St.Pats' Joe Redmond is congratulated by teammates after scoring. Tom Maher/INPHO

St Pat's stun Shamrock Rovers in Dublin Derby

Alex Nolan’s first goal for the Saints proved a welcome winner.

St Patrick’s Athletic 2

Shamrock Rovers 1

Paul Buttner reports from Richmond Park

ALEX NOLAN’S first goal for St Patrick’s Athletic proved a welcome winner to deliver a first victory over Shamrock Rovers in two years at a raucous Richmond Park.

And John Daly’s Saints had to come from behind against the champions, whom they hadn’t beaten in their previous eight encounters.

St Patrick’s had been second best in a first half that saw Rovers troop off reasonable value for Darragh Nugent’s early lead.

But they stormed back into the game in the second half, scoring twice inside as many minutes. Captain Joe Redmond headed them level before Nolan’s winner moved Jon Daly’s side up to third place in the table.

A second defeat of the season ended Rovers’ three-match winning streak as they sit fifth in the table.

Rovers started with intent, forcing three successive corners inside the first minute.

And they soon punished negligent defending to take the lead three minutes later.

Roberto Lopes and Graham Burke worked the ball to Darragh Burns on the right flank.

The ex-St Pat’s midfielder’s arced cross picked out Nugent who out-jumped Redmond to find the bottom corner with a well-placed header in front of the big travelling support.

It marked Rovers’ first goal in the first half of a match this season and they worried St Pat’s again within two minutes.

Josh Honohan cut in on the left to feed Burke who got the ball onto his left foot to rifle a shot wide across goal.

And it wasn’t long before the St Pat’s defence was breached a little too easily once again.

The impressive Honohan outfoxed Luke Turner on the left to cross low into the area where Dylan Watts’ flick shaved the top of the crossbar.

It was the 17th minute before a sluggish St Pat’s threatened.

Ruairi Keating and Anto Breslin combined on the left. The latter’s cross forced Rovers’ defender Sean Hoare to inadvertently knock the ball goalward under pressure from Brandon Kavanagh. A really smart save down at his right-hand post from Leon Pohls prevented an own goal.

Alive now, the Saints wasted another chance to level on 25 minutes.

Though Kavanagh cleverly put Keating in over the top, Markus Poom tracked the run to do just enough to put off the striker who shot tamely into the side netting.

A misplaced pass by Dan Cleary soon gifted St Pat’s another sight of goal, but Kavanagh’s hurried shot was deflected off target.

Saints were then dealt a blow on 38 minutes when Keating went over on his ankle, with 16-year-old Mason Melia introduced to replace him.

A second change was made by St Pat’s at half-time with Chris Forrester on for the frustrated Kian Leavy.

It certainly energised the home side who turned the game on its head inside 11 minutes.

They were level on 54 minutes when the busy Kavanagh was fouled by Hoare to win a free kick on the right.

Kavanagh whipped the dead ball into the area where Redmond met it to power a header to the net.

A mistake by Pohls two minutes later led to St Pat’s taking the lead for what would prove the winner.

The goalkeeper’s clearance under no pressure struck Melia to run for Kavanagh.

He skipped along the end line to cross for winger Nolan who blasted his shot home from 14 yards.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Rogers; Turner, Redmond, Keeley, Breslin; Lennon, Bolger; Nolan (McClelland, 84), Leavy (Forrester, h-t), B. Kavanagh (C. Kavanagh, 74); Keating (Melia, 41).

Shamrock Rovers: Pohls; Cleary, Lopes, Hoare; Poom (Noonan, 86), Watts (Towell, 86); Burns, Nugent (O’Neill, 86), Burke, Honohan (Clarke, 74); Greene.

Referee: Damien MacGraith (Mayo).

Attendance: 5,015

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