West Ham United loanee Joseph Anang and St Patrick’s Athletic continued their pursuit of a Europa Conference League qualification place with a 2-1 win over UCD AFC in the League of Ireland Premier Division.
The England U20 goalkeeper, who put pen-to-paper on a new long-term contract with West Ham United in December 2020, helped his side to move within just three points of third-placed Derry City with the victory at Richmond Park.
Having gone into the game off the back of a mixed patch of form – three wins and two draws from their prior eight matches – St Pat’s three points saw them move to within eleven of league leaders Shamrock Rovers, having been tipped for a title challenge in pre-season.
St Patrick’s Athletic were also heavy favourites coming into Friday’s game , with bottom-of-the-table UCD having won just one of their 18 league games this season.
But after spurning several clear chances early on, Tim Clancy’s team were indebted to Anang’s sharp reflexes on the stroke of the half-time, the 22-year-old plunging low to his right to beat away Donal Higgins’ low effort from the angle, before catching Michael Gallagher’s half-volley follow-up.
Five minutes into the second half, St Pat’s took the lead through Eoin Doyle’s looping header – and it was a lead the same player would double from 12 yards after 73 minutes, when Ben McCormack was bundled over inside the box.
UCD did pull a goal back three minutes from time when Alex Nolan drilled a low finish from inside the box across Anang and into the bottom corner, but St Pat’s held on comfortably to secure victory.
After 20 league games with St Pat’s, Anang has now picked up nine wins and nine clean sheets with his adopted side; a trip to ninth-placed Finn Harps is up next on Friday.