Sligo Rovers' Reece Hutchinson celebrates his goal. Evan Logan/INPHO
Bit O'Red

St Pat's second best against 10-man Sligo

The home side played most of the game with 10 after John Mahon was dismissed.

Sligo Rovers 2

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Jessica Farry reports from The Showgrounds

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC suffered a second consecutive defeat on Monday night as the Dubliners were second best to 10-man Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds.

The Bit O’Red went ahead, despite being reduced to 10 early on as John Mahon was dismissed.

Chris Forrester’s equaliser could well be a contender for goal of the month, but a smart finish from Fabrice Hartmann in his first start for Sligo Rovers gave his side all three points.

Both sides came into this fixture hurting from respective defeats last Friday; the hosts losing 1-0 to Drogheda, while St Pats suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat to Dundalk.

And, after indifferent starts to the season for both Sligo and Pats, a win would have been high on the wishlist of John Russell and Tim Clancy.

Russell handed first starts to Stefan Radosavljevic, Fabrice Hartmann and John Mahon, while Greg Bolger returned to the starting 11.

Saints manager Tim Clancy opted to shuffle his pack after Friday night’s drubbing against Dundalk.

Jay McGrath made a first start since joining on loan from Coventry City, with Thomas Lonergan, Ben McCormack and Thijs Timmermans all coming into the team.

Mahon’s second debut with the Bit O’Red, having returned from St Johnstone, lasted a mere 21 minutes.

Lonergan stole possession from the Sligo native before getting past him, with the 23-year-old then pulling down the former UCD man outside the box.

Referee Rob Hennessy didn’t hesitate to take out the red card, reducing the Bit O’Red to 10.

Despite this, it was John Russell’s side who took the lead 11 minutes later.

In what was a fabulous team goal, Hutchinson played a one-two with Will Fitzgerald before firing his shot under David Odumosu after nice build up involving Hartmann and Faroese international Radosavljevic.

Lonergan was left wondering how he didn’t bring his side level on 41 minutes. Left unmarked, the 19-year-old got on the end of a cross from former Sligo man Eoin Doyle, but somehow poked wide in acres of space with an open goal in front of him.

Smart goalkeeping from Luke McNicholas just before half-time kept the hosts’ lead intact. Sam Curtis whipped in a cross that eventually came to Doyle, but McNicholas did enough to keep it out.

Clancy brought on reinforcements for the second half, with Chris Forrester and Jake Mulraney coming on. And those changes made a difference as the Saints were back in the game on 62 minutes courtesy of a sublime goal from Forrester.

The 30 year-old got on the end of Jamie Lennon’s pass before curling his effort past McNicholas from 25 yards to level the scoring.

Two minutes later, McNicholas got his hand to Forrester’s shot to force it wide as Pats started to find their feet.

But, the celebrations of the sizeable away support were cut short as the hosts went ahead again three minutes later.

A quickly taken free kick from Johan Brannefalk caught the Pats defence off guard, with RB Leipzig loanee Hartmann firing past Odumosu from a tricky angle.

Tim Clancy’s men did force a number of opportunities in the closing minutes, but the Bit O’Red defence could not be breached for a second time.

Sligo Rovers: Luke McNicholas, Johan Brannefalk, John Mahon, Nando Pijnaker, Reece Hutchinson, Fabrice Hartmann (Karl O’Sullivan, 80), Greg Bolger (Eanna Clancy, 57), Niall Morahan (Kailin Barlow, 68), Will Fitzgerald, Stefan Radosavljevic, Max Mata.

St Patrick’s Athletic: David Odumosu, Sam Curtis (Chris Forrester, 46), Joe Redmond, Tom Grivosti, Thijs Timmermans (Jake Mulraney, 46), Anto Breslin, Jamie Lennon, John Alan McGrath, Ben McCormack, Eoin Doyle (Conor Carty, 80), Thomas Lonergan (Mark Doyle, 59).

Referee: Rob Hennessy. 

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