The Harry Kenny era got off to the perfect start at Richmond Park last night as they beat perennial title contenders Cork City 1-0.
City headed to Inchicore after an off-season of quality departures, with the likes of Kieran Sadlier, Steven Beattie, Johnny Dunleavey, Jimmy Keohane and others departing for pastures new, but still with ambitions of challenging for honours at the end of the season.
For St Patrick’s Athletic, Harry Kenny has assembled a real quality side, with Mikey Drennan, Gary Shaw, Rhys McCabe, Chris Forrester and Cian Coleman all joining the Supersaints.
In the end it took a penalty to win the game and secure all three points, as Mikey Drennan dispatched his first goal of the season. However, it did take a superb save by Brendan Clarke to deny the visitors of at least a point, diving to his right to deny Garry Buckley in the first half.
Understandably manager Harry Kenny was delighted after the game, “Absolutely delighted with the result. As you seen from tonight the lads worked their socks off to get the result. There wasn’t a whole pile of quality in the game, a bit disappointed with the actual passages of play we had. However, in saying that I’m delighted with the result, and we defended fantastic towards the end of the game.”
“The commitment was second to none, right from the start. We had a game plan that sorta worked well, and being an old defender myself I’m absolutely delighted to get a clean sheet so hopefully those three points will go towards getting us up the table.”
Here’s the winning goal;
— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) February 15, 2019
On Mikey Drennan’s performance Kenny said, “Yeah Mikey’s done well, he had a couple of chances tonight. He took his penalty very well. There wasn’t a whole pile of chances in the game. Brendan Clarke did really well at the beginning of the first half. Not a whole pile of chance, or quality in the game but at the end of the day football is like that. We’ll take the three points and move on.”
While Drennan scores the goal it was midfielder Conor Clifford who stole the show, claiming the man-of-the-match award with a stirling performance. Kenny was pleased for him saying, “His work rate was very very good, chasing down people. Conor has good quality on the ball as well. He’s worked really hard in pre-season to get a good fitness level, so a well deserved man-of-the-match.”
St Pats now head into a Leinster Senior Cup game against Wexford on Monday and Kenny said, “The lads that didn’t play tonight will certainly play on Monday-in the Leinster Senior Cup- then we go and take on Sligo who got a decent result against Dundalk tonight so that won’t be easy. There’s no easy games actually in this division.”
Picture Credit: St Patrick’s Athletic FC