LIGHTNING failed to strike twice as Rory Patterson and his Derry City team-mates suffered ultimate heartbreak in losing the Ford FAI Cup Final against St Patrick’s Athletic at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.
Two years ago goal king Patterson raced off the bench to hold his nerve in converting a penalty before the Strabane sharpshooter scampered clear to net a dramatic late winner in a 3-2 victory over Pat’s.
Disappointingly for Patterson and the Candystripes there was no repeat of those heroics on Sunday as Christy Fagan’s second half double secured a first cup success for Pat’s in 53 years.
Few can dispute the Dublin-based outfit weren’t deserving winners as Peter Hutton’s men struggled to reproduce the kind of form that had taken them to the prestigious showpiece decider.
For Patterson, in particular, it was a frustrating afternoon. All too often he was left to plough a lone furrow up front and starved of the quality ball and support required to hurt an accomplished Pat’s defence.
Mind you that didn’t stop the ace poacher feeding of scraps to the bitter end. Indeed, with a matter of minutes remaining and with the tie delicately balanced at 1-0, Patterson brilliantly connected with a Duffy cross to shave the crossbar with a good header.
That was the closest Derry came to grabbing an equaliser and in the 90th minute Fagan put the tie out of the Candystripes’ reach by registering his second of the game. His first came seven minutes after the interval.
It was a gut-wrenching conclusion for former Rochdale professional Patterson whose goals in the semi-final and semi-final replay ultimately accounted for Shamrock Rovers.