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Saints bow out of Europe after narrow defeat to Dinamo Minsk

St Patrick’s Athletic lost out 2-1 on aggregate to their Belarusian opponents in Inchicore tonight.

Billy Dennehy reacts after a missed chance.
Billy Dennehy reacts after a missed chance.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Dinamo Minsk 1

(Dinamo Minsk progress 2-1 on aggregate)

– Ben Blake reports from Richmond Park

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC’S involvement in the Europa League has ended for another year after they lost their second qualifying round second leg 1-0 to Dinamo Minsk at Richmond Park tonight.

Gleb Rassadkin’s first half goal was enough to send the visitors through for a meeting with Serbian club Vojvodina as the home side huffed and puffed without finding the back of the net.

A stunning strike from Christy Fagan, his six European goal for the club, had earned them a 1-1 draw a week ago as they came from behind after Vladimir Korytko’s opener in Belarus.

Manager Liam Buckley stuck with an unchanged team for the return leg, and Pat’s began strongly with full-backs Ger O’Brien and Ian Bermingham often getting forward to put crosses in.

However, it was Dinamo who went in front on 18 minutes. Brendan Clarke made two fine saves to keep out efforts moments earlier, but when a corner was flicked-on at the front post, midfielder Gleb Rassadkin found himself in the right place to turn the ball home.

Clarke was called upon again before the half-time break, getting his body behind a Mohammed El Monir strike, while down the other end, Graham Kelly shot narrowly wide and Aleksandr Sverchinski headed onto his own crossbar from a Pat’s corner.

Gleb Rassadkin celebrates scoring a goal with teammates The Minsk players celebrate their first half goal. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Pat’s pushed for the goal that would level up the tie after the restart, and Darren Dennehy’s back post header was kept out by goalkeeper Sergei Ignatovich on 63 minutes.

The biggest moment of the second half arrived seven minutes from time when Keith Treacy drove a ball at goal and Ignatovich failed to hold. Christy Fagan rushed in follow up, but he could only shoot into the body of the opposing number one from close range.

Minsk’s players weren’t happy with the challenge and a scuffle broke out on the pitch, with Fagan and Aleksandr Sverchinski getting booked, while substitute Vladimir Khvaschinski, who had yet to come on, was red-carded in the dug-out.

Pat’s, who brought on David Cawley, Jamie McGrath and Dinny Corcoran in the third of the game, poured forward in the closing minutes but just couldn’t manage to break the deadlock.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke, O’Brien (c), Hoare, D Dennehy, Bermingham, Kelly (Cawley 69), Treacy, B Dennehy, Timlin (McGrath 62), Byrne (Corcoran 89), Fagan.

DINAMO MINSK: Ignatovich, Astraukh, Bykov, Korytko, Zhukovski (c) (Shramchenko 79), El Monir, Noyok, Habovda, Sverchinski, Rassadkin (Rotkovic 58), Kaplenko.

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Ben Blake

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