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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019

'Even when it was 11 v 11, we were comfortable and looked the better team'

Saints skipper Ian Bermingham says he is delighted after last night’s victory over Shamrock Rovers, while Stephen Bradley expressed his frustrations.

Killian Brennan seals the win with his penalty in injury-time.
Killian Brennan seals the win with his penalty in injury-time.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC captain Ian Bermingham was immensely proud of the character shown in last night’s 2-0 win over Shamrock Rovers — especially by their younger players.

Having lost 5-0 to Dundalk four days earlier, the Saints overcame their South Dublin rivals thanks to second-half goals from Kevin Toner and substitute Killian Brennan.

Joey O’Brien’s sending off on 40 minutes put them at an advantage, but the Saints skipper believes they were in control even before the red card.

“No, Toner got it,” replied Bermingham, when asked if his was the final touch on the opening goal. “I think it may have went in off one of their players but it’s his goal.

“We weren’t at the races on Monday and one game doesn’t define us as a team. We needed to put on a good, workmanlike performance and I think we did that. Even when it was 11 v 11, we were comfortable and looked the better team. I feel we would have went on and won the game anyway.

“It’s a great result and there’s a bit of pressure on when they go down to 10 because there’s an expectation from fans and that, but we did our job. It’s another clean sheet for the back four and the keeper, and two goals scored so we can’t complain.”

St Patrick's Athletic players celebrate after their side's goal The Pat's players congratulate goalscorer Toner (centre). Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“To be fair to the young lads tonight, Dundalk was a horrible result for us after a really bad performance and there was some stuff said in the dressing room afterwards,” he added.

“I think they reacted brilliantly and deserve a lot of credit — the likes of Jamie Lennon, Darragh Markey, Kevin Toner and Lee Desmond. I thought they were excellent for us. It was good to see Killian come on, he slowed the game down for us and then scored the peno.

We know we’ve a good side with some great young players, so we just need to keep building and not get carried away. It’s one win, three points and nothing more than that. We need to focus on next week, go again and try put a run together as we haven’t been able to do that.”

O’Brien took the legs from under Ryan Brennan and Graham Kelly brandished a red card, having initially looked as though he was going to give a booking.

“It looked a red card from where I was,” said Bermingham. “He went for the yellow but had a chat with the linesman, who would have had a better view. It looked a bad tackle and he sent him into the air, but I’d have to see it again.”

Stephen Bradley inspects the pitch ahead of the game Hoops boss Stephen Bradley. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Stephen Bradley, meanwhile, cut a frustrated figure afterwards. The excellent 3-0 win over Cork City on Monday seemed to have got the Hoops back on track, but they have now suffered seven defeats in 16 league outings to sit 10 points off leaders Dundalk with one game more played.

“We started really slowly, and didn’t pass the ball but we settled down after about 20 minutes and then the sending off set us back,” said the Rovers manager.

“He [O'Brien] has gone in, has he gone with studs over the ball? No, but he’s caught him and it can be a red card. I don’t think it was nasty or that he has gone over the ball, but he’s given it and we have to accept it.

The disappointing thing is that he had the yellow card in his hand, and then for some reason changed it at the last minute.”

Bradley was left pulling his hair out with how the visitors conceded an opener, as the ball should have been cleared away after Toner’s original header.

“After that [the red card], Pat’s had a lot of the play, which was to be expected, but the goal we gave away was unbelievable,” he added. “We ducked in the hole for some reason, we haven’t conceded from a corner all year and we’ve been really strong defensively, but we ducked and it just rolls into the net.

“It’s frustrating because you’re down to 10 men so you have to defend, shift, give up possession at times and if they cut you open because they’ve an extra man you accept that, but not the goal we gave away. It was really poor.”

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Ben Blake

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