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Harry Kenny defends Pat's controversial last-gasp goal against Cork

John Cotter was not happy with the amount of stoppage time at the end of the game.

Harry Kenny (file pic).
Harry Kenny (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC boss Harry Kenny defended the officials’ decision to play more than the allotted added time, as his side scored a last-gasp goal to draw 1-1 with Cork City on Friday night at Richmond Park.

The away side’s players were clearly not happy with the decision, while manager John Cotter was critical of the officials afterwards.

However, Kenny suggested the decision to play more than the three minutes of stoppage time indicated on the board was justified.

“It was four minutes, 10 [seconds] I think [when we scored], I heard the boys saying to the referee,” he said. “But there were balls being kicked away and they made a substitution. I’m not too sure how all that adds up, but the referee obviously had that in mind when he was adding on the extra minute.”

With the hosts having looked the better side in the first half, Cork started the second period strongly and deserved the 1-0 lead they gained through Karl Sheppard’s close-range finish.

Before the late drama, Pat’s struggled to create chances, with Kenny admitting afterwards their second-half display was not good enough.

The goal took the eye off the performance. From our first-half performance, we played quite well, created a few chances, passed the ball around the place, but Cork had their spell in the second half and we didn’t retain our spell in the first and I was hugely disappointed with that, but obviously delighted to get out with the equaliser for a point.

“You keep instilling that you’ve got to play to the whistle every time, and that’s what we did tonight.

“We were caught with a sucker punch last week [against Dundalk], so it’s nice to reverse the situation. That’s twice we’ve done that to Cork — we got a late equaliser down there and obviously again tonight. 

We just didn’t get hold of the ball in the second half. I don’t know what the stats were on the game. We seemed to control the game in the first half and created a few chances. We just needed to score when we were on top and we haven’t been doing that. We just got caught with the quick throw-in on this side of the pitch. Ciaran [Kelly] gets done on the backline and it’s a decent finish [from Karl Sheppard]. But that’s just concentration — a quick throw-in, a bit of innovation from them and we’re not alive to it. We have to better at that.

“We had a totally different midfield tonight in that Conor Clifford was injured, Jamie [Doona] played 45 minutes with the U21s yesterday, so asking him to start tonight was just too much, and Rhys McCabe [was out]. That’s a midfield in itself, three players in the middle of the pitch that were missing, so when you’re taking them out of the team and you’re asking Cian Coleman and Chris [Forrester] to go in there, who haven’t had much football in the last number of weeks, it’s a big ask and maybe that’s one of the reasons why [we had] tired legs in the second half and we didn’t get hold of the ball as much.”

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Paul Fennessy

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