Red cards and protests - 6 talking points from the SSE Airtricity League weekend

Gameweek three has come and gone as Bohs and Dundalk lead the way.

Killian Brennan is shown a red card by Paul McLaughlin Killian Brennan was one of two Pat's players shown red on Friday. Source: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Pat’s playing catch-up already

NINE – THE AMOUNT of points Dundalk dropped against the other top four teams on their way to winning the league last season. Six – the amount St Pat’s have dropped already this season to Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk.

It’s still blissfully early days in the 2015 campaign but there are already serious question marks over the Saints’ title credentials. Liam Buckley will argue that but for the atrocious weather conditions in Tallaght, and the two red cards on Friday night, things might well be different.

Dundalk didn’t exactly play them off the park — in fact it was a game with very few shots on target — but they took their chances. With Derry (H), Limerick (A) and Longford (A) up next, you get the feeling that Pat’s have already lost all the early ground that they can afford.

- Niall Kelly 

Heary searching for right formula

Sligo Rovers supporters will look to their creative midfield players to kick-start their league campaign with the Bit O’Red picking up just two points from their first three outings.

One of these players is recent signing Keith Ward, who on his day is one of the most exciting talents to watch in our domestic league. The former Dundalk man made his first start for Rovers on Saturday night against Derry City.

His trickery on the ball and eye for a defence splitting pass was on show during the 1-1 draw and he is sure to click with his new team mates once given a run in the team.

The turning point of this game came on 73 minutes when Rovers boss Owen Heary withdrew Ward in place on Raffaele Cretaro. From then on, Sligo looked slower through the middle and struggled to feed lone striker Dinny Corcoran as the substitution frustrated and disappointed home supporters.

- David Goulden 

Stalemate at Tallaght leaves a lot to be desired

Billy Dennehy and Simon Madden Friday's clash between Rovers and Cork failed to live up to expectations Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It was a point each for Shamrock Rovers and Cork City at Tallaght Stadium, but the visitors were the happier of the two at full-time. Rovers had the better chances but failed to convert, perhaps feeling the absence of injured striker Danny North. Nevertheless, the Hoops remain undefeated this season and have yet to concede, so Pat Fenlon will be satisfied with their start to the season.

City are one of the Premier Division’s favourites, and while a draw in Tallaght is no bad result, John Caulfield’s side will need to be a little more adventurous on the road if they’re to claim their first title in 10 years. Defensively the Leesiders look solid but they offered very little on the attack, as lone striker Karl Sheppard was often isolated up front.

- Paul Dollery

Bray set for another season of gloom

Bray Wanderers have almost become part of the league’s furniture, doing just enough each season to stay afloat and retain their Premier Division status. Last year was no different as Alan Mathews’ side pulled away from the drop zone just at the right time but it’s been a worrying start to the new campaign.

Saturday’s defeat to Bohemians has left the Seagulls rooted to the bottom of the table after three games without a goal on the board. A large turnover of players at the Carlisle Grounds during the off-season was expected but this new group have yet to find their feet and they’re in danger of losing ground on those above them.

A 1-0 defeat doesn’t suggest the hosts were out-played but Bohs dominated from the outset as Bray offered very little in the way of attacking threat. It’s still early days but the signs aren’t good for the Wicklow side.

- Ryan Bailey

Alan Matthews It's been a difficult start for Mathews' side Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Paltry crowd caps off forgettable week for Limerick

The biggest talking point from Saturday’s entertaining clash between Limerick and Longford wasn’t on the field but the fact not many we at Jackman Park to witness it.

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The official attendance was given as 481 with fifty of those supporting Tony Cousins’ men in their quest for their first Premier Division point.

The ‘Blue Army’, who have been banned from games, staged a protest outside the ground before kick-off. Many other fans of the club backed the actions of the group on social media by stating they too would not attend the games until the bans were lifted. It would appear they stood by their threats.

- Andrew Cunneen

Oji pays for blunder but Galway up and running

Despite playing the majority of the game with 10 men, Galway United picked up their first points of the season at the weekend and displayed all the fight and tenacity they’ll require to be competitive this season.

Oji’s weak backpass was collected by Tiernan Mulvenna before the Drogs striker was hauled down by the former Limerick man. Referee Graham Kelly showed him a straight red and although Oji claimed after the game there was no contact, he had to go.

While the centre-back paid for his inexcusable mistake, his team mates ensured the Premier Division new boys got up and running against a Drogs side who had started the season brightly.

This could be the spark Galway needed.

- Jason Byrne

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