UCD fall to pre-season defeat against St.Patrick’s Athletic

Image Credit: Cahal McAuley

Despite the Students soaking up pressure for most of the first half, Pat’s dictated possession to win 2-0.

UCD AFC suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of St. Patrick’s Athletic in a drab affair at the UCD Bowl on Saturday afternoon. Two second-half goals were enough for Pat’s to claim the win in a game devoid of clear-cut chances.

UCD defended resolutely for long periods but were twice undone, first by a deflected shot from Ronan Coughlan on the hour and once again when they were unable to prevent Mattie Smith from pouncing on a rebounded shot to make sure of the result with five minutes to play.

Pat’s dictated possession early on but lacked quality in the final third, making life simple for the student’s defence as they swept up numerous overhit and misplaced passes. UCD rarely ventured into Pat’s territory but looked comfortable at the back as neither side coughed up chances in the early period.

Despite soaking up pressure for most of the first half, it was UCD who threatened to break the deadlock first, as some good work from Evan Weir in winning the ball down the left flank resulted in Eoin Farrell dragging a shot just wide of the post after receiving the lay-off from Liam Kerrigan on the forty-minute mark.

Pat’s hit back just before the half-time whistle as UCD keeper Carl Williams did well to make himself big and block a shot from Ronan Coughlan with Darragh Burns curling an effort over the bar from the second ball.

The quality of play didn’t improve significantly after the break with neither side threatening in the first few minutes of the half. It was the Premier Division side who took the lead on the hour mark however, as Williams was beaten by a Coughlan strike which took a significant deflection off UCD defender Michael McHugh.

UCD failed to trouble Pat’s Czech keeper Vitezslav Jaros, on loan from Liverpool, and the saints were able to put the game to bed in the final five minutes as Mattie Smith swept the ball home on the rebound after Williams had made a smart save from Coughlan.

Neither side will be particularly pleased with their performances in a game lacking any significant quality. Pat’s were able to capitalise on rebounds and deflections in order to secure the victory as a toothless attacking display from the students failed to produce any end product but it must be acknowledged that they were up against higher-level opposition and defended well for most of the game.

UCD boss Andy Meyler was satisfied with his team’s second-half performance despite ending up on the wrong side of the score-line. "Today was a bit of mixed bag, the first-half was very poor, the second-half was quite good actually. I was much happier with the second-half performance."

The students begin their first division campaign at home to Athlone Town on March 26th while Pat’s are away to Shamrock Rovers in the Premier Division on Friday evening.