Conan the centurion rescues Saints
Published 06/04/2015 | 02:30
Longford Town 2
St Patrick's Athletic 2
Conan Byrne capped his 100th appearance for St Pat's with an equaliser as they salvaged a point from 2-0 down despite playing for over an hour with ten men.
Careless defending had Liam Buckley's side two goals down within 17 minutes at the City Calling Stadium.
A slack touch from Kenny Browne gave the ball away to Kevin O'Connor, who chipped Conor O'Malley from 25 yards for Longford's delightful opener on seven minutes.
Winger Don Cowan was then tripped inside the area by St Pat's left-back Ian Bermingham to concede a penalty which home skipper Mark Salmon duly despatched.
Pat's responded with a fine team goal on 23 minutes. Greg Bolger, Christy Fagan and Byrne worked the ball through for the run of Chris Forrester, who calmly dinked it over keeper Paul Hunt.
The Saints' revival hopes were dented within three minutes, though, when Bermingham received a second yellow card for another foul on Cowan and was sent off.
Despite that, Pat's pinned Longford back for good spells of the second half and deservedly equalised on 66 minutes.
Fagan skipped by Jamie Mulhall on the left to cross for Byrne to head home at the back post.
Some late drama almost brought Longford victory.
First Kalem Simon had a shot deflected over the bar on 91 minutes before fellow substitute Ayman Ben Mohamed rattled the Pat's crossbar from 30 yards.
Longford Town - Hunt; Mulhall, Sullivan, Tyrell, Powell; Cowan (Shannon 83), Rice, Salmon (Ben Mohamed 70), O'Connor; O'Sullivan (Simon 79), Shaw.
St Patrick's Athletic - O'Malley; O'Brien (McCormack 72), Hoare, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger; Forrester, Chambers; Byrne (Langley 78), Fagan (Kilduff 83), Greene.
Ref - N Doyle (Dublin).