Derry City 0, St Patrick’s Athletic 2
DERRY City failed to end the 2014 season on a high note in the Aviva Stadium yesterday afternoon as St. Patrick’s Athletic reaped revenge for defeats in 2006 and 2012 against the Candystripes.
Indeed, the Dubliners bridged a 53 years when claiming the FAI Cup and, in the end, they were deserving of their victory.
And while there was no shortage of passion and endeavour from Peter Hutton’s charges, they failed to create enough clear-cut chances throughout the proceedings.
Making matters even worse was the fact that the goal which saw St. Pat’s lead going into injury time had been avoidable.
Pat’s striker, Christy Fagan, attempted a shot in the 52nd minute and as the ball trundled towards the base of the post, full-back, Danny Ventre, failed to intercept to clear it off his line and the ball found the net via the post.
It was a very soft strike but to be fair to St. Pat’s they had created the lion’s share of the clear-cut chances in the opening period.
However, their second goal didn’t arrive until the 93rd minute and, again, that strike was also avoidable
Fagan bundled Derry skipper, Barry Molloy, off the ball and as Doherty advanced, the striker gleefully curled it into the far corner and that 53 years gap had been bridged.
Played in front of an estimated attendance of 10,000, both sides started nervously but it was St. Pat’s who threatened first.
Lively hitman, Christy Fagan got in behind the Derry defence to meet Sean Hoare’s cross, but keeper, Ger Doherty, did well to make a vital early save.
However, in the 31st minute Doherty failed to advance from his line allowing Fagan a scoring chance, the keeper finally making an important save.
Aaron Barry also took a risk in the 41st minute when failed to clear his lines but Fagan failed to take advantage.
Pat’s broke the deadlock in fortuitous fashion in the 52nd minute and it was a situation the Derry defence really should have dealt with.
Patrick McEleney shadowed Fagan as he stormed into the penalty area and while the striker’s low shot appeared set to strike the post, Danny Ventre failed to keep it from entering the net.
Five minutes after the goal Patterson lofts a shot over the St. Pat’s crossbar after Michael Duffy set him up.
St. Pat’s then missed the proverbial sitter in the 63rd minute after Duffy lost possession.
Keith Fahey broke from his defence and while he played a perfect crossfield ball into the path of Fagan, the striker drove his shot recklessly wide of the empty net. It was an amazing miss.
Derry began to gain in confidence and substitute, Barry McNamee, could and should have levelled matters in the 70th minute but keeper, Brendan Clarke, got down well to save from 14 yards.
And Derry went close again, Duffy’s cross finding the head of Patterson but the ball skimmed the top of the crossbar in the 78th minute.
However, with four minutes of added time announced, Derry continued to frustrate in the front line and Barry Molloy’s unfortunate mistake compounded Derry’s misery.
Derry City - Doherty; Ventre, McBride (McNamee, 65), Barry, Jarvis; Dooley, Molloy, Lowry, Duffy; P. McEleney (Houston, 90); Patterson.
St. Pat’s - Clarke; O’Brien McCormack (79), Hoare, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger; Byrne, Brennan, Fahey (Chambers, 93), Forrester (Fitzgerald, 90); Fagan.
Referee - Mr. Padraig Sutton (Clare).