St Pat’s frustrate Shelbourne in eight-goal thriller at Tolka Park

Sean Boyd and Eoin Doyle both play prominent roles leading the line for their respective sides

Shelbourne 4 St Patrick’s Athletic 4

A tale of two number nines.

For much of Monday night at Tolka Park, Sean Boyd looked to have all the luck for Shels, winning a penalty and scoring twice to offset an own goal.

By contrast, opposite number Eoin Doyle had two goals ruled out - one for a push, the other for offside - his luck failing to match that of Boyd as Shels took a two-goal lead on the hour mark, seemingly set for a first league win since July.

READ MORE

That figured without the drama of two late penalties, both dispatched by Doyle, levelling a feisty derby and earning Pat’s a point in an eight-goal thriller.

Boyd opened the scoring, capitalising on a shanked Harry Brockbank clearance with a a first-time effort from the edge of the box.

Barry Cotter, Pat’s best attacking outlet in the first half, did level with a stunning left-footed effort through traffic after cutting in from the right, only for Matty Smith to retake the lead for Shels with his first goal since joining from Derry in July. The crowd at Tolka was spoiled with another gorgeous strike, this one curling into the top corner.

Cue Boyd’s faux pas, heading into his own net while trying to clear off the line just short of the break. He did make amends by winning - and slotting home - a penalty early in the second half, Brockbank’s tricky evening continuing as he hacked the striker down while lunging to clear.

Smith thought he had extended the lead only for the officials to spot the ball hit his arm - a third disallowed goal on the night - but JJ Lunney did stretch the margin to two shortly after with a well taken strike after the ball rebounded to him via a cross. Boyd again was heavily involved, his run drawing enough defenders to open the space for his teammate.

Pat’s boss Tim Clancy wasn’t happy and he ended the match in the stands, his protests boiling over moments later after a foul against his side.

If Shels looked comfortable heading into the last 30 minutes, no one told Shane Farrell who hauled down Sam Curtis inside the box to hand Pat’s a lifeline. Up stepped Doyle, his luck finally changing as he sent Brendan Clarke the wrong way.

Not for the last time, either, Doyle converting the penalty he won in the 78th minute. The smash-and-grab comeback was almost completed by Cotter moments later, his well-struck free-kick crashing against the post.

Jamie Lennon saw red in the dying stages for a second yellow, stopping a Shels counter as they looked for a late winner, but ultimately the frustration for Damien Duff’s side prevailed as a Rogers low save off Smith proved the closest they came to a fifth.

Shelbourne: B Clarke; S Griffin, Luke Byrne, S Negru; J Wilson, G Molloy, JJ Lunney (M Coyle, 88), K Ledwidge; S Farrell, S Boyd (D Carr, 90), M Smith.

St Patrick’s Athletic: D Rogers; S Curtis, J Redmond (capt), H Brockbank; B Cotter, J Lennon, A O’Reilly (B Owolabi, 70), M Doyle, J McClelland (S Atakayi, 54); B King, E Doyle.

Red card: Lennon (90)

Referee: Neil Doyle

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist