By Gerard Mulreaney (@gerardmulreaney)
St Patrick’s Athletic won their third straight league game on Friday night, after beating UCD 2-0 at Richmond Park.
Opening the scoring for Harry Kenny’s side was 20 year-old centre-back Ciarán Kelly, his first of the campaign, when he headed home Mikey Drennan’s corner kick just before the hour mark. Drennan himself added the second goal, his sixth of the season, five minutes from time when he took advantage of a rebound from UCD goalkeeper Conor Kearns, after a dribbling run and shot from substitute Darragh Markey. For Kelly, it was his first Senior goal for the club.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) April 27, 2019
Kelly, who spent last season with Drogheda United, said he was happy to open his goal-scoring account, “I was delighted to get my first senior goal last night to break the deadlock. As a centre-half you don’t get many chances to score goals and put your name in limelight, so when a corner/free-kick comes in I always try to grab the opportunity with both hands and get on the scoresheet.”
“We knew from the first meeting with UCD that they were going to put up a real fight against us. They’re a great footballing side, and not a team to be take lightly. We knew we had to be on our game to get the maximum 3 points. I thought UCD started off really good and were passing it about well, but they never really troubled Clarkey in goal,” a sentiment echoed by Harry Kenny after the game.
“Having got the lead we knew UCD were going to push on to equalise, but I thought we battled well and thankfully Mikey killed the game with our second goal of the night.”
“That’s 3 wins in a row, and back-to-back clean sheets, so hopefully now we can push on and keep this consistency going. We have a tough task against Rovers on Monday but with the momentum we’re carrying hopefully we can get all 3 points.”
Delighted to score my first senior goal for @stpatsfc last night and get another 3 points on the table ⚽️
— Ciarán Kelly (@ciaran_3) April 27, 2019
This season St Pats will have the added bonus of European Football, following the news that Waterford were denied a licence to compete in the competition, and the young centre-back is looking forward to seeing where they’ll be heading later in the summer. Kelly said, “Yeah I’m really looking forward to European football. I obviously wasn’t expecting to be in this situation this year but knowing now I’ll be involved in European football is really exciting and I can’t for the draw now.”
Kelly is taking it one step at a time, still learning the ropes in his fledgling career, but he’s enjoying it, “I just want to keep playing games and see where that takes me. I’m only 20 years old, I’m still learning everytime I step onto the pitch. Hopefully there’s more 3 points, clean sheets and goals to come in the future.”
Next up for St Pats is a massive Dublin Derby on Monday night, as they head to Tallaght Stadium to face a wounded Shamrock Rovers team who’ve lost their last two games.
Picture Credit: St Patrick’s Athletic FC