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O'Connor finds spark to end dogged Derry resistance

While September is never a month when league titles are won, it remains a time of year when they can be lost. With this in mind, St Pat's motivation in Inchicore last night was to simply retain their interest in the championship race. Nothing more.

Entering the game 11 points adrift of leaders Sligo, they knew they had no margin for error and by the time word reached Richmond Park that their Connacht rivals were heading to a comfortable victory over Bohs, the pressure mounted.

Desperately in need of inspiration, they got it, on 57 minutes, through Sean O'Connor, who applied the finish to a superb move down their left-hand-side involving Ian Bermingham, James Chambers and Christy Fagan.

Altering the angle of his run to take him clear of the Derry defence, O'Connor subsequently met Fagan's low cross at full stretch, offering Derry 'keeper Ger Doherty no chance of keeping it out.

There and then, Derry's energy drained away. However, their continued ambition to get a point saw them adopt a higher line and commit increasing numbers to their attack.

This left them open to the counter -- and it was from this route that Pat's got their second, Jake Kelly converting Chris Forrester's 86th-minute cross to settle the contest.

Vinny Faherty made it 3-0 with a technically superb finish with his right foot from the edge of the area as the game entered stoppage-time.

St Pat's -- Murphy; O'Brien, Browne, Kenna, Bermingham; Chambers (Bolger 72), Carroll, Russell; Kelly, Fagan (Faherty 67), O'Connor (Forrester 75).

Derry City -- Doherty; Madden, Greacen (McBride 33), S McEleney, B McNamee; Brolly (Duffy 65) , Molloy, Higgins, Murphy; Farren (Curran 76), P McEleney.

Ref -- R Rogers (Dublin)

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