Monday 25 September 2017

Baraclough hails both sides as North nabs point

Sligo Rovers 2 St Patrick's Athletic 2

Christy Fagan on the ball for St. Patrick's Athletic is put under pressure by Jeff Henderson, Sligo Rovers
Christy Fagan on the ball for St. Patrick's Athletic is put under pressure by Jeff Henderson, Sligo Rovers
Dave Cawley, Sligo Rovers, holds off Lee Lynch, St. Patrick's Athletic
Aaron Greene, Sligo Rovers, dribbles away from Ken Browne and Ian Bermingham, St. Patrick's Athletic
Chris Forrester, St. Patrick's Athletic, is tackled by Dave Cawley, Sligo Rovers
Aaron Greene, Sligo Rovers, in action against Chris Forrester, St. Patrick's Athletic
Danny North celebrates with Sligo Rovers team-mates Jeff Henderson and Seamus Conneely, after scoring their side's second goal
Conan Byrne celebrates with team-mate Keith Fahey, left, after scoring St. Patrick's Athletic's second goal

Sligo Rovers boss Ian Baraclough says Saturday's frantic draw with the champions had "everything".

Former Saint John Russell set the ball rolling with a terrific opener on 21 minutes, and Ian Bermingham's slick 52nd-minute response was equally impressive in its execution.

The visitors took the lead through a Conan Byrne penalty with just 15 minutes left, but there was still time for Danny North to coolly convert another spot-kick against his former side to earn his team a draw.

"When you look back at the quality of football from both sides, I think it was a great advert for the League of Ireland. It had everything," said Baraclough. "I thought we were in control first half and I can't remember Gary (Rogers) having to make a save.

"But we fell asleep for a second and the ball is in the back of the net. The momentum suddenly switches then and we conceded a poor, poor penalty in my eyes. But the character of our lads was immense to come back."

Baraclough had special praise for striker North, who converted the pressure spot-kick just 15 minutes after coming on for the injured Alan Keane, who is the regular penalty-taker.

"Danny has been in my ear all season because he is a goalscorer and doesn't want to pass up opportunities like those. It was a toss-up between him and Ross Gaynor, but Danny took the authority and took it well."

St Pat's boss Liam Buckley agreed it was a cracking contest, but felt his side could have taken all three points.

"It was a great game. I thought we played well and, over the 90 minutes, if anyone was going to win it, I thought it would have been us," he said.

"I was very pleased with the performance. I told the guys in the dressing-room that we can't ask for much more. In fairness to Sligo, I thought they played very well in patches as well and I'm sure it was a good game to watch."

Sligo – Rogers, Keane (North 67), McMillan, Henderson, Gaynor, Cawley, O'Conor, Russell, Djilali (Conneely 56), Ledwith (Odhiambo 88), Greene.

St Pat's – Clarke, O'Brien, Hoare, Browne, Bermingham, Chambers (Bolger 88), Fahey, Lynch, Byrne, Forrester, Fagan (Kavanagh 72).

Ref – T Connolly.

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