HERE WE GO again, it’s the ninth round of fixtures and Sligo Rovers are still unbeaten at the summit.
Can Pats change that and close in on top spot for themselves? The answer is just over 90 minutes away.
Sligo 1 – 1 St. Patrick’s Athletic
Dundalk 0 – 2 Bohemians
UCD 1 – 1 Drogheda United
Monaghan United 0 -1 Bray Wanderers
Shamrock Rovers 1 – 1 Derry City
Shelbourne 1 – 2 Cork City
18:55 – 18.55 – Evenin’ all. Thanks for joining us.
Whisper it quietly, but I think we could be in for a treat at the Showgrounds tonight.
18:57 – 18.57 – Kick off is still a few minutes away, so be sure to get a load of Niall Kelly’s weekly column and all of today’s team news.
As ever, we’ll be bringing you news of all the goals from around the grounds. So keep an eye on those big fat score-lines above.
19:09 – 19.09 – We’ve just kicked off. Here are your teams in a surprisingly sunny Showgrounds:
Sligo: Rogers: Rogers: Ventre, Peers, McGuinness, Davoren; Boco, Ndo Lynch, Gaynor; Quigley, North.
St Pats: Clarke; O’Brien, Kenna, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger, Chambers, Russell; Forrester, Fagan, Kelly.
19:18 – 19.18 – Quite a subdued opening few minutes to this one.
Both sides showing why they are unbeaten, just getting a feel for the game, unwilling to give anything away. As you’d expect, Sligo are enjoying the best of the possession so far.
A quick free-kick from Joe Ndo almost caught Pats napping, but Kenna stopped Danny North from profiting form his spin on the six-yard-line.
19:24 – 19.24 – Having held firm, Pats – decked out in smart, dark blue, got onto the attack themselves.
Greg Bolger is just beginning to influence the game, and when he spread wide to Forrester, Jason McGuinness had to be fully alert to divert the cross away from Fagan.
While there has been no sustained pressure from either team, it is a measure of these sides’ quality that they both look measured in their efforts so far.
19:25 – 19.25 – GOAL: Sligo 1 – 0 St Pats (Brown OG ’18)
Davoren eased the pressure on the Bit o’ Red by raiding down the left flank from fullback and winning a corner.
Ndo whipped in as dangerous a cross as you’ll see to the near post. Clarke met the ball with both fists, only for it to rebound off the back of Browne’s head and into the top corner.
19:34 – 19.34 – The visitors have reacted well to falling behind and have twice opened up the red defence.
The second occasion saw Jake Kelly receive the ball in space on the left side of the area. Rogers came out to close down the angle. he got a hand to Kelly’s powerful shot, just enough to ensure it bounced left and wide of his post.
19:35 – 19.35 – Pats really have had the best of this so far. And they are given a further boost by the sight of Ndo trudging off the field, injured.
David Cawley is coming on to replace him.
19:40 – 19.40 – “It’s not easy to watch at the moment” says Ian Baraclough who agrees that the visitors have dominated proceedings since the goal ricocheted in.
Just as he uttered the words, Forrester latched onto a pass inside the box and side-footed across goal. it was destined to go slightly wide and when Fagan connected he was flagged offside.
It’s a hamstring injury for Ndo, by the way. That could keep him out until mid-May.
19:48 – 19.48 – It’s 7.45, so two more Premier division games are just kicking off: Dundalk v Bohs and UCD v Drogheda.
Shels, Rovers and the might Mons kick off at 8pm.
19:52 – 19.52 – Another close call, great defending by Gavin Peers.
Bolger’s pin-point through-ball was pounced on by Fagan. The striker side-stepped the goalkeeper’s challenge, but Peers was on hand with a perfectly timed sliding block.
19:55 – 19.55 – HALF TIME: Sligo 1 - 0 St Pats
The league leaders hold on and take their advantage into half-time, despite mounting pressure from the Inchicore outfit.
20:05 – 20.05 – Here’s a beautiful timed snapshot of the goal that separates the sides. Suffice to say that Rovers are fortunate to be ahead…. Kenny Browne and Brendan Clarke look away now:
20:12 – 20.12 – We kick off the second half and Pats have picked up from where they left off, attacking.
The scores above haven’t moved much, but be reassured that all six games are now in full flow.
20:15 – 20.15 – GOAL: Dundalk 0 – 1 Bohemians (McEvoy ’26)
There we have the opening goal outside of the north-west. The floodgates will open now.
20:22 – 20.22 – Sligo have stemmed the tide now on home turf, their attacks are growing more frequent. Boco whipped in a cross from the right, but at the edge of the box, Mark Quigley attempted an improbable overhead kick. He missed the ball entirely.
The visitors are still threatening, but are now limited to counter attacks.
20:26 – 20.26 – Penalty shout for the hosts, Quigley threaded a ball into the centre of the box for Ross Gaynor to race onto.
He probably should have shot, first time, on his right. Instead, he tried to check left. Browne had a little nibble of his jersey and Kenna nipped possession away.
Injury has forced Liam Buckley into another change: James Chambers is off, replaced by Sean O’Connor.
20:28 – 20.28 – GOAL: Shelbourne 0 – 1 Cork City (Sullivan ’20)
We’re also hearing that Billy Dennehy has missed a penalty in Tallaght.
20:35 – 20.35 – Romauld Boco has been superb for Sligo in the second half, with 25 minutes to go, he romps down the right and squares inside for Danny North.
The former Pats striker took a touch before blasting his shot low towards the bottom left corner. He is denied by a superb save from Clarke. From the corner, Peers threatens to double the lead with a powerful header, but it is scrambled clear.
20:38 – 20.38 – GOAL: Sligo 1 -1 St Pats (O’Connor ’72)
The Saints get their just desserts as super-sub, Sean O’Connor nods in the equaliser after great persistent work from Russell on the right.
Buckley altered his attack with his substitutions and he has been rewarded.
20 minutes left now, will there be a winner?
20:44 – 20.44 – The visitors still looking most likely to score and it’s that boy Forrester who draws a stunning reflex save from Rogers.
The Pats front man received a ricocheted free-kick just inside the area, controlled and turned in an instant before rifling his shot at the top corner.
20:46 – 20.46 – It’s half time in our 7.45 kick offs:
Dundalk 0 – 1 Bohemians
UCD 0 – 0 Drogheda
20:53 – 20.53 – The hosts are sinking back towards the edge of their own box, inviting pressure. It seems the league-leaders will be happy with a point five minutes from time.
20:54 – 20.54 – PENALTY TO ST PATS
Oh no, Christy Fagan has been watching Sergio Ramos taking penalties, he blazes over the bar.
20:58 – 20.58 – Just prior to that spot-kick, perhaps Sligo’s last chance of three points just slipped through the legs of Boco. Clarke received a backpass on the right side of his area and misplaced the clearance. It landed at the Benin international, but the bounce deceived him and Pats went on the win (but miss) the penalty.
21:03 – 21.03 – In stoppage time, Sligo make their last ditch attempt to snatch the result. Quigley smashed a free-kick on goal, but once blocked it created all kinds of confusion and almost dropped at the feet of Danny Ventre.
St Patricks’ Athletic though, scramble clear in time to hear the final whistle.
FULL TIME: Sligo Rovers 1 – 1 St Patricks Athletic
John Russell is man of the match. He was the visitors most incisive player and created the equaliser against his former club.
He told RTE:
“I thought we had it won, but it’s one of those things – we were looking for three points, but a draw isn’t a bad result up here.”
21:09 – 21.09 – Well, that’s almost it from me. Thanks for joining in on another liveblog from TheScore.ie But first I’ll update you on the half time scores of our three 8pm kick offs:
HALF TIME: Shelbourne 0 – 1 Cork City
HALF TIME: Shamrock Rovers 0 – 0 Derry City
HALF TIME: Monaghan United 0 – 0 Bray Wanderers
Come back to this page to see latest scores of those games as they head for a conclusion in the next hour.