placeholder Airtricity League Premier Division Monday 3 May 2010 UCD (1) 1 ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC (0) 0 D. McMillan 33

'I don't get carried away,' explained Pats manager Pete Mahon prior to the bank holiday, in response to media acclaim for the way he has revitalised the Inchicore club's fortunes. 'I've been around a long time. If we lose three games on the trot it'll be a different story.' Well now he's lost two. Not that there was any disgrace in defeat in this pulsating encounter won by David McMillan's superb header in the 33rd minute, perfect timing in every sense.


After heavy duty on Friday both managers refreshed their starting line ups. Martin Russell restored Ciaran Nangle to the left back slot and started Dwayne Wilson on the flank. Pete Mahon made more wholesale changes after the home defeat at the hands of Shamrock Rovers. Brian Cash, Gareth Coughlan, Conor Sinnott and former Student Ian Bermingham all got the nod and the Saints flew out of the starting blocks. Billy Brennan had already made a flying save in the first minute when five minutes later pandemonium broke loose in the UCD goalmouth. A corner from Sinnott on the right gave Coughlan a chance but a desperate combination of defenders scrambled the ball to safety. With Sinnott an impressive playmaker, Pats kept up the pressure with McAllister inches away from converting Coughlan's cross from the left. But College weathered the early storm and the game became perfectly poised. The duel between Ciaran Nangle and Brian Cash down the Pats right caught the eye whilst Dwayne Wilson's speed was a cause for concern for Bermingham in the corresponding channel for UCD but the full back was well supported by covering colleagues. Derek Pender went through three block tackles and emerged with the ball. It was red bloodied stuff. UCD were beginning to threaten Gary Rogers goal. On twenty minutes the big keeper had to be alert to turn away Chris Mulhall's swerving cross shot and when Rogers dived on the loose ball he brought down the pursuing David McMillan, leaving him prone beyond the deal ball line. Both players were focused on the ball but the resulting penalty shout enraged the Pats fans and referee Sutton fanned the flames by restarting play with a goal kick leaving McMillan in a heap outside the field of play. The referee made no allegation of a dive, but, by ignoring McMillan, seemed to suggest that his injury did not merit attention. All the UCD striker got for his efforts was a painful whack and the attention of the travelling faithful every time he subsequently touched the ball. At the other end there was a shout for hand ball and a free kick on the edge of the box that came to nothing. But Pats could have gone ahead in the 26th minute when Brennan spilled Cash's looping header from the right and Evan McMillan, already beginning to look like man of the match, got back to take Coughlan's shot off the line. Seven minutes later his brother silenced the barrackers. Mulhall and Corry combined well on the right, Shortall took a touch and from Corry's excellent cross David McMillan rose to place the perfect header beyond Rogers. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and UCD responded to its inspiration. Rogers had to look smart to touch Pender's miskick away and punch Corry's resulting corner to safety. At the other end Shortall twice showed sang froid in heading the ball back to his keeper in a crowded goalmouth. Brennan, on his way to his eighth clean sheet in eleven games, was similarly cool and concentrated.


Mr Mahon's half time talk galvanised his side at the opening of the second period but Coughlan's pinpoint cross was headed over by Faherty. The home side regained the initiative ten minutes in and it required a flying save by Rogers from Kilduff to prevent them increasing the lead. Now the managers entered the equation. With just over an hour played, Pete Mahon made a double substitution with Ryan Guy and another former Student, Paul Byrne, deployed in place of Sinnott and Coughlan. Ten minutes later Martin Russell opted for consolidation, replacing strikers Kilduff and Wilson with midfielders Creevy and McMahon. Now 4-3-3 really looked like 4-5-1 but the fresh legs showed plenty of initiative to demonstrate that the best form of defence is attack. Pats responded with another striker, Alex Williams, with a quarter of an hour remaining but it was not until one minute into added time that Saints really threatened to take a point when Byrne's header landed on the top of Brennan's net. 'That's football!' reflected Mr Mahon post match. He felt that his side had more than enough chances to win the game. True. But his assertion that his keeper had little enough to do doesn't match my record. David McMIllan doesn't get that many interviews but proved loquacious as the hacks gathered around him in the corridor. Watching from the door of the home dressing room his captain was entitled to smile. The victory was a team effort but it was, all in all, a great night for the brothers McMillan. UCD: Billy Brennan; Brian Shortall, Evan McMillan, Andy Boyle, Ciaran Nangle; Chris Mulhall, Greg Bolger, Paul Corry; Dwayne Wilson (Peter McMahon 73), Ciaran Kilduff (Robbie Creevy 73), David McMillen. ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Shane Guthrie, Conor Kenna, Ian Bermingham; Brian Cash, Conor Sinnott (Paul Byrne 63), Dave Mulcahy, Gareth Coughlan (Ryan Guy 63); Dave McAllister, Vinny Faherty (Alex Williams 75). Referee: Padraig Sutton