St Pat's secured an important three points in their bid to mount a serious title challenge as they comprehensively defeated Cork City at Turners Cross
Goals in each half from Anthony Flood and John Russell ensured the Dubliners earned the victory that they deserved at Turners Cross despite Christy Fagan missing a late penalty.
St Pat's started the game the better side, but they failed to threaten the City goal until shortly after the 10 minute mark. Another period of possession from the visitors saw Anto Flood skip past numerous poor challenges from the City rearguard before seeing his cross fumbled by keeper Mark McNulty. Johnny Dunleavy cleared before John Russell could pounce.
They went even closer moments later but Greg Bolger's thumping effort from 30 yards struck the right hand post before being cleared to safety. But Pat's didn't have to wait too long before finally grabbing the goal that their fine start thoroughly deserved. After some neat play between Ian Bermingham and Chris Forrester, the latter whipped in a sensational cross which was flicked into the far corner off the head of Anto Flood.
City were then given a glorious opportunity to snatch an equaliser but after Daryl Kavanagh pounced on a Chris Forrester mistake to send him in on goal, he couldn't find a way past the imposing figure of Brendan Clarke. Pat's remained composed in possession and stifled the Cork City attack right until the beginning of the second half.
The Dubliners doubled their lead following a flowing move as John Russell made a surging run through the heart of the City defense and played an intelligent one two with Flood before placing the ball across the keeper and into the bottom right corner.
The Turners Cross faithful were far from impressed as chants of "You're not fit to wear the shirt" bellowed down from the terraces. Pat's almost made it three soon after but Flood somehow scuffed his shot wide after been presented with the ball by Mark McNulty and Darren Dennehy.
The mistake seemed to spark City into life and they finally looked quite decent going forward. After John Dunleavy headed well over from close range, Daryl Kavanagh forced another sensational save out of Clarke. Kavanagh's neat flick in the area from Danny Morrissey cross gave him some space just in front of goal but Clarke somehow managed to tip his powerful effort over.
City were relieved not to have lost by more in the end as Mark McNulty saved a poor Christy Fagan penalty late on. The result leaves Tommy Dunne's side languishing at the wrong end of the table whilst Pat's have their eyes firmly set on leaders Derry City.