As Bale and Kaboul pulled on the shirt for the first time, another of our new boys Darren Bent was paired up front again with Keane having both registered against Stevenage in our first friendly of the summer on Saturday. Didier Zokora appeared for the first time in pre-season alongside Danny Murphy in the centre of our midfield.
Another of our recent permanent additions Adel Taarabt was the man at the centre of the action early on, laying chances on for Steed Malbranque and Bale, before bursting forward after 14 minutes to play in Keane who turned and his shot was held by goalkeeper Barry Ryan.
The St Patrick’s shotstopper was again on hand to deny Bent moments later from Murphy’s through pass, as well as using his legs to good effect to block a Bale goalbound effort, tipping a Taarabt low drive behind and keeping Bent at bay again all in the opening 20 minutes.
Chances were at a premium for St Pats in the opening stages as Kaboul and Anthony Gardner proved difficult to penetrate, with a Mark Quigley deflected volley the only opportunity of note.
It seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock would be broken with Bent, Keane and Bale all calling Ryan into action once more, while Anthony Murphy was forced to clear off the line on 35 minutes when Bent’s dummy from Murphy’s high pass into the box deceived the goalkeeper.
The breakthrough finally came three minutes before half-time, Murphy setting Keane away inside the box on the left before stroking the ball low into the opposite corner of the net to make it two goals in as many pre-season games at a venue that is just one mile away from his birthplace in Tallaght.
Jacques Maghoma replaced Taarabt on the left side of our midfield at the break, while Michael Dawson also came on for his first taste of action since the end of last term in place of Gardner.
The Republic of Ireland side also made changes with five new faces introduced to the fold but the momentum remained with us with Malbranque blasting over after a clever run into the box, while Bent saw a second shot cleared off the line - this time by Stephen Paisley – after Ryan’s replacement Brendan Clarke had been beaten.
Murphy’s contribution to proceedings was brought to an end just before the hour when he was replaced by Jamie O’Hara, while Stephen Quigley came on for St Pats when Colm Foley was stretchered off the field.
Back to the action, as we maintained our push for a second goal with Maghoma having a 20 yard drive palmed away, while Bent and Keane continued to pose problems up front for the Richmond Park side until our recent signing was brought off in favour of Lee Barnard on 69 minutes.
The next notable opportunity did not arrive until the 78th minute when O’Hara stung the hands of Clarke with a shot from outside the box, before Bale was brought off to great applause from the stands as Phil Ifil came on for the final ten.
A low set piece delivery from O’Hara into the path of Keane could have doubled our lead if he had got a proper hold on his shot and Barnard would have marked his first game back from injury with a goal if Clarke had not done well to beat out his header from close range.
St Patrick's Athletic: Ryan (Clarke, 46), Murphy, Rogers (Guy, 46), Paisley (Haverty, 83), Maguire (Frost, 46), Gibson, Brennan, Keane (M Foley, 69), M Quigley (C Foley, 46; S Quigley, 59), Barker (Murphy, 69), Kirby (Mulcahy, 46). Subs: Macek.
Spurs: Cerny, Rocha, Bale (Ifil, 82), Kaboul, Gardner (Dawson , 46), Taarabt (Maghoma, 46), Murphy (O'Hara, 57), Zokora, Malbranque, Bent (Barnard, 69), Keane. Subs: Robinson, Ifil, Daniels.
Gareth Bale and Younes Kaboul made their debuts as home-town hero Robbie Keane bagged the winner against eircom League side St Patrick's in Dublin on Thursday night.