Monday 5 December 2016

McGrath rescues Saints

St Patrick's Athletic 3 Longford Town 3

Published 14/05/2016 | 02:30

Keith Tracey of St Patrick's Athletic in action against Philip Gannon of Longford Town. Photo: Piaras O Midheach/Sportsfile
Keith Tracey of St Patrick's Athletic in action against Philip Gannon of Longford Town. Photo: Piaras O Midheach/Sportsfile
David O'Sullivan of Longford Town celebrates scoring his side's third goal from a penalty. Photo: Piaras O Midheach/Sportsfile
Ger O’Brien of St Patrick's Athletic in action against David O'Sullivan of Longford Town. Photo: Piaras O Midheach/Sportsfile

Bottom club Longford led three times at Richmond Park only to be pegged back each time by the Saints, who should have won it in the end.

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All six goals and a red card for Darren Dennehy came in the second half. Town hit the front through Philly Gannon's powerful drive just 20 seconds after the restart. The excellent Sam Verdon then headed Billy Dennehy's perfect corner into the net via the crossbar three minutes later to make it 1-1.

Longford, playing a 3-5-2 formation, took the lead again in the 63rd minute from what was another preventable goal from St Pat's point of view. Conor Powell drove his low shot beyond Brendan Clarke, a chance created after a quick counter-attack.

Liam Buckley's team pushed for a second equaliser; Mark Timlin hit the post then David Cawley headed over a minute later. The pressure told on Longford, who have won just one league game all season, when Pat's made it 2-2 through sub Conan Byrne's smart finish after being put in Ger O'Brien's pass. The momentum swung Longford's way again with six minutes left. A combination of Brendan Clarke and Darren Dennehy fouled Kaleem Simon in the box and Dennehy received his second yellow.

This led to the most controversial moment of the game. Ref Rob Harvey blew his whistle to signal Dave O'Sullivan to take the penalty; his effort hit the crossbar but a retake was ordered as Dennehy was still making his way off the pitch.

O'Sullivan held his nerve at the second time of asking to make it 3-2. Jamie McGrath's volley from Mark Timlin's cross then got Pat's back on terms for a third time before Verdon missed a great chance to win it at the death.

St Pat's ATH - Clarke; O'Brien, Hoare, D Dennehy, Bermingham (Desmond 40); Cawley (Byrne 71), Verdon; Timlin, McEleney (Tracey 45), B Dennehy; McGrath.

Longford Town - Molloy; J Mulhall, Flynn, Rossiter, Noack-Hofmann, Powell; Gannon, O'Connor (Dillon 76), Simon; Duffy (O'Hanlon 55), O'Sullivan.

REF - R Harvey

Irish Independent

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