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Dublin: 4°C Friday 26 February 2021

Buckley's Sligo earn point on his return to Pats

The hosts twice hit the woodwork and Sligo were reduced to 10 men in the dying seconds, but it finished 0-0 in Inchicore.

Sligo Rovers boss Liam Buckley (file pic).
Sligo Rovers boss Liam Buckley (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

LIAM BUCKLEY’S SLIGO Rovers earned a point as his return to Richmond Park finished 0-0, with hosts St Patrick’s Athletic hitting the woodwork on two occasions.

The stalemate was probably a fair reflection on the game overall with both sides lacking a clinical touch in the final third.

Pats started the brighter on both sides of the ball, their pressing preventing Buckley’s men from building any sort of rhythm as they attempted to work the ball forward from defence, while Jordan Gibson cut a menacing figure down the right flank.

The Bit O’ Red grew into proceedings, however, with Junior having a shot deflected wide and Ronan Coughlan’s header sailing over following a cross by Jesse Devers.

Pats goalkeeper Brendan Clarke breathed a sigh of relief again as half-time approached, a free-kick taking a nick en route and flying narrowly past the post.

After the break, it was the home side who created the first sights of goal: central defender Luke McNally displayed some fleet footwork to fashion a shooting chance only to fire into the side net, and Pats came closer again when skipper Robbie Benson’s header hit the post and rolled agonisingly across the line without crossing the whitewash.

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Benson was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch for a rash-looking challenge on Sligo defender Teemu Penninkangas but he remained instrumental when he himself had the ball, splitting the visitors’ defence to find Georgie Kelly whose effort was brilliantly kept out by Ed McGinty.

Late on, former Peterborough midfielder Chris Forrester became the second Pats man to hit the post, this with a curling shot on his instep with just 10 minutes remaining.

Sligo already appeared to have settled for a point when Niall Morahan received his marching orders in stoppage time, and Stephen O’Donnell’s men didn’t have a great deal of time to capitalise on their numerical advantage as the westerners held out to the finish.

Sligo remain fifth in the League of Ireland Premier Division table while Pats sit two places further back.

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