Friday 22 September 2017

Michael Leahy's late equaliser earns Sligo a point in Inchicore

St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Sligo Rovers1

25 March 2017; A general view of the pitch and stadium prior to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game between St Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
25 March 2017; A general view of the pitch and stadium prior to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game between St Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Michael Leahy earned Sligo Rovers a deserved point with a late equaliser as they came from behind at Richmond Park.

Trailing to Christy Fagan’s first-half goal, Sligo hit back on 81 minutes. Liam Martin initially cracked a shot off the crossbar before Saints’ keeper Conor O’Malley made a blinding save to deprive John Russell’s follow-up.

But from the resulting corner taken by Regan Donelon, centre-half Leahy rose to power home a header to give the Bit O’Red no more than they warranted.

St Pat’s carved a chance inside the opening minute when Kurtis Byrne burst through on goal.

But the winger, who’d scored in his previous three games, scuffed the shot straight at Micheal Schlingermann.

Sligo wasted an excellent chance on 14th minutes. Mikey Place worked a one-two with Kieran Sadlier on the right only to slice his effort wide from the resulting cross.

Having looked the better side, Sligo were punished for poor defending as they fell behind on 32 minutes. Pat’s skipper Ian Bermingham whipped in a cross from the left and Fagan came alive to plant his glancing header into the far corner.

As they did the first, Sligo started the second half on the front foot with O’Malley there for St Pat’s with a diving save to turn the impressive Sadlier’s drive out for an early corner.

Pat’s then might have doubled their lead on 68 minutes.

Conan Byrne timed his run in behind the Sligo rearguard to perfection onto namesake Kurtis’ pass. But Schlingermann saved well.

And the westerners remained well in the game, deservedly equalising through Leahy’s header nine minutes from time.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC – O’Malley; Barker, Peers (Cregg, h-t), Feely, Birmingham; Desmond, Kelly (Verdon, 90), C. Byrne, Markey, K. Byrne; Fagan (Lunney, 81).

SLIGO ROVERS – Schlingermann; Boylan, Callan-McFadden, Leahy, Donelon; Russell; Sadlier, Kenny, Martin; Place (Walsh, 90); Ayunga.

Ref – P Tuite (Dublin)

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