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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Alfie Lewis has scored one goal and made 13 appearances since joining St Pat's.
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Pat's 'delighted' to secure ex-West Ham midfielder's services
It was confirmed earlier in the week that Alfie Lewis has joined the club for the rest of the season.

A 3-2 DEFEAT against Bohemians saw St Patrick’s Athletic displaced at the top of the Premier Division table on Friday night, and the absence of some important players undoubtedly contributed to the disappointing result.

A head injury kept John Mountney from slotting in at right-back, where he has played for much of the season, while Ronan Coughlan was also absent in attack and Shane Griffin missed out with a shoulder injury.

But perhaps the biggest loss of all was Alfie Lewis. The 21-year-old has surely been one of the signings of the season so far.

He joined on an initial six-month loan deal from West Ham and following his recent release from the Premier League club, it was confirmed during the week that he had signed with the Saints until the end of the season.

Lewis had been a regular for the Hammers’ U23 side and made the bench for their first-team game against Chelsea last season. And he chose to extend his stay in Dublin despite interest from clubs in Britain.

He has made 13 appearances for the Richmond Park outfit and it was confirmed on Thursday that he had been voted Player of the Month for June.

Lewis’ absence was conspicuous at Dalymount Park on Friday. It was an open game and a player of his calibre might have been able to plug some of the gaps that developed in the midfield as the game wore on, with Bohs punishing their rivals on the counter-attack on more than one occasion.

“He’s a good player for us,” manager Alan Mathews said after the game, while also praising the efforts of Chris Forrester, Robbie Benson and Jamie Lennon. “He’s come in the last couple of weeks. He’s really got hold of the game here and shown what he can do. He’s been a very positive influence on us and a good influence on the group, so we’re all delighted that he’s staying with us until the end of the season.”

Speaking during the week, Stephen O’Donnell added: “The St Pat’s fans seem to have really taken to him and his performances so far, having got to see him live in the wins against Sligo and Finn Harps, and I know he’s looking forward to playing in front of them between now and the end of the season.”

The reason he missed Friday’s Dublin Derby was due to a red card picked up in last week’s 1-1 draw with Waterford, and two more Pat’s players — Lee Desmond and Ian Bermingham — were dismissed in the loss to Bohs, with both picking up second yellows.

Despite these incidents, Mathews was not overly concerned with his side’s ill discipline.

“I haven’t looked at it back, so it would probably be unfair to say. But from the players’ point of view, the two of them [Lee Desmond and Ian Bermingham] have been exemplary this year in attitude and application.

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“Defenders make tackles and sometimes they’re late and they get caught. Lee and Bermo are two very experienced defenders. They got red-carded tonight. The referee saw that that’s what it was. We’ll take that, but I don’t have any issue with the players getting sent off.

“We just had an issue with our performance over the 90 minutes. We had patches where the quality was good and patches where they had the upper hand and we never really got control of the game enough to push on.

“We’re disappointed that we scored two goals away from home and didn’t get anything. It’s difficult enough to get a result with 11 men, so with nine men, it was going to be very hard.

“Looking at it, Bohs were very good in the transitions. They counter-attacked well. We probably didn’t have as much quality as we’d shown in the last couple of weeks. From an energy, endeavour and application point of view, the players were excellent. Even to show that attitude when we were down to nine men, to get the second goal, it’s a great testament to them.”

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