Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke feels his players did not rise to the occasion on the first night of the Airtricity Premier Division as they went down to a 1-0 defeat against St Patrick’s Athletic.

Last season’s runner-up were beaten by a Shane McFaul strike in a wet Richmond Park.

Cooke told RTÉ: "Obviously I’m disappointed with the result to lose your first game. I don’t think the performance is what we produced in the Setanta Cup.

"Obviously coming to Richmond Park it was going to be a different kettle of fish, we didn’t respond to the effort Pat’s put up. I felt we let ourselves down on the night.

"The players are very disappointed with the performance. Pat’s will be one of the strong teams in the league.

"They will certainly be in the top two or three again this year and I don’t think we responded when Pat’s put it up to us in what we should have. We did to team’s last year what Pat’s did to us tonight and we just didn’t respond. Credit to Pat’s and the way they played tonight."

Buckley meanwhile, said that Pat’s' all-round display was pleasing as they earned a first victory in the league.

"The result was great and the performance was reasonable bearing in mind the pitch was very heavy. We were lucky probably to get the game on, the ground staff did some tremendous work it so very pleasing. I thought they all did well, especially in the first half. We linked it in well bearing in mind it was heavy.

"It is just getting a feel for how we’re going to design our pattern of play from that end. I thought they did particularly well bearing in mind it is the first game.

"They will come on fitness wise with that as well. Organisation wise, discipline wise, effort wise, I thought they were great."

Buckley praised match winner McFaul as his substitute appearance provided the vital goal.

"He had a bug up to a week ago so that sort of curtailed what we could do with him. He did great coming on, I was delighted for him to score and he’s a terrific player," the Saints boss concluded.