Shamrock Rovers ended their blip in form while at the same time ended St Patricks Athletic unbeaten league run with a narrow one nil at Tallaght stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Gary Twigg’s 10th league goal of the season was enough to give Michael O’Neill’s men the three points and take the Hoops back to the top of the table.
St Pats unbeaten in 14 league games made just one change from the team with narrowly lost in the Europa League qualifying match to IBV on Thursday with Anto Murphy replacing Paul Crowley.
Despite being the fresher of the sides Rovers were unable to get on top of their opponents with both sides contributing to a lively if goal less first half.
In fact it was Pats who had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes when Daryl Kavanagh struck the outside of the post with a shot from distance.
The only goal of the game arrived on 52 minutes when Twigg finished well following a neat passage of play from Rovers.
The pressure on Rovers has been mounting in recent weeks and Michael O’Neill has been feeling the heat despite his impressive record since taking over. The former Hibs striker took out his frustration ala Steve Staunton when he kicked a water bottle, an incident that led to him being sent to the stands.
On the field Pete Mahon introduced Shane McFaul, David McMillan and Ian Daly in an effort to freshen up his side and it almost worked with the substitutions giving Pats an added impetus.
Pats might have drawn level had Daly and Kavanagh not gotten in each other’s way but in the end Rovers held on to return to the top while Mahon must not rally his troops for the second leg of the Europa league game on Thursday.
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