A relatively quick turnaround from Monday night, Friday saw another full fixture of League of Ireland action with five games in the Airtricity League.
Unquestionably the least exciting gameweek of the four that have occurred so far, last night saw three scoreless draws with Sligo Rovers the only side in the division to pick up three points.
With that in mind let’s take a look at what we learned from Friday night’s Airtricity League action.
Defences Dominated At Tallaght Stadium
A hugely anticipated game throughout the week, Shamrock Rovers looked to bounce back from a disappointing Dublin derby defeat on Monday against last season’s champions at Tallaght Stadium.
The encounter itself, however, failed to live up to lofty expectations with the game lacking that killer creative spark from either side and defences massively coming out on top.
Inability to convert their chances has arguably plagued Dundalk during the early stages of this campaign already, but at Tallaght Stadium it was chance creation which was the issue, despite the best efforts of star man Michael Duffy.
Massive credit must be given to Rovers’ defensive pairing of Lee Grace and Joey O’Brien who dealt with the threat that the Lilywhites posed excellently, reducing last season’s top goalscorer Patrick Hoban to one of his quietest games in recent memory.
Both sides will probably be relatively pleased with the point, given the manner of the opposition but Dundalk and Vinnie Perth would have felt like this was a good opportunity to gain what would have been his biggest win in charge.
Cork’s Goalscoring Woes May Not Be Behind Them After All
Cork manager John Caulfield will no doubt look at their scoreless draw against Derry City at Turner’s Cross as a highly disappointing result.
The Leesiders were certainly the better team on Friday night but clear-cut chances in the game were few and far between, although the weather hardly helped either side’s efforts.
After their first win and goals of the season against Sligo on Monday night, this almost feels like a bit of a back to square one result for Caulfield’s side.
Defensively they look relatively solid but going forward it simply isn’t clicking at the moment, former Gillingham striker Liam Nash looking lively, but failing to find the net.
It’s difficult to think of a quick fix for Cork as the season rolls on, but Caulfield must find the remedy quickly, especially in front of their home fans.
In Mikey Drennan, St Pat’s Have The League’s Most In-Form Striker
When Mikey Drennan returned to the game with Sligo Rovers last season, it was evident that if he could find form, the Bit O Red would have one of the league’s finest strikers on their hands.
With six goals in 13 league games, Drennan looked to be finding his feet, proving he was more than familiar with the priceless art of scoring goals in this division.
In the off-season, Drennan found himself on the move, with Harry Kenny’s new and improved St Patrick’s Athletic the destination.
Since his arrival at Richmond Park, Drennan has been absolutely superb and last night against UCD he grabbed his third goal in four games as Pat’s picked up a point.
If Harry Kenny’s men are to truly make a push for title contention this season then a goal-scorer in the vein of Drennan will be absolutely crucial.