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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019
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Forrester's excellent volley helps Saints see off Sligo and old boss Buckley

St Pat’s side saw off Sligo at Richmond Park thanks to goals from Forrester and Mikey Drennan.

St Patrick’s Athletic 2

Sligo Rovers 1

Brendan Graham reports from Richmond Park

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC saw off Sligo Rovers 2-1 on Friday night in a deserved victory against former manager Liam Buckley, but were made work right to the final whistle for their win at Richmond Park.

Chris Forrester celebrates scoring a goal with David Webster Dave Webster congratulates St Patrick's Athletic team-mate Chris Forrester after his goal. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Chris Forrester scored a sublime volley to mark his first goal since returning to the Inchicore club. Mikey Drennan also found the back of the net against his old club, with former Saints midfielder David Cawley halving the deficit in the 89th minute.

St Pat’s began the game on the front foot right from the off with midfielders Conor Clifford and the lively Rhys McCabe probing patiently in midfield as they attempted to find an early breakthrough.

Half-chances fell the way of centre back Dave Webster and striker Drennan but it was the visitors who created the first real chance of the game within the opening ten minutes through Ronan Coughlan.

Having soaked up a lot of pressure in the opening minutes of the game, Coughlan forced Brendan Clarke into a save from just outside the box.

Coughlan’s shot stung the palms of Clarke but the St Pat’s goalkeeper was never really troubled from the strikers’ effort or for the remainder of the half.

The constant pressure from St Pat’s didn’t take long to pay off, with Forrester putting the home side in front after just fifteen minutes and enjoying his first goal since his return to the League of Ireland.

Michael Drennan celebrates scoring a penalty Mikey Drennan scored from the penalty spot against his former club. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

An unlucky clearance from Sligo centre half John Mahon fell straight to the feet of the onrushing Forrester who advanced into the box before calmly lobbing Mitchell Beeney in the Sligo goal.

Minutes later and St Pat’s almost doubled their lead through Drennan. He showed great strength to get himself on the end of a lofted ball over the top from Dave Webster before attempting to toe poke the ball past Beeney.

The former Chelsea shot-stopper got down low to save well from Drennan and keep the game at 1-0 with twenty minutes on the clock.

Three minutes later and Drennan wasn’t to be denied this time doubling the lead for St Pat’s from the penalty spot.

The forward was too quick on the turn for defender Mahon giving him no choice but to pull the striker to the ground and concede the penalty.

It was a frustrating opening half for Sligo limited to just one Coughlan chance in front of goal and being pinned into their own half for the majority of the first forty five minutes.

They started the second half much more positively with manager Buckley bringing on Kris Twardek for Niall Morahan at half time and for the first time in the game showed the confidence to edge forward into the St Pat’s half as they looked for a way back into the game.

It wasn’t long until the home side regained control of proceedings again gradually pushing Sligo back into their own half with Forrester going close again and Conor Clifford keeping Beeney on his toes with an effort too.

Sligo to their credit were significantly better in the second half in terms of limiting St Pat’s to little in front of goal but still struggled badly going forward.

With ten minutes remaining, Gary Shaw had a fantastic chance to make it three nil shaving the crossbar with his headed effort after Clifford did very well to find him with the cross.

With just two minutes remaining, Sligo found themselves a late lifeline as a result of some very slack defending from St Pat’s.

Cawley found himself completely unmarked at the back of the box and drilled his shot into the far corner of the net and past Clarke to leave the game at 2-1 with minutes remaining.

They continued to push forward for the final two minutes of the game but couldn’t find their equaliser with St Pat’s taking a deserved three points.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brendan Clarke; Ian Bermingham, Ciaran Kelly, David Webster, Simon Madden; Rhys McCabe, Lee Desmond, Conor Clifford, Chris Forrester (Cian Coleman 78); Gary Shaw (Jake Walker 89), Mikey Drennan

SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney; Lewis Banks, John Dunleavy, Dante Leverock, John Mahon; David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce (Liam Kerrigan 65), Jack Keany (Sam Warde 75), Niall Morahan (Kris Twardek 45); Ronan Coughlan, Romeo Parkes

Referee: Robert Hennessy

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to preview the Champions Cup semi-finals and all the week’s news on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:


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Brendan Graham

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