Second half strikes by Dean Clarke and Thomas Byrne earned St. Patrick’s Athletic a merited 2-0 victory over a spirited, young Sligo Rovers team on a slippery pitch at Richmond Park. Following a scoreless first half, the home side went ahead after
Second half strikes by Dean Clarke and Thomas Byrne earned St. Patrick’s Athletic a merited 2-0 victory over a spirited, young Sligo Rovers team on a slippery pitch at Richmond Park.
Following a scoreless first half, the home side went ahead after 51 minutes. After good work by Thomas Byrne, Simon Madden lifted a right-wing cross to the back post. Dean Clarke found himself all alone and his low drive beat Beeney low to the keeper’s right.
Pat’s dominated the opening exchanges and might have taken an early lead when Simon Madden’s cross shot was deflected goalwards. But Sligo managed to take the ball off the line. Ryan Brennan tried the spectacular 35 minutes in, but his overhead effort from Conan Byrne’s right-wing cross drifted just wide.
Although under the coach for much of the opening period, Sligo could probably claim two of the best chances. First skipper Kyle Callan-McFadden got his head to Rhys McCabe’s left-wing corner.
Pat’s netminder Barry Murphy parried the header to Sligo defender Jack Keaney who just couldn’t find the target from inside the six-yard box. Approaching the break, Adam Wixted brilliantly made some space for himself in the box after getting on the end of McCabe’s lovely through ball.
Wixted’s well struck shot was tipped over superbly by Murphy. The westerners could also point to a late chance for John Mahon after a mistake in the home defence. The central defender lifted the ball over from close range and Sligo’s last hope was gone.
St. Pat’s played some attractive football and just to rub salt in the wound, the impressive Thomas Byrne converted a last-minute penalty after Jake Keegan was upended in the box.