Baraclough hails both sides as North nabs point
Sligo Rovers 2 St Patrick's Athletic 2
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.