St Patrick's Athletic met Icelandic side Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja in the First Qualifying Round of the Uefa Europa League at Richmond Park, and will take a one-goal lead to Iceland for the second leg.
For the second time in two years, the sides were drawn together at this stage. Last year St Pat's won 2-1 on aggregate after losing 1-0 in the away leg. Only one Saints player from last year's match-up took to the pitch for the rematch this season, with Ian Bermingham starting in defence. IBV on the other hand had six players from the 2011-12 campaign starting, with another two on the bench.
Pat's had a lucky escape after 12 minutes when Christian Olsen was put through on goal. The forward was one-on-one with goalkeeper Brendan Clarke, who rushed out. Olsen tried to chip it but his attempt came back off the crossbar.
IBV goalkeeper Abel Dhairi wasn't tested until the 22nd minute; Pat's' first shot on target was a tame one from Sean O'Connor and was straight at the Ugandan. English defender Matt Garner was lucky to escape a booking for a late foul on John Russell. The resulting free kick saw Sean O'Connor force Dhairi into a save, but the corner came to nothing.
Christy Fagan had been somewhat anonymous up front for Pat's, but got his name on the scoresheet with his second proper touch of the match. A great tackle in midfield from James Chambers saw Pat's break through Ger O'Brien who set up Fagan for the 39th-minute opener. The goal spurred the home side on, while IBV sent on Aaron Spear for Olsen before half-time to try and salvage something.
The hosts were forced into a change of their own after the break, with goalscorer Fagan limping off to be replaced by Dean Kelly. Kelly looked lively after coming on, but got caught out by the offside trap and saw a good chance blocked by Matt Garner.
Pat's kept hold of the ball well, passing it around midfield, but could not create a killer final ball. This frustrated IBV who saw English duo George Baldock and Spears go into the book. Kelly had a great chance at the end to make it two, but Dhairi pulled off a good stop to keep it 1-0.
Bohemians could only draw 0-0 with Thor AK in their first leg, while Liam Boyce's goal gave Cliftonville a 1-0 win over Kalmar FF. However, 10-man Crusaders lost 3-0 to Rosenborg.