21 March 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

St Patrick’s Athletic 1
Monaghan Utd 1

An outstanding display by penalty save hero Chris Bennion supplied the foundations for Monaghan United denting St Patrick’s Athletic’s hitherto 100% start to their Premier Division campaign in an incident-filled encounter at Richmond Park last Friday night.
Goalkeeper Bennion broke the hearts of his former club by executing an agile stop of Stephen O’Flynn’s second half spot-kick – and then rubbed salt into the wounds by reacting superbly to keep out Chris Forrester’s follow-up attempt.
The United custodian chalked up a string of outstanding saves on the night, and the woodwork also came to the visitors’ rescue as St Pat’s threw might and main at them in an all-out bit to record their third win in succession.
But this was by no means an entirely backs-to-the-wall performance by Roddy Collins’ brigade, whose tactical astuteness and high work rate earned them their share of chances.
And with a bit more daring when Athletic were reduced to ten men following the sending off of Dean Kelly just before half-time, the Mons might have come away with all three points instead of the very creditable share of the spoils they achieved from their second trip in succession to one of the division’s major players.
United had stunned their hosts in the opening minutes of the game, taking the lead thanks to a display of unaccustomed frailty by St Pat’s’ ‘keeper Brendan Clarke.
Danny McGuinness picked out Conor Murphy in the box with a sweet crossfrom the right flank, and the young striker’s sharp flicked effort seemed to startle Clarke who allowed the ball to evade his grasp and nestle in the net.
The reaction of the home side was exemplary – a barrage of pressure leading to a string of corners and a levelling of the scoreline on 14 minutes.
But the goal also had a Roald Dhal tale of the unexpected attached to it, Dean Kelly’s effort …

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