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Last-minute Billy King goal seals Pat's win over Drogheda

Stephen O’Donnell’s side were 2-1 winners at Richmond Park.

Billy King celebrates his late winner.
Billy King celebrates his late winner.
Image: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

Saint Patrick’s Athletic 2

Drogheda 1

Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park

SAINT PATRICK’S ATHLETIC left it late once again as Billy King struck in the final minute to seal a well-deserved 2-1 victory over Drogheda United at Richmond Park.

Late drama has followed the Saints around this season as they managed to take, and then lose, a lead in the space of 60 seconds in the dying moments of their opening-day clash with Shamrock Rovers.

The win moves Stephen O’Donnell’s side joint-second with Sligo Rovers and Longford Town and maintains their unbeaten status after two games.

Visiting boss Tim Clancy may well wonder what if, however, as his side looked to have fought their way back to nick a point through Dinny Corcoran only to have it snatched away at the death.

A game half devoid of any real action in the first half, bar a flurry of yellow cards and a couple of routine saves, was injected with life after the break as the home side took control.

With the wind at their backs, the Athletic created a number of clear chances, and should have led within two minutes of the restart. 

Rónán Coughlan’s through-ball was deflected into the path of Robbie Benson but, with just keeper David Odumosu to beat from ten yards, he wildly swung at the ball and sliced it wide.

Drogheda had trouble playing out of their half with the stiff breeze in their faces and Pats took full advantage with Jay McClelland and Matty Smith both testing Odumosu with well-struck efforts.

What felt inevitable became reality just before the hour as Coughlan, a winter arrival from Sligo Rovers, bagged his first Saints goal.

McClelland’s cross from the left was bundled home by Coughlan, the referee waving away the Drogs’ complaints that the game should have been stopped for a minor injury to ex-Saint Darragh Markey.

The home side failed to kill the game off, however, and Drogheda were handed the equaliser on a plate through a calamitous error from on-loan Liverpool keeper Vitezslav Jaros.

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The stopper looked to have easily dealt with Mark Doyle’s strike but it slipped through his hands and there are few strikers more live to a loose ball than Dinny Corcoran, who had replaced Chris Lyons moments earlier. 

And that looked set to be enough for Drogheda to seal the point that would have seen them, not Pats, move into second on four points.

Two Saints substitutes changed all that, as Darragh Burns won the ball in the Drogheda box and, with Odumosu committed to his near post, chipped over the top for an unmarked King to slot home.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; John Mountney, Sam Bone, Lee Desmond, Shane Griffin (Ian Bermingham 45+2); Jamie Lennon, Chris Forrester, Robbie Benson (Billy King 80); Matty Smith, Jason McClelland (Darragh Burns 71), Rónán Coughlan.

Drogheda United: David Odumosu; James Brown, Daniel O’Reilly, Dane Massey, Conor Kane; Gary Deegan, Jake Hyland (Hugh Douglas 90+3), Darragh Markey (Brandon Bermingham 67); Ronan Murray, Mark Doyle, Chris Lyons (Dinny Corcoran 67).

 

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Dave Donnelly

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