O’Connor snatches point for Saints

Super sub Sean O’Connor saved St Pat’s blushes with a 71st-minute equaliser in a gripping game at the Showgrounds last night.

O’Connor, sprung from the bench after 58 minutes, made no mistake when it looked as if Rovers might send the visitors to their first defeat.

St Pats controlled the opening minutes of the first half, as Sligo made heavy weather of securing possession.

But an inviting ball into the Saints’ box in the ninth minute caused chaos, unfortunately Jason McGuinness was unable to turn quickly enough from Ross Gaynor’s well directed corner kick to take advantage.

Sligo went ahead in the 18th minute when Joseph Ndo’s corner kick ended up in the visitors’ net off unlucky defender Kenny Browne.

Former Sligo player John Russell went close after a swift Saints counterattack soon after, and Christy Fagan forced Sligo keeper Rogers into a 26th minute save after nice build-up play by Pat’s.

A clever flick on by Greg Bolger found Forrester on the half hour but Rovers survived, as the striker’s shot came to nothing.

St Pats stepped up the pace in the closing minutes of the half with Ian Birmingham and Russell going close.

Pat’s pressed on in the second half. Forrester forced Rogers into a smart save on 78 minutes.

And the Saints had a great chance to take all three points on the stroke of full time when they were awarded a penalty but Christy Fagan blazed over the bar.

Both managers will be content with the draw, however, which preserves their unbeaten records.

SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers, Davoren, Peers, Ventre, Boco, Quigley, Gaynor, Ndo, Lynch, McGuinness, North.

Subs: Cawley for Ndo 28,Cretaro for Gaynor 86, Dillon for Lynch 86.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke, O’Brien, Browne, Kenna, Birmingham, Chambers, Russell, Bolger, Forrester, Fagan, Kelly, Subs: D Kelly for J Kelly half time, O Connor for Chambers 58.

Referee: Alan Kelly.

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