St. Pat's U20's secured a comfortable 3-0 victory against Shelbourne last night (Tuesday) in the AUL Complex. Paul Somers' men put in an encouraging display in front of a relatively small crowd which included Saints senior boss Pete Mahon.
The Saints got off to the perfect start, when Enda Morrin pounced on an early defensive mistake to stick a neat lob over Smith in the Shelbourne goal after five minutes.
Both sides had their share of possession throughout the first half, with neither side gaining too much momentum. St. Pats' one-touch passing was at times exceptional, and the side never looked in danger of giving away the slender lead.
On 34 minutes, the Saints were awarded a free kick just to the left of the Shelbourne goal. Morrin struck a sublime free which was on target for the top corner when Smith made a remarkable save to keep the away side in the game.
Shelbourne would have been happy to hear the half time whistle with the score line at 1-0, when up stepped the influential Morrin yet again. An unmarked Aaron Humphries latched on to the wingers' accurate corner with a header to send the Saints in to the half time break with a two goal advantage.
The Saints resumed where they left of in terms of dominance in the second half, with few shots troubling either keeper throughout the opening 20 minutes.
Shelbourne defender Ian O' Reilly saw his glancing header shave the Saints' post, from a corner just past the hour mark.
O' Reilly then suffered suspected ligament damage when he was involved in a full blooded tackle with a young Saint and the big centre back was forced off to receive treatment on the sideline.
St. Pat's then secured victory on 77 minutes when Mark Logan set up sub David Whitefield with a first-class cross, and Whitefield obliged with an impressive low volley past Smith.
Speaking with stpatsfc.com after the game, Somers was impressed at his side's victory; “Scoring three goals is pleasing enough.”
As well as point's tally, Somers acknowledged that goal difference could be crucial come the end of the season; “I'm happy with the clean sheet. We have only conceded once in four games now”. He added “It's like a jigsaw; it's about getting the pieces to fit together.”
When asked if the team is gelling well, he agreed and went on to state; “Four new lads got a run out tonight and that is important, There are two U20's players training with first team now, including Shaun Stewart and Somers sees this as an important thing to remember; “The main objective is to get the lads to the Senior Squad.”
Somers and his backroom team will be very pleased with tonight's result, and encouraged by the strength in defence, and overall control of the game.