Winless Finn Harps remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division as St Pat’s notched only their second win on the road thanks to a first-half strike from Conor Clifford and a disputed second-half penalty from Mikey Drennan in Ballybofey.
Harps have now gone 13 games back in the top flight without a win and look destined for a quick return to the First Division.
The highlight of the opening quarter was a Caolan McAleer strike which clipped the visitors’ crossbar. But St Pat’s almost took the lead on 27 minutes when Rhys McCabe squared the ball from a free to Clifford whose low drive smacked off the post.
St Pat’s went ahead on 34 minutes when McCabe played a corner out to Clifford, who scored from 20 yards.
Pat’s almost doubled their lead on 58 minutes when Gary Shaw raced towards goal but his shot was saved by Peter Burke and moments later Mikey Drennan fired wide.
Pat’s made it 2-0 on 68 minutes after they were awarded a penalty when Keith Cowan was adjudged to have fouled Gary Shaw.
Harps’ assistant manager Paul Hegarty was sent off for his protests from the sideline before Mikey Drennan stepped up to score from the spot.
Harps then had a penalty plea for handball rejected before McNamee and John Kavanagh had late pots on goal.
Burke; Kavanagh, Cowan, Todd, Russell; McAleer, Coyle (Borg, 82 mins), McNamee, Boyle (Place, 59 mins); Cretaro (Gallagher, 78 mins); Boyd.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC:
Brendan Clarke; Madden, Desmond, Kelly, Toner, Bermingham; Forrester (Coleman, 68 mins), McCabe, Clifford; Drennan, Shaw (Dean Clarke, 88 mins).
Rob Rogers (Dublin)