Airtricity League Premier Division
St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Drogheda United 2
Dayle Rooney scored a virtuoso late winner to all but secure Drogheda United’s Premier Division status for next season as title-chasing St Patrick’s finished with nine men at Richmond Park.
Substitute Rooney advanced onto Darragh Markey’s 82nd minute diagonal pass to strike a first-time volley from the edge of the area that arrowed past Dean Lyness for a simply stunning goal.
The result moves seventh-placed Drogheda 12 points clear of Cork City in the relegation play-off place with five games remaining.
It was a night to forget for out-of-sorts St Patrick’s, who had both Jake Mulraney and Sam Curtis sent off, as they remain third in the table, six points off leaders Shamrock Rovers.
Though St Patrick’s started brightly with Mark Doyle wasting an early chance, they fell behind to a freak goal on six minutes.
While captain Joe Redmond’s back pass had a trifle too much on it, instead of clearing first time, goalkeeper Lyness took a heavy touch.
That allowed Warren Davis to charge down the clearance with the ball ricocheting off the 18-year-old and into the net for a bizarre first league goal for the club.
Further sloppy play almost cost St Patrick’s again on eight minutes.
On this occasion Kian Leavy was a little too easily dispossessed by Adam Foley. The winger laid the ball into the path of Davis whose low drive was saved down to his left by Lyness.
St Pat’s soon regained the initiative as they chased an equaliser with Jay McCelland just off target with a free kick on 20 minutes.
Doyle and Tommy Lonergan had half-chances before the pressure on the visitors' goal told five minutes before half-time.
Drogheda captain Gary Deegan took a poorRead on irishexaminer.com