Well-taken second half goals from Philly Gorman and Kealan Dillon kept Athlone Town’s Premier Division survival hopes alive going into the final match of the season.
A first win in 13 matches was wasn’t enough to lift Keith Long’s side off the bottom of the tableas UCD won in Derry.
Athlone, at home to Bray Wanderers in next week’s final game, now have to better UCD’s result when the Students host Drogheda United if they are to leapfrog them to avoid automatic relegation and snatch the play-off spot.
St. Patrick’s were dominant in the first-half, though, and both Brennan and James Chambers threatened before the break.
Knowing both UCD and Bray were winning at half-time, Town had to have a go andtook the lead with a superb goal on 62 minutes.
Gorman initially worked a one-two with Dillon before Eric Foley laid the ball back to the Town striker who hit a sweet right-foot drive to the top corner from 25-yards.
Dillon should have doubled the lead four minutes later. But, played in by Gorman, his drive was brilliantly saved with his feet by Clarke.
Dillon made amends on 68 minutes. Brennan took a quick free kick to put Dillon in on goal and he made no mistake by firing past Clarke at the near post.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; O’Brien (Oman, 61), Foran, Browne, Fitzgerald; Bolger; Byrne, Chambers, Brennan (Feely, 72), McGrath (Durrad, 82); Fagan.
ATHLONE TOWN: Coulter; Hayes, Prendergast, A. Byrne, Knight; Dillon, Foley, O’Brien, Doyle (Sweeney, 90+4); Brennan (Clancy, 85); Gorman (Rusk, 75).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).