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Pat's boost European bid with dramatic late win over Drogheda

A stunning opening goal from Conan Byrne put Liam Buckley’s FA Cup finalists in control early on.

Christy Fagan was on target tonight (file pic).
Christy Fagan was on target tonight (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated at 22.56

Drogheda United 2-3 St. Patrick’s Athletic

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC remain on course for European qualification but they needed two last-gasp goals to come away from United Park with a 3-2 win over Drogheda United.

As the clock ticked towards injury time, an own goal from Daire Doyle levelled the game before the league’s leading marksman Christy Fagan struck late on to secure all three points for the men in Inchicore.

A stunning opening goal from Conan Byrne had put Liam Buckley’s FAI Cup finalists in control before goals in each half from Gavan Holohan and Peter McGlynn put Drogheda in front.

In two league meetings already this season, Liam Buckley’s men racked up an aggregate score of 10-0 against their opponents from Louth. While Drogheda are a different proposition these days under Damien Richardson, the Saints’ drubbing of Finn Harps last Sunday showed they remain very capable of capitalising on defensive frailty.

The home side had scored just one goal in their six previous league games with the Inchicore side. Without in-form winger Cathal Brady and the perennially suspended Gavin Brennan, coping with these problems was always likely to prove a difficult task.

Byrne’s opener compounded Drogheda’s woe. After good work from Conor McCormack and Killian Brennan, Byrne cut in from the right hand touchline and curled an unstoppable shot over Micheal Schlingermann and into the net.

That goal was his fifth against Drogheda this term alone, after two braces in those games earlier in the campaign.

However, Drogheda were level seven minutes before the break. Gavan Holohan broke into the penalty area and cut back onto his right foot before cutting his shot back across Brendan Clarke and into the bottom corner.

Peter McGlynn, Drogheda’s mid-season signing who came back to the League of Ireland from the MLS, scored their unlikely second, as Damien Richardson’s side went in front. The Skerries native hit a superb shot into the top corner of the net to leave Clarke stranded.

But, just as it looked like the Louth men were set for a famous victory and Pat’s were to see their buffer over Shamrock Rovers in fourth close even further, Fagan delivered a right wing cross, which was inexplicably headed into his own net by Daire Doyle. Then, just moments later, Fagan was put in by substitute Chris Forrester and the striker slotted past Schlingermann.

It was heartbreak for Drogheda, while Pat’s fans were left delirious. Entertaining stuff down on the Boyne.

DROGHEDA UNITED: Micheal Schlingermann, Daire Doyle, Alan McNally, Ciaran McGuigan, Shane Grimes, Stephen Maher, Gavan Holohan, Peter McGlynn, Carl Walshe, Gary O’Neill.

Substitutes: Dylan Connolly, Garreth Brady, Adam Wixted, Paul Andrews, Paul Crowley, Declan O’Brien, Roy Kierans.

ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brenda Clarke, Conor McCormack, Sean Hoare, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham, Greg Bolger, Keith Fahey, Killian Brennan, Aaron Green, Conan Byrne, Christy Fagan.

Substitutes: Pat Jennings, Derek Foran, Ger O’Brien, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Jack Bayly, Peter Durrad, Chris Forrester.

REFEREE: James McKell

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About the author:

Barry Landy

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