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Fagan's first-half finish proves the difference in relegation six-pointer

St Patrick’s Athletic claimed a 1-0 win over Drogheda United on the road tonight.

 Match-winner Christy Fagan.
Match-winner Christy Fagan.

Drogheda United 0
St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Gerard Grimes reports from United Park 

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC poured more misery on basement club Drogheda United while boosting their own hopes of survival at United Park tonight.

A first-half goal from Christy Fagan was enough to clinch all three points for the visiting Saints.

It was Pat’s who went closest to opening the scoring as a short corner found Kurtis Byrne on the edge of the box but his effort looped over the Drogheda defence and off the crossbar.

The away side struck the crossbar for a second time on thirteen minutes as Christy Fagan’s drive came back out before being cleared by Drogheda.

The Saints then took the lead on 14 minutes. Jordi Balk played a long ball straight to Conan Byrne, he controlled it before feeding Fagan who found the back of the net from close range.

Drogheda didn’t see much of the ball and they were limited to several long-range efforts in the first half.

Pats, meanwhile, almost doubled their advantage near the end of the half as Dennehy played a cross to Conan Byrne at the back post but the winger’s header was cleared off the line by Buckley.

The second half produced little action and Pats’ best chance to increase their lead came with 20 minutes to play as Conan Byrne was denied by a superb save from McGuinness.

Drogheda were denied a last-minute equaliser by a save-of-the-season contender from Conor O’Malley as he palmed away Adam Wixted’s volley.

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DROGHEDA UNITED: McGuinness; Deasy (Elworthy 36’), Buckley, Gallagher (C), Kane; McEvoy, Bayly (S Brennan 73’), Russell (Wixted 76’), Hyland; T Byrne, Mulhall.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: O’Malley, Barker, Balk, Desmond, Bermingham (C); C Byrne, Kelly, K Brennan, B Dennehy (Lunney 93’); K Byrne (Markey 82’), Fagan (J O’Hanlon 83’).

Referee: Paul Tuite.

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