ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC have handed the title initiative to Sligo Rovers after they twice came from behind only to surrender their own lead to Bray in injury time in an enthralling 3-3 draw at the Carlisle Grounds.
Liam Buckley's men now lie eight points adrift of Sligo Rovers and level with Shamrock Rovers in second place after last night's round of games.
The Seagulls took the lead against the run of play on 36 minutes through Jason Byrne but a sweet Christy Fagan strike from just inside the box meant the sides were level at the break.
The Saints continued to spurn chance after chance and were made to pay on the hour mark when John Mulroy's unleashed a glorious shot to beat Brendan Clarke.
The Inchicore side responded seven minutes later, when an O'Brien throw-in was controlled by Russell, who centred for Fagan to restore parity with his second.
Man-of-the-match Russell then struck a gorgeous 72nd-minute drive after Bolger's initial pass had been blocked, and the Saints must have thought they were heading for maximum points but Jason Byrne rescued a point for Bray in stoppage time, expertly converting Waters' cross.