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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Two goals in 60 seconds as Sligo and St Pat's finish level

Jack Keaney gave Rovers the lead on 81 minutes, but Pats equalised within a minute to earn a draw.

St Pat's defender Ian Bermingham.
St Pat's defender Ian Bermingham.
Image: Luke Duffy/INPHO

Sligo Rovers 1

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Jessica Farry reports from the Showgrounds

TWO GOALS IN 60 seconds at the Showgrounds saw Sligo Rovers and St. Patrick’s Athletic draw 1-1 in an enthralling encounter in the north west.

Jack Keaney gave Rovers the lead on 81 minutes, but Pats equalised within a minute to earn a draw.

Just three points separated the two sides prior to tonight’s meeting. The hosts were hoping to bounce back from last week’s 4-0 defeat against the champions Dundalk.

Harry Kenny’s side, on the other hand, scored late last week to draw with Cork City in a drab affair.

Liam Buckley made three changes to the side that suffered that heavy defeat last week. Kris Twardek and Liam Kerrigan dropped to the bench while John Mahon missed out through suspension.

They were replaced by Niall Morahan, Ronan Murray and Jack Keaney. The former Pats boss also had to plan without Johnny Dunleavy and Regan Donelon who are injured, while Dante Leverock is away with the Bermudan national team as they get ready for the Gold Cup.

There was just the one change for the visitors, as former Sligo man Rhys McCabe came into the starting 11 for Chris Forrester who had to make do with a place on the bench.

The Dubliners looked the most dangerous in the opening minutes with Dave Webster hooking his close range shot over the bar, before Kevin Toner’s cross-cum-shot smacked the crossbar.

Mikey Drennan, who spent the second-half of 2018 with the Bit O’Red, sent an inviting corner into the Sligo box, but the unmarked Ciaran Kelly couldn’t keep it on target.

Striker Gary Shaw almost gave the Saints the lead on 21 minutes, getting on the end of a Pats throw before turning inside the box and unleashing a powerful shot goalwords, but the crossbar got in the way.

The hosts had a couple of chances of their own before half-time. Romeo Parkes’ effort from a difficult angle was well wide of the post, before Daryl Fordyce dragged his long range shot well away from the target.

While the first-half offered up very little by way of entertainment, the second-half was end to end from the off.

Lewis Banks forced a smart save from Pats ‘keeper Brendan Clarke seconds after the re-start, before the Showgrounds faithful thought they had taken the lead as the in-form Parkes tucked a shot away from the right hand side, only to see it trickle wide of the far post.

The Rovers netminder Ed McGinty had to be alert to keep out Dave Webster’s header, but Pats were left kicking themselves shortly after the hour mark when they should have taken the lead.

There was an abundance of bodies in the Sligo box as they tried to defend a corner, and while the Bit O’Red tried to extinguish the danger, Drennan managed to get his foot on it inches from goal, but the Kilkenny native somehow skied it well over Ed McGinty’s post.
Webster was the danger man again as he rose highest to meet Rhys McCabe’s free, but McGinty was on hand to save.

Harry Kenny’s side were under pressure for a spell in the second-half, with Parkes and Murray going close, but the real excitement was yet to come.

Rovers were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, and Donegal man Jack Keaney calaimed the set-piece given his success with free-kick s from such positions this season.

His well hit strike hit a few legs and bodies on the way, but that helped to wrong foot Clarke in the Pats goal, giving Rovers the lead on 81 minutes.

The home fans had barely finished their celebrations when suddenly the game was level again.

As the visitors went down the other end following the restart, Gary Shaw’s header smacked the crossbar, with the resulting clearance falling to Toner who hit it first time past Ed McGinty.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Niall Morahan, Jack Keaney, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Lewis Banks; Sam Warde, David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce, (Kris Twardek, 86) Ronan Coughlan; Romeo Parkes, Ronan Murray.

Subs: Luke McNicholas, Brian Morley, John Russell, Ryan Smith, Liam Kerrigan, Scott Lynch.

St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Simon Madden, David Webster, Kevin Toner, Ciaran Kelly, Ian Bermingham; Cian Coleman, Rhys McCabe, Darragh Markey (Chris Forrester, 83); Gary Shaw, Mikey Drennan.

Subs: Barry Murphy, James Doona, Ciaran Hughes, Dean Clarke, Paul Cleary, Jake Walker.

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About the author:

Jessica Farry

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