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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 4 July, 2020

Simon Madden scores with virtually the game's last kick to earn Pat's a dramatic draw with Cork

The Leesiders were ahead before a last-gasp goal.

Pat's and Cork could not be separated.
Pat's and Cork could not be separated.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated at 00.52

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Cork City 1

Paul Fennessy reports from Richmond Park

CORK CITY WERE narrowly denied a fourth win in six matches, drawing 1-1 with St Patrick’s Athletic amid a closely-fought game in Dublin tonight.

Karl Sheppard scored what looked likely to be the only goal nine minutes into the second half, before Simon Madden’s clinical finish with virtually the last kick of the game left their opponents frustrated.

The Rebels had deserved their lead following a much-improved second-half display, with Pat’s struggling to break them down once the deadlock had been broken.

Following their abysmal start under John Caulfield, John Cotter’s side were looking to improve on a decent run of three wins in five matches that left them eighth, while fifth-place Pat’s were hoping to recover from the previous week’s unfortunate late 1-0 defeat to Dundalk.

Cork made just one change from the Shamrock Rovers loss, with Shane Griffin coming in for Daire O’Connor in attack while for Pat’s, Cian Coleman earned a first league start in midfield.

The Saints had previously taken four points off the Rebels following a 1-0 win in February and a 1-1 draw last April.

Amid a subdued start, the Leesiders were forced into a substitution as early as the 13th minute. Griffin took a knock after landing awkwardly while challenging for a header in his penalty area, and was replaced O’Connor

There was a lack of rhythm to the opening stages, with a series of injury stoppages disrupting the flow of the game.

Pat’s were more the more threatening team early on, troubling their opponents with a number of dangerous set pieces. On 24 minutes, Mikey Drennan nearly got on the end of Dave Webster’s inviting cross.

Seven minutes before the break, it was Pat’s who were forced into a substitution. Gary Shaw appeared to have taken a knock, walking off gingerly, with Jake Walker coming on in his stead.

Both sides were still struggling to create chances, though Daire O’Connor went close shortly before half-time, as his curled shot from the edge of the area drifted inches wide.

Pat’s then went close — some nice link-up play involving Coleman created an opening for Walker, but the attacker’s goal-bound effort was deflected away for a corner

Mikey Drennan’s ensuing set piece was met by a towering header from Kevin Toner, with Mark McNulty doing well to parry the ball away to safety, as a scrappy opening 45 minutes came to an end.

Shane Griffin down injured Cork City's Shane Griffin down injured. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Pat’s re-started the stronger after the break, with Ian Bermingham’s cross glanced just wide by Walker.

Down the other end, James Tilley had two chances in quick succession. Initially, his snapshot from the edge of the area went narrowly wide, before beating a defender a minute later, though again, his powerful effort was just off target.

Shortly thereafter, however, Cork made the breakthrough. Garry Buckley found space down the right, before Karl Sheppard converted his team-mate’s low cross from close range. It was just the striker’s second goal of the season.

Pat’s threatened on the hour mark, with Dave Webster’s header from Drennan’s corner too close to McNulty.

Just a few seconds later, Cork almost doubled their advantage. Buckley squared the ball to Kevin O’Connor, but Brendan Clarke was sharp off his line to smother the wing-back’s effort.

Pat’s were increasingly pushing forward, leaving space for the visitors on the counter. After a few twists and turns away from the defender, Sheppard’s cross found Daire O’Connor, who could not direct his header on target.

With the game not going their way, Pat’s attempted to change things. Jamie Lennon was introduced off the bench for Chris Forrester, who had a quiet night.

Harry Kenny’s side continued to work manfully, but rarely looked like scoring as the game entered its final 15 minutes. For their last substitution, it was hoped James Doona would provide the necessary attacking spark, as he came on for Darragh Markey.

The supporters frustration was increasingly evident, as a toothless Pat’s struggled to break down their opponents. “Fuck this shite,” one angry fan could be heard exclaiming, as yet another simple pass went astray.

This pervasive sense of frustration was eventually abated with seconds remaining. A hopeful long ball fell into the path of Simon Madden, who showed good composure to find the corner of the net, as a relieved Richmond Park erupted with joy. Cork barely had time to tip off before the referee blew the final whistle.

St Patrick’s Athletic: 26. Brendan Clarke 4. Kevin Toner  12. Ciaran Kelly  2. Dave Webster 3. Ian Bermingham 17. Simon Madden 23. Cian Coleman  7. Gary Shaw (Walker 38) 8. Darragh Markey 9. Mikey Drennan 19. Chris Forrester (Lennon 69)

Subs: 16. Brian Maher 11. James Doona 18. Dean Clarke 20. Jamie Lennon 30. Paul Cleary 31. Jake Walker 32. Kevin Kelly.

Cork City: 1. Mark McNulty 2. Colm Horgan 4. Sean McLoughlin 6. Gearoid Morrissey 8. Conor McCormack 10. Garry Buckley  19. Karl Sheppard 21. Conor McCarthy 22. James Tilley (Bargary 90) 25. Kevin O’Connor. 20. Shane Griffin (O’Connor 13)

Subs: 23. Tadhg Ryan 7. Darragh Rainsford 26. Dean Casey 27. Pierce Phillips 31. Cian Bargary 32. Garry Comerford 9. 11. Daire O’Connor

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Paul Fennessy

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