UCD AFC came from behind to draw with St Pats at the UCD Bowl on Sunday.
Airtricity League Premier Division
Sunday 22nd July 2012
UCD AFC 1-1 St Patrick’s Athletic
Benson 70’ Forrester 45’
Sunday football is a rare occurrence these days at the UCD Bowl but with the sun shining and the pitch as close to perfect as you could get there is a strong argument for its continuation. In a week where UCD AFC battled off the pitch in order to gain the respect that they deserved, it was imperative that Martin Russell’s charges delivered on the pitch.In the first twenty minutes it seemed that UCD’s PRO Philip Bourke’s fighting words in his open letter to RTE’s MNS had a positive impact on the team.
Paul Corry and co. pressed with an urgency and intensity that St. Pat’s perhaps had not been expecting. With David McMillian playing his first home game since his return to UCD in particular looked dangerous in the opening exchanges, combining well with down the right a nice one-two opened the space for Corry. Spotting his opportunity he shot from twenty yards and saw his shot creep just inches wide. UCD interplay in the middle of the park combined with their hard pressing had Pat’s on the back foot and the frustration was clear as ankle tackles came to the fore; Jason Chambers perhaps paying the price for his team when the referee booked him in the eight minute for a tackle on Robbie Benson.
Benson playing just behind front man Chris Lyons, found himself at the edge of the box in the fourteenth minute, turning after receiving the ball a slight hesitation as he decide to play the ball on for Lyons or take the shot gave the covering Greg Bolger the time need to get in a last man covering tackle.These two early scares blew the cob webs off a lacklustre Pat’s and they gradually came into the game. Sean O’Conor had Pats’ first shot on the twenty minute mark before Christy Fagan had the best chance to that point four minutes later. Shooting from an angle he was unable to bend the ball around the far post. With Pats asserting themselves more and the intensity slipping out of UCD’s play a sense of déjà vu took over at the Bowl, when on the stroke of half time Christy Fagan opened the scoring for the Saints.
Greg Bolger played the ball over the top, Forrester shrugging of the attentions of Hugh Douglas found himself one on one with McGinley and made no mistake. Martin Russell perhaps sensing that if things were not changed at half time then UCD would not be able to reassert themselves in the second half, by bring on Tyrone McNelis for Dean Clarke he would have been hoping to add some extra physicality and pace onto the flanks.
It was Chris Lyons that would manufacture the opportunity that saw UCD go closest to equalising when he was brought down on the edge of the box earning Pat’s defender Carroll a yellow card in the process. Danny Ledwith, who has been in superb goal scoring form for the students this year, bent his shot up and over the wall, heading for the top corner Clarke managed to get a strong hand to shot with a flying save. As both managers made more changes the tempo of the game seemed to die away until the 68th minute when an audacious effort from Greg Bolger forced Mark McGinley into a fine save; tipping the ball over the bar from Bolger’s thirty-five yard effort.
Two minutes later it was the Students who were to be celebrating though. Samir Belhout had come on for Chris Lyons and his directness down the left along with some excellent combinational play with Danny Ledwith created space in the area for Robbie Benson who made no mistake firing past Clarke.
The final twenty five minutes where dominated by the victors; Bolger again from range, Anto Flood and Chambers all had opportunities to win the game for Pat’s. It would be the students left kicking themselves in the final minute however when David McMillian sent through on goal by Robbie Benson was unable to get a strong connection as his shot flew straight into the grateful Clarke’s hands.
A good point for the Students means it is as you were in the battle with Dundalk to get off the bottom of the table. With the Saints flying high in the league though it once again shows that with a little more consistency the Students will be more then capable of passing the test of relegation.
Man of the Match: Mark McGinley
UCD AFC: 16 McGinley; 13 Douglas (14 Kavanagh '86), 4 O'Connor, 5 Leahy, 17 Ledwith; 6 Corry, 8 O'Conor, 10 Benson, 23 McMillan, 21 Clarke (15 McNelis h/t); 26 Lyons (25 Belhout '59).
Subs: 20 Corbett, 3 Nangle, 7 Burke, 18 McCabe.
Booked: O'Connor, Belhout
St Patrick's Athletic: 1 Clarke; 2 O'Brien, 3 Carroll, 15 Browne, 12 Bermingham; 8 Chambers, 6 Bolger, 18 Russell; 17 Forrester, 9 Fagan (25 Flood '64), 11 O'Connor (19 Kelly '86).
Subs: 16 Murphy, 5 Price, 7 Meenan, 26 Coombes, 30 Hyland.
Booked: Chambers, Carroll
Referee: Rob Rogers.