BROADFORD Rovers came out on top of a relegation six-pointer as they overcame St Patrick’s CY 2-0 in their Leinster Senior League Major 1 Saturday clash at Ringstown Park.
Rovers scored early and late through Johnny Martin and Simon Roche to secure an important victory that sees them swap places with Pats, who fall into the bottom three in their stead.
The visitors took the lead with barely two minutes on the clock as Pats failed to fully clear a corner, and from the resulting ball in Martin crashed an unstoppable header into the top corner.
Broadford had set up to frustrate and, with a one-goal lead in their favour, were content to sit back and invite the more comfortable in possession Pats side to break them down.
The match fell into a consistent rhythm as the Ringsend side dominated possession without creating much of note, while Broadford tried to catch them on the break.
With less than 15 minutes remaining, however, that changed as a quick counter presented Rovers with a four-on-three, and Ben Rossiter squared for Roche to coolly round the keeper and settle the tie.
Pats had a chance to pull one back with a minute remaining as [name] found himself one-one-one with Broadford goalkeeper John Finnegan, but the keeper stood firm to maintain the clean sheet.
“I wouldn’t call it a smash and grab,” Broadford Rovers manager Alan Brophy told GazetteSport.
“ They had one clear chance in the entire game and that came in about the 89th minute.
“Our gameplan was to go out there, keep our shape, play defensively and not give them any clear opportunities.
“It was a really big game for the two of us because they’re struggling at the bottom like ourselves, so it was clear we had to go out and win the game, or certainly not lose it.”
A poor start to the season, which saw them lose four straight following an opening day draw at home to Pats, seemed to have ended Broadford’s promotion chances before the started.
Yet they now sit just nine points off second place at the halfway point, though Brophy is keen to downplay expectations on a young side in transition.
“I heard a couple of whispers going around that we’re only nine points off the promotion places, but I think people are getting a bit ahead of themselves.
“At the start of the season our aim was to go for promotion, but those five games put us straight away on the backfoot.
“There’s always a chance in football, but I think the start of the season killed us on that front. It’s a long shot, but stranger things have happened in football I suppose.”