Sligo Rovers 1 - 1 St. Patrick's AthleticFri, Apr 27 2012
A Showgrounds bathed in sunlight played host to an end-to-end encounter between the only two unbeaten teams left in the season.
Ultimately a 1-1 draw saw the teams end the game with their undefeated records in-tact, but it will be Liam Buckley and St Pats who will feel there was three to be taken as Christy Fagan did his best Sergio Ramos impression with three minutes remaining.
The Pats striker had the opportunity to wrap up with win when the visitors were awarded a stonewall penalty, but after a short run up be ballooned it over the centre of the goal. Jason McGuinness the culprit, he jumped on Dean Kelly in the box and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
It took only 18 minutes for Sligo Rovers to take the lead as Kenny Browne deflected a Brendan Clarke clearance into the back of the net. To be fair, the sun was in the defenders eyes and the ball was placed perfectly just on the inside of the near post.
Pats levelled matters late on when Sean O’Connor drifted into the box and got himself on the end of a John Russell cross to head home from seven yards out. A very cool finish resulted in a very exhilarating finish as the Dublin side sensed there was a winner.
Liam Buckley had the luxury of naming the same team for a fourth week running and despite their good run of form it was the hosts who were first to settle. Ian Baraclough had to make one change as Alan Keane was ruled out through injury.
The absence of Keane was telling as Rovers never seemed solid at the back and Pats exploited this, but always the final ball was lacking. The home side were dealt another blow when Joseph Ndo had to come off and his creativity was sorely missed.
The Bit O’ Red had the first chance on nine minutes when former Drog Ross Gaynor whipped in a tasty corner found McGuiness just yards out, but the centre back didn’t react and the opportunity was wasted.
Mark Quigley had a chance to double the lead, and most likely seal the win, when he his effort just narrowly sailed over the bar.
Brendan Clarke made a fantastic reaction save just on 66 minutes when Danny North shot from close range only to see his effort deflected behind.
Then on 76 minutes it was Gary Rogers’ turn to make a goal saving stop as Chris Forrester was left bewildered as to how his on target effort didn’t go in.
In the end a draw was a fair result, Pats will probably feel the more aggrieved as they dominated the game but a lack of incisiveness saw them share the spoils.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Danny Ventre, Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Iarfhliath Davoren; Lee Lynch (John Dillon 87), Joseph Ndo (David Cawley 29), Ross Gaynor (Raffaele Cretaro 87), Romuald Boco; Mark Quigley, Danny North.
Subs Not Used: Richard Brush, Pascal Millien, Jake Dykes, Martin Owens.
Booked: North (28), McGuinness (62).
St Pat's: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Kenny Browne, Connor Kenna, Ian Bermingham; James Chambers (Sean O'Connor 59), John Russell, Greg Bolger, Chris Forrester; Christy Fagan, Jake Kelly (Dean Kelly 46).
Subs Not Used: Jake Carroll, Ian Daly, Pat Flynn, Mark Rossiter, Barry Murphy.
Booked: Bolger (38).
Referee: Alan Kelly.