Match Report by Tony Ghee
St. Patrick's Athletic 3 (Coughlan '47, Forrester '52, '91)
Longford Town 0
Two goals in the opening seven minutes of the second half from substitute Ronan Coughlan and talismanic midfielder Chris Forrester, who also added a third in injury time, powered Premier Division leaders St. Patrick’s Athletic to a 3-0 victory over Longford Town at Richmond Park.
Chances were at a premium in the opening half with both sides having just one chance each, both in the twelfth minute.
The Saints advanced forward with Alfie Lewis spraying the ball out to the right for Darragh Burns to run onto, he cut inside and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box that flew over the Longford bar.
Within a minute, Town striker Aaron Dobbs fired a shot from the edge of the Pats’ box that produced a fine save from the home keeper Vitezslav Jaros diving low to his right.
There was more action in the first ten minutes of the second-half than the entire opening forty-five minutes, with Saint Pat’s scoring twice.
The home side took the lead just two minutes after the restart when Burns whipped in a dangerous cross from the left that resulted in half-time substitute, Coughlan sliding in at the back post to poke home from close range.
On 50 minutes, Town almost equalised but Karl Chambers’ header from an Aaron Bolger cross went just over the Saints bar.
Two minutes later, the Inchicore side doubled their advantage with a spectacular goal from Forrester.
Mattie Smith gained possession on the left wing and he played a smart pass into the path of Forrester twenty-five yards out from goal, and he rifled home a stunning strike that found the top-right corner of the Longford net.
The Town did have a chance to pull a goal back late on when substitute striker Dean Byrne charged into the Saints’ box along the end-line from the left, but his low shot across the goal just went wide of the far post.
The Saints wrapped up the victory in additional time when Forrester won the ball inside the Town penalty area and weaved his way past two Town players before finishing to the net for his second goal of the match.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Jaros, Bone, Desmond, Barrett, Griffin, Burns, Lennon, Lewis, Forrester, King, Smith.
Substitutes: Coughlan for Griffin and Mountney for Lennon (both half-time), Bermingham for Burns (57 minutes), McCormack for King (85 minutes)
Longford Town: Kelly, Joe Manley, O’Driscoll, Gorman, Kirk, Grimes, Dervin, Robinson, Chambers, Bolger, Dobbs.
Substitutes: Verdon for Kirk (56 minutes), Rob Manley for Dobbs (70 minutes), Byrne for Grimes and Thompson for Bolger (77 minutes).
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