ultimately ruled out for offside.

While there may have been little at stake for the Saints, Waterford were aiming to avoid slipping into the promotion/relegation play-offs.

Although they started to threaten as the half wore on, Kyrian Nwoko also went close for Pat’s on the half-hour mark.

Yet the deadlock remained unbroken at the interval and it looked like it was going to take something special to force the issue.

Benson fired just over eight minutes after the resumption, but chances were becoming few and far between.

In an effort to grind down their determined opponents, Pat’s introduced Jak Hickman and Ronan Coughlan for the start of the second half.

They were followed on the stroke of 70 minutes by Nahum Melvin Lambert and Kian Corbally – the latter making his league debut for the club.

A winning goal didn’t materialise, however, and St Pat’s were left to settle for a share of the spoils.

From a Waterford point of view, this result saw them finishing second from bottom in table and – as a result – they now face a do-or-die showdown with UCD to preserve their Premier Division status.