Sligo Rovers 1
Saint Patrick’s Athletic 1
Jessica Farry reports from The Showgrounds
IAN BERMINGHAM’S 95TH minute equaliser rescued a point at the death for St. Patrick’s Athletic against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds.
The Pats captain nodded in a corner in the last action of the game, to prevent the Dubliners from suffering their first defeat of the season against a steely Sligo side.
With Shamrock Rovers winning earlier in the afternoon, Stephen O’Donnell’s side knew that they would need to pick up all three points at The Showgrounds to keep up with the Hoops.
The Saints were unbeaten before tonight’s meeting with their former manager Liam Buckley.
The hosts, on the other hand, had fallen five points behind St. Pats, and would have been eager to pick up a win to keep as close as possible to the top two. Rovers’ first and only defeat of the season came against Derry City over a week ago.
Greg Bolger fired wide after minutes before a perfectly weighted cross from the left was nodded straight into the arms of Ed McGinty in the Sligo goals.
Ronan Coughlan, who was on the books at Sligo Rovers last season, should have given his side the lead when he was picked out by Forrester, but with just McGinty to beat, the Limerick native failed to get the ball away the Sligo netminder who was able to make it safe.
Walter Figueira and Romeo Parkes fired over from distance, and the Inchicore side responded with Paddy Barrett’s follow up from a deflection just kissing the crossbar.
A superb Sam Bone intervention just after the re-start cut out an inviting ball from Figueira as Liam Buckley’s men were starting to knock on the door.
The hosts broke the deadlock on 49 minutes when they were awarded a penalty as Paddy Barrett’s challenge on Jordan Gibson was deemed to be a foul.
Gibson took the responsibility for the penalty, and sent Vitezslav Jaros the wrong way, giving the Bit O’Red the lead.
The Saints were desperate to find an equaliser, but Lee Desmond should have done better from Forrester’s ball as he headed it into a comfortable position for McGinty.
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Johnny Kenny almost doubled his side’s lead in the late stages as he beat the offside trap, but he dragged his shot marginally wide.
In an end to end game, Pats threw everything they had at the game in the final stages as they looked for an equaliser.