St Patrick’s Athletic 2
Jessica Farry reports from The Showgrounds
GOALKEEPER BRENDAN CLARKE scored the winner as St. Patrick’s Athletic were 2-1 winners over Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds.
The Saints took the lead in the first-half through Jake Keegan before Mikey Drennan equalised. Clarke slotted his penalty past Mitchell Beeney in the second half to ensure all three points for his side.
The hosts came into this game just four points off Derry City having just beaten champions Cork City in their previous league outing.The visitors travelled to Sligo safely mid-table, although a European place is still within reach as the season nears its conclusion.
Sligo’s home form has been nothing short of tragic this season, winning only two games at The Showgrounds all season, compared with eight victories away from home. Their record on the road is the third best in the league, while their home record is by far the worst across the Premier Division.
Ger Lyttle’s men are not far off securing safety, but they were dealt a blow when they fell behind after 30 minutes.
Liam Buckley’s side were looking most likely to open the scoring, and they did just that when Lee Desmond’s glorious ball was volleyed past Mitchell Beeney by Keegan to make it 1-0.
The Saints almost doubled their lead when Keegan’s effort from distance trickled just wide of the post.
Knowing that a victory would massively help their cause, Rovers started to up the ante, and they were rewarded for their efforts on 40 minutes.
Regan Donelon’s corner was nodded straight onto the crossbar at the far post by Patrick McClean, with Drennan on hand to tuck it into the back of the net as the Pat’s defence scrambled to keep it out.
The Dubliners went close to restoring their advantage early in the second half, when Dean Clarke’s cross was headed just wide by former Rovers man Achille Campion.
The Saints did take the lead shortly before the hour mark, in somewhat bizarre circumstances. Referee Rob Rogers pointed to the spot when Simon Madden was tripped in the box, and with Campion set to take the penalty, Brendan Clarke darted up the field and grabbed the ball off the Frenchman, much to his dismay.
And the Pats ‘keeper made sure he wasn’t left red-faced, as he slotted past Beeney to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
It could have been 3-1 when Dean Clarke’s long-range effort was spilled by Beeney, but Keegan was just too slow to react before Beeney gathered.
Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Seamus Sharkey, John Mahon, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon; David Cawley (Lewis Morrison, 76), Jack Keaney; Kris Twardek (Caolan McAleer, 68), Lee Lynch, Adam Wixted (Raffaele Cretaro, 62); Mikey Drennan.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Simon Madden, Michael Barker, Michael Leahy, Lee Desmond; Dean Clarke; Ryan Brennan, Jamie Lennon, Darragh Markey; Achille Campion, Jake Keegan.
Referee: Rob Rogers
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