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Buckley sees red over sending-off

IT WAS a tale of two reds at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday in Shamrock Rovers's 2-1 defeat of St Patrick's Athletic.

Seven minutes after Rovers had regained the lead, Stephen McPhail was sent off for a mindless head-butt on Killian Brennan, who appeared to say something to the former Irish international.

Then, as the momentum appeared to be in Pat's favour, Keith Fahey received his marching orders with 15 minutes remaining after he pushed Robert Cornwall to the ground.

It was difficult to disagree with either decision by referee Pádraig Sutton. That's not how Pat's manager Liam Buckley saw it, however. "Their player had to go - he's head-butted our lad. It's nonsense from their end," said Buckley after seeing his side fall to their third defeat of the season.

"Our one, well, have a look at it on the TV. If you're telling me pushing someone like that is worth a red card. He'll get an automatic one-match ban and for anybody with a bit of sense that would be about it."

Rovers manager Trevor Croly was more concerned with the fact that his side had just beaten the reigning champions to leapfrog them into third place.

"I didn't speak with Stephen. Sometimes you're best off letting the steam out of situations," said Croly.

The game was barely two minutes old when Dean Kelly grabbed his second goal in two games. Rovers' early good wor k was undone just eight minutes later when Christy Fagan equalised.

Rovers egained the lead on 52 minutes when Gary McCabe's 20-yard shot took a wicked deflection off a Pat's defender and looped over the despairing dive of Brendan Clarke, who could only get a hand to it. Then came a bizarre 15-minute spell in which McPhail and Fahey both saw red.