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Hale and Forrester give St Pat's lift-off with victory at Sligo

Sligo Rovers 0 St Patrick's Athletic 2

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St Patrick's Athletic players, from left, Ian Bermingham, Jamie Lennon, Billy King and James Doona celebrate following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds in Sligo. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

St Patrick's Athletic players, from left, Ian Bermingham, Jamie Lennon, Billy King and James Doona celebrate following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds in Sligo. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

St Patrick's Athletic players, from left, Ian Bermingham, Jamie Lennon, Billy King and James Doona celebrate following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds in Sligo. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

First-half goals from Ronan Hale and Chris Forrester gave St Patrick’s Athletic a deserved victory against an out-of-sorts Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds.

St Pat’s had control of the early exchanges without hurting Sligo, but the hosts counter-attacked well whenever left wing-back Johnny Dunleavy was in possession.

The visitors went ahead after 26 minutes with a stunning shot from distance by Hale, who seized the shooting opportunity after Sligo gave the ball away in defence.

St Pat’s were denied a second by Sligo goalkeeper Ed McGinty, who saved at the feet of James Doona, but it was a short reprieve.

Chris Forrester doubled their lead with a smart 36th-minute finish after Billy King and Robbie Benson created the chance. Benson and King comebined again to almost set up Ian Bermingham but the cross just eluded him.

Sluggish Sligo, who failed to get a shot on target in the opening half, ended the first-half on the back foot and it was St Pat’s who almost scored again when King cut inside only for McGinty to thwart the winger’s 49th-minute effort.

McGinty then did superbly to catch Forrester’s deft lob on the goal-line. A second yellow card for St Pat’s Oliver Younger in the 68th minute left Sligo with a player extra but the visitors still looked comfortable.

Sligo Rovers – McGinty; Noone, Seymore, Callan-McFadden, Penninkangas, Dunleavy (Lynch 90); Cawley, Morahan, Buckley; Murray (Devers 46), Coughlan

St Pat’s ath – Clarke; Feely, Younger, McNally, Bermingham; Forrester (Lennon 70); Desmond, Benson; Doona (Clarke 58), Hale (Rennie 78), King

Ref – Neil Doyle

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