Palace Park Respect Vs St. Patrick’s – 2004
Palace Park Respect 2 – 0 St. Patrick’s
We returned to Drumoyne to play Palace Park Respect with our first game in the new year. Our last visit to Drumoyne was rewarded with a good result and we were hoping for the same. However, we knew that Palace are never a walk in the park, and so it transpired.
Good old Osgood Schlatter had Dom and Michael debilitated. Aidan underwent a dental operation which ruled him out of this fixture. We welcomed Matthew and were still very confident of a positive outcome. We started off very strongly and limited the hosts to a few rare forward forays. As the game progressed it became more and more clear that we would certainly get the lion share of the possession while the hosts would offer a dogged resistance. Palace’s elastic defence kept us at bay, snuffing out any chances we carved out. To compound matters for us, Palace broke through our defence half way through the first half to score against the run of play. We remained composed despite the setback. We looked to hit back, but Palace’s defence remained resolute.
We went to the break a goal down but still confident in overcoming the opposition. Subs were kept to a minimum as we aimed to address the lack in goals. We maintained the momentum mostly playing in the opposition’s half; unfortunately without the end product our play deserved. The Palace defence literally put bodies in the way in an admirable stoic and strong defence of their goals. Our forward line would crash against this barrier time and time again like ocean waves against fortified flood barriers. The Palace defence discipline was in stark contrast to our frustration and impatience. We knew we were a much better outfit than what the score indicated. As the clocked ran down the hosts were emboldened by the prospect of pulling off a fantastic result. Every clearance was cheered as the high energy took hold of the whole squad. They bravely held out sticking to tasks and repelling charge after charge. When they managed to go forward they made sure imminent attacks were delayed and counters were promptly nullified. In injury time the hosts finally made sure of a brilliant victory. Owen was dismissed for handling in the penalty area. The spot kick was successfully dispatched without a fuss to ensure Palace kept all the three points.
On this occasion, we came away from Drumoyne empty handed and humbled. Did complacency contribute to our downfall today? We may be inclined to think so. However, respect where respect is due. The Respect team battled really hard and threw themselves to block shot after shot when needed, and therefore grabbed all three points on offer and deserve our congratulations. The lessons learned in this defeat however will go on to serve us in the long run.