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Incredible scenes as 96th-minute goal stuns St Pat's

Tim Clancy’s men were cruising against Finn Harps with only three minutes to play.

Finn Harps' Ethan Boyle celebrates (file pic).
Finn Harps' Ethan Boyle celebrates (file pic).
Image: Evan Treacy/INPHO

Finn Harps 2

St Patrick’s Athletic 2

Alan Foley reports from Finn Park

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC were absolutely cruising to victory at Finn Park as they held a two-goal lead with just three minutes to play — yet somehow left with only a draw.

Against a Finn Harps side who hadn’t won in six, and the home support trickling out the exits, not even the most optimistic of those in blue could’ve seen a comeback.

However, substitute José Carrillo pulled one back on 87 minutes and the entire atmosphere changed. Then, from a late onslaught, Ethan Boyle bundled in a 96th-minute equaliser following a Regan Donelon corner and incredibly it finished all square.

Prior to that, Harps had barely tested Joseph Anang in the St Pat’s goal, while at the other end, Billy King’s second goal looked to have killed off the hosts, who were being kept in the game by goalkeeper Gavin Mulreany.

The opening goal saw King join the attack late to steer a controlled shot past Mulreany in the sixth minute after Boyle had slipped and Mark Doyle got clear down the left.

Mulreaney, an Ulster minor-winning GAA goalkeeper in 2016, was making only his second appearance for the Ballybofey side. His string of saves kept his side in the match, which was pretty physical at times, with a bit of extra needle.

When things settled down, Tim Clancy’s side were certainly the ones creating chances and Mulreany denied Eoin Doyle with two fine stops either side of the break.

King finally made it two with an excellent second when he went across the face of the Harps defence and drilled a fantastic shot, which pierced into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Doyle then missed out on a third when he stretched out towards an Anto Breslin centre, only to see the ball fly over.

With Harps having offered so little, the contest looked over with over a quarter of it to play. St Pat’s rung the changes with a quadruple substitution late on before, from nowhere, Harps pulled a point from the fire to leave their visitors stunned.

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Finn Harps: Gavin Mulreany; Ethan Boyle, Conor Tourish, Rob Slevin, Regan Donelon; Dylan Duncan (Mark Timlin 63), Élie N’Zeyi (José Carrillo 72); Ryan Rainey, Barry McNamee (Yoyo Mahdy 90+2), Filip Mihaljević (Luke Rudden 72); Eric McWoods.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Joseph Annang; Sam Curtis (James Abankwah 83), Joe Redmond, Tom Grivosti, Anto Breslin; Chris Forrester (Jason McClelland 83), Adam O’Reilly, Billy King (Ben McCormack, 59); Darragh Burns, Eoin Doyle (Kyle Robinson 83), Mark Doyle.

Referee:  John McLaughlin.

About the author:

Alan Foley

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