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Fagan cracks open stubborn Shels

Second-half goals from Christy Fagan and Vinny Faherty gave St Patrick's Athletic a hard-earned victory over 10-man Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

The first half was evenly matched, with both sides going close to breaking the deadlock.

Heading into the second period, the points were still very much for grabs, although Pat's had the better of the early chances.

And continued persistence would finally pay off for the visitors with 20 minutes to play when Sean O'Connor's pin-point delivery from the right flank was headed home powerfully by Fagan from close range.

The Saints looked odds-on for victory when Shels winger Anto Murphy was given a straight red card by referee Anthony Buttimer following an off-the-ball altercation with O'Connor.

Then, as Shels pushed forward in the closing moments, they were left exposed in defence, and substitute Faherty took advantage by nodding O'Connor's cross from the left past the advanced Chris Bennion.

SHELBOURNE -- Bennion; Ryan, Paisley, Boyle, S Byrne (Byrne 83); Murphy, Dawson, Hurley, Clancy ( Byrne 56); Cassidy; Hughes (Gorman 67).

ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC -- Murphy; O'Brien, Kenna, Browne, Carroll; Chambers, Bolger, Macedo (Coombes h-t); O'Connor, Fagan (Faherty 83), Meenan (Forrester 67).

REF -- A Buttimer (Cork).

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